Brittany Lock

  • iDREAM presents: Black Mamas Glowing Pregnancy Peer Support Group Experience


    Enrollment is open now! 

    Upcoming KEY DATES:

    • October Cohort begins October 3rd, 2023 at 6:00 PM Pacific Time
    • November Cohort begins November 7th, 2023 at 6:00 PM Pacific Time

    All via Zoom


    The primary focus for this peer support group is maternal mental health within the Black birthing community.

    Session 1 is all about birth planning in and outside of the hospital.

    Session 2 is a brief overview of perinatal mood and anxiety disorders and how they show up in Black birthing people.

    Session 3 offers recommendations to tapping into culturally relevant social support. Our resource network is curated specific to Greater Los Angeles and surrounding counties.

    Session 4 sums up each session before it to honor and remind mamas/birthing people how to advocate for themselves.

    We hope to ensure that each birthing person and their support person understand that autonomy and freedom of choice is at the core of having a sacred pregnancy and birth journey.

    Intended Outcomes:

    Our hope is that by offering this pregnancy peer support group we decrease isolation, build community between participants, and create sustainable solutions for reducing stress while pregnant. We aim to serve 15-20 Black birthing/postpartum families during each cohort. Our in-house evaluator has created two surveys (pre-session 1 and post-session 4) which we intend on using to curate the plethora of community resources specific to each participant's geographic location, produce new content, and present evaluation results at conferences.

    Read more

  • SLA/SB AAIMM CAT - Know Your Birthing Rights Workshop



    October 07, 2023 at 11:00am
    Galilee Baptist Church
    3220 W 48TH St
    Los Angeles, CA 90043
    United States
    Google map and directions

  • Black Mamas Glowing® 4 - Week Series - October 2023

    Black Mamas Glowing® is a virtual peer support group experience formed to reduce isolation and build community for Black birthing families and the expanded Black perinatal workforce including birth workers. The focus is on maternal mental health with Black pregnant women and birthing people in Greater Los Angeles and surrounding counties.

    Black Mamas Glowing(c) is a 4-week session focused on perinatal mental health with Black birthing families and their support persons (i.e., spouses, partners, parents, siblings, grandparents, friend, midwife doula, birth workers and anyone else who would be in the room during labor and delivery).

    Our aim is to reduce isolation and build community with Black pregnant women and birthing persons and introduce them to the African American Infant and Maternal Mortality (AAIMM) network throughout Los Angeles County.

    If you or someone you know would benefit from our Black-led pregnancy peer support group experience; email Ellen Branch [email protected] to register.


    October Cohort begins October 3rd, 2023 at 6:00 PM Pacific Time


    November Cohort begins November 7th, 2023 at 6:00 PM Pacific Time

    October 03, 2023 at 6:00pm

  • SLASB Bi-Monthly Meeting: Gun Violence

    You're cordially invited to join the South Los Angeles/South Bay African American Infant and Maternal Mortality Community Action Team (SLASB AAIMM CAT) initiative for our bi-monthly regional meeting.

    This month we'll feature a presentation on Gun Violence Awareness. Additionally, we'll have giveaways, discuss workgroup updates, community resources, and how you can be apart of the AAIMM village.



    In-Person Registration:

    Virtual Registration:

    September 28, 2023 at 4:30pm
    The Children's Institute
    10200 S Success Ave
    Los Angeles , CA 90002
    United States
    Google map and directions

  • Arissa Palmer, Executive Director, BreastfeedLA

    “I truly believe that every parent who wants to chest/breastfeed deserves the opportunity to have that chance.”

    Read more

  • K'Lynn Mitchell, RDN CinnaMoms Project Coordinator

    “I'm very passionate about nutrition and its effect on chronic health and one of the best starts in life is breast milk.” 

    Read more

  • Ronie Stewart, RDN, IBCLC/ Peer Counselor Supervisor

    “I am passionate about educating, empowering, and cheering on breastfeeding as the norm for our Black breast/chestfeeding families.”

    Read more

  • Dr. Tonce, Senior Health Equity Manager, Co-Creator CinnaMoms

    “It is amazing to see how CinnaMoms has led to the promotion of so many staff members at WIC. Seeing staff advance in their lactation careers has been quite rewarding.” 



