“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.”
How did you become involved in supporting Black breast/chestfeeding in Los Angeles County and why are you passionate about it?
In 2015, my colleague Karla and I attended a CLE training along with dozens of our colleagues. During our assignments we researched amazing organizations like Breastfriends in Oakland, Soul Food for Your Baby in LA, and the Black Infant Health program. They were all doing amazing work in the space of lactation, maternal and infant health centering Black families. We decided to create a niched space for our Black/African American families who received WIC for their families. We collaborated with and were informed by Black staff, lactation consultants, peer counselors, Dietitians and of course our CinnaMoms. We hosted support circles at six WIC centers who served the highest number of African American families. The support circles were a success and continued to grow. Fast forward, the passion still continues because we now have the capacity to support families/CinnaMoms throughout their journey.
What is the most rewarding part of the work that you do to support Black breast/chestfeeding?
I would say seeing the family's journey—from pregnancy, to receiving lactation support from Peer Counselors and Lactation Consultants, and seeing the baby progress through toddlerhood. Our families support one another and encourage each other and it's amazing to see. It is also 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.
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!