    Read more

  • Raena Granberry Sr. Manager of Maternal and Reproductive Health

    “At a point in history the majority of this nation depended on Black breastmilk. We have to reclaim that.”

    Read more

  • Kirstein Smith, Breastfeeding Mama

    “It helps them a lot with their immune system and it’s basically better to breast-feed because it helps you create a bond with your child.”

    Read more

  • Angela Abbott, Client Service Area Manager

    Angela Abbott, Client Service Area Manager
    “I am grateful to have a supply that is more than enough for my daughter. I also decided to donate over 300 bags of breastmilk to a co-worker.”

    Read more

  • Black Breastfeeding Week 2023: August 25th-31st


    Find a safe space to Breast / Chestfeed in L.A. County. Search our directory by region below:


    In 2022, the AAIMM Community Action Teams initiated a grassroots effort to approach businesses in Los Angeles County asking them to publicly designate themselves as Safe Spaces for Black moms/birthing persons to breast/chestfeed. They were presented with Safe Space window decals, posters and tabletop tents to display. The idea was to alter the stigma around breast/chestfeeding in public and normalize moms/birthing persons feeding their babies any and everywhere.

    This year, the AAIMM Black Breastfeeding Week campaign continues this effort in engaging local businesses directly, thereby growing the greater village of support for Black moms/birthing persons and their babies. We will be highlighting these businesses on social media, as well as creating a directory of LA County “Safe Space” businesses on 

    AAIMM, in conjunction with Soul Food for Your Baby, BreastfeedLA, and CinnaMoms, will also spend a week sharing positive and informative breast/chestfeeding messages across social media and the web, personal stories from those who work in the field of lactation support, as well as breastfeeding mamas, and events. BreastfeedLA also has a resources map on its website where you can find providers and breastfeeding support in your area.

    Check this page and follow @blackinfantsandfamiliesla on Instagram for updates. Use #AAIMM, #BlackBreastfeedingWeek2023 and #GrowTheVillage to share your breastfeeding journey with us and join the conversation. 

    You can learn more about the national Black Breastfeeding Week 2023 campaign and find virtual events HERE









    Black Breastfeeding Week
    Q & As



    Kimberly Durdin, CPM, LM, IBCLC

    How did you become involved in supporting Black breast/chestfeeding in Los Angeles County and why are you passionate about it?

    I moved to LA 17 years ago, already an IBCLC, and looking to continue to support families in the area as I had done in the Washington, DC metro area and NYC where I moved from. I was passionate about joining other lactation professionals in this area because California seemed to be doing some amazing and innovative things to support, promote, and protect lactation and I wanted to be a part of it all!

    Aqueelah Russell, MBA, IBCLC, LCCE

    What is the most rewarding part of the work that you do to support Black breast/chestfeeding?

    Promoting and leading by example. Illustrating that Black moms DO breastfeed and that Black women also thrive in the professional lactation space. It is vital for Black babies to receive their mama's breast milk as their optimum feeding choice.

    Kirstein Smith, Breastfeeding Mama

    What (or who) helped you to make the decision to breastfeed your baby and why did you decide to take that journey?

    My mother was basically telling (me) how good it is to breastfeed your child it helps them a lot with their immune system and that it’s basically better to breastfeed because it helps you create a bond with your child and then not only that but breast-fed babies are way more smarter they’re way more active than other babies — they’re way more everything

    Dr. Tonce, Senior Health Equity Manager, Co-Creator CinnaMoms

    What do you hope to see change for the better with regard to Black breast/chestfeeding in Los Angeles County?

    A diversified lactation field. More Black/African American Lactation consultants and Breastfeeding Peer Counselors. More scholarships, mentorship, tutoring for the college level courses needed to advance in the field of lactation. Continued support and services for our Black families. More imagery of families living joyous and healthy lives! Increased support for families who are not fully breastfeeding. Any breastfeeding matters, also!




    August 30th




  • Angela Abbott, Client Service Area Manager


    How did you become involved in supporting Black breast/chestfeeding in Los Angeles County and why are you passionate about it?

    Through CORE, and SGV AIMM (the San Gabriel Valley Infant and Maternal Mortality Prevention Initiative Community Action Team). 

    What is the most rewarding part of the work that you do to support Black breast/chestfeeding?

    I can relate, as I am currently breastfeeding. But assisting mothers with support and advice is the most rewarding, and connecting them to the resources we have in the agency.

    Read more

  • AAIMM Featured on Spectrum News, VP Kamala Harris Tours Baby2Baby to Spotlight Maternal Health Crisis

    LOS ANGELES — On Friday, Vice President Kamala Harris toured Baby2Baby in Baldwin Hills to spotlight maternal health crisis. This comes just after the White House announced a new blueprint to address the crisis.

    Locally, there is a big push to do the same. Dr. Melissa Franklin, director of maternal, child and adolescent health at the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, says Black women are four times as likely to die from pregnancy-related complications in the county.

    Dr. Franklin and additional members of the AAIMM Prevention Initiative members were interviewed on Spectrum News;

    “The AAIMM Initiative… is our work to address birth inequity - the injustice of Black mamas, birthing folks and babies dying at higher rates than any other race,” said Dr. Franklin.




    The Black Maternal Health Center of Excellence, a part of Charles R. Drew University of Science and Medicine, is working to address the issue by offering free and low-cost services to include prenatal and postpartum care.











    Read more

  • Elliette Johnson, AAIMM Doula

    What does being a Doula mean to you?

    Beyond hands-on labor support, a doula is someone who provides unwavering emotional support during one of the most transformative periods of your life. A doula educates and informs, but also guides you towards your own innate knowing as you approach your birth. A doula holds a space to work through your fears and cultivate trust in your own abilities. A doula helps you prepare for your birth and navigate life on the other side of childbirth.

    One reason a family should consider having a doula:

    To learn about all of your options and receive non-biased, evidenced-based information to make the best decisions for your prenatal care, your birth, and your newborn, and to learn how to advocate for what you want and don't want.


    Read more

  • Mia De Silva, AAIMM Doula

    What does being a Doula mean to you?

    Being a doula means I have the opportunity and privilege to shape the way birthing persons experience their labor, delivery, and beyond. It’s continual support throughout the labor process, but it doesn’t stop and end there. It means I can help you find your bearings after birth as well. 

    One reason a family should consider having a doula:

    A family should consider having a doula, because they will be provided with a dedicated person to support them in a way that’s unmatched. A doula’s role is to provide you with all the tools you need to have an empowered and safe experience while bringing your baby earth-side. 


  • Lakeisha Solomon, AAIMM Doula

    What does being a Doula mean to you?


    Being a doula is a blessed opportunity to show love to families in some of the most vulnerable and exciting moments of life. It means supporting, informing, encouraging, empowering, reaffirming, loving, and nurturing. It is attached to my purpose and calling.

    One reason a family should consider having a doula:

    Every family has the right to feel and be safe, supported, and heard throughout their pregnancy and birth experience.


    Read more

  • Ansar El Muhammed, AAIMM Doula

    What does being a Doula mean to you?

    Being a doula means that I am here to provide support emotionally, physically, and informationally in every step of birth or bereavement. As a full spectrum doula, I'm here to make sure the birthing person knows all of their options and rights as a patient. I come prepared with non-medicinal comfort measures and get in touch with the birthing person's wishes, needs, and what makes them feel good. I believe doulas are here to humanize, empower, and comfort the birthing process from prenatal to postpartum.

    One reason a family should consider having a doula:

    I think everyone should have a doula because there's one more person on your care team that's there entirely for your comfort, encouragement, and well-being. Doulas are here for the emotional side of childbirth and listen to your needs and desires. The prenatal to postpartum period can be stressful, and it's normal to have questions. A doula can help you understand what's going on, what your options are, and make you feel confident in your birth journey, while relieving some of that stress.


    Read more


    What does it mean to truly love your fellow man? As February is not only Black History Month, but also the month in which we celebrate Valentine's Day, we dove a little deeper into the meaning of love. The Greek word, "philia," translates to "brotherly love." Of the four types of love described in the Greek, it is considered the highest form of love. 

    Brotherly love is the love for our fellow person. This is what the Village is to us: loving our fellow person, Black mothers/birthing persons and their babies, as family. Let's continue to hold each other as family while we remain steadfast in our work and celebrate each healthy and joyous Black birth.

    Love also is a word that requires taking action. We’re inviting you to put “philia” into action by helping us grow the greater AAIMM village of support for Black families in Los Angeles County. You can do this by sharing our programs and resources with families who may need them, or participating in our programs if you are an expectant parent or looking for an opportunity to volunteer. 

    We’ve made it really easy for you to participate in growing the village by creating a text number.* Simply text the number below with the corresponding code indicating the program you’d like to receive more information about:


    TEXT NUMBER: 323-745-2771

    Doula Program: Text DOULA


    Fatherhood Program: Text DAD


    Newsletter: Text PLEDGE to take the Pledge to end Black maternal & infant births and to sign up for our newsletter (optional)


    Antelope Valley Community Action Team: Text AV to learn more about volunteer opportunities in Antelope Valley


    Santa Clarita/San Fernando Valley Community Action Team: Text SFV to learn more about volunteer opportunities in the Santa Clarita and San Fernando Valleys


    San Gabriel Valley Community Action Team: Text SGV to learn more about volunteer opportunities in San Gabriel Valley


    South LA/South Bay Community Action Team: Text SLASB to learn more about volunteer opportunities in South LA and South Bay


    *PLEASE NOTE: This number is for text messages ONLY and is not monitored for phone calls. 

    Thank you for being a part of birthing justice history by helping us grow the village to support healthy and joyous Black births!


    Read more

  • New Amsterdam Openly Addresses Birth Inequities for Black Women in “Catch”

    We open on a seemingly idyllic scene of a Black mother giving birth naturally in a hospital — her husband beaming beside her as their newborn infant takes her first breath of oxygen, the music swells...but something is terribly wrong. The mother cannot move her arm. After some tests are run, it’s discovered that the mother has a lump in her thyroid. It’s stage 3 cancer. She must immediately begin intravenous radioactive treatment which will mean separation from her new baby (whom she’s named Pearl) and her husband for the next 4-5 months. So begins the April 20, 2021 episode of NBC’s procedural medical drama, New Amsterdam, which examines the inequities in child labor for women of color through the stories of three different Black women with three unique birthing experiences at the titular hospital. 

    According to its hub on the University of California San Francisco website, the SACRED Birth Study was designed to validate the first and only Patient Reported Experience Measure of OBstetric racism©, also known as the PREM-OB Scale™, developed in 2019 with funding from California Health Care Foundation and owned by Dr. Karen A. Scott, MD, MPH, FACOG. The PREM-OB Scale™ examines obstetric racism, as defined for, by, and with Black mothers and Black birthing people, during hospitalization for labor, birth, and postpartum in six theorized patient identified quality of care domains: Safety, Autonomy, Communication, Racism, Empathy, and Dignity. 

    The site further states that the information gained from the PREM-OB Scale™ will help hospitals, health plans, scientists, funders, and the public better understand how obstetric racism and other forms of neglect and mistreatment affect the ways that hospitals provide care, services, and support to Black mothers and birthing people during labor, birth, and postpartum. Although the study officially ended on January 31, 2021, it was indirectly given new life and a new platform during the New Amsterdam episode.The episode was titled “Catch” and was written by staff writer Erika Green Swafford (@swptatopie on Twitter), who is also a Black woman, and was directed by Shiri Appleby. Swafford also served as a consulting producer on the episode. 

    Dr. Scott was tapped by Hollywood, Health & Society to serve as an expert for Swafford on writing “Catch.” Hollywood, Health & Society is a free resource to television and screen writers, connecting them with resources and experts on a variety of health and social topics. Hollywood, Health & Society also presented an open conversation on the issues surrounding Black maternal health on May 6 called “The Black Birth Experience: Challenges, Joys and Justice,” for which Swafford was a panelist. 

    “Thank you so much for another opportunity to support the amazing work @HollywoodHealth. Thank you @robertacruger for introducing me to @swptatopie. Congratulations in advance to the brilliant Erika and all the talent at New Amsterdam. I plan to watch tonight and apply @SACRED_PREM_OB to the stories,” Dr. Scott tweeted ahead of the episode’s airing. She went on to tweet during the episode.

    After the opening, a young Black woman, Ydalis Fournette (actress Tiffany Mann), comes into the hospital because of an abrasion on her head, but is immediately assumed to be pregnant because of her size. Bloodwork shows that she actually is pregnant, despite the fact that she adamantly claims to be a virgin.

    Read more