A joyful rallying cry of supporting, protecting, and welcoming Black Breast/Chestfeeding was heard throughout South Los Angeles on Saturday, August 28, as members and friends of the African American Infant and Maternal Mortality (AAIMM) Prevention Initiative took to the streets for Soul Food For Your Baby’s 2nd annual Black Breastfeeding Matters Walk. The walk was one of several events that took place during the AAIMM Prevention Initiative’s Black Breast/Chestfeeding Week campaign (August 25-31) which was co-sponsored by the South Los Angeles/South Bay AAIMM Community Action Team (Family-Centered Models of Care Workgroup), First 5 LA and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. Event sponsors also included Black Women for Wellness and the Mu Chi Chapter Chi Eta Phi.
Last year (2020) Soul Food For Your Baby was unable to hold an in-person walk during Black Breastfeeding Week due to the COVID pandemic, but this year they were able to safely gather for a walk which began at Black Women for Wellness and continued through Leimert Park. Also coinciding with Give 8/28, a day designated to support Black-led and/or Black-benefitting organizations, the event was able to generate over $1,000 in donations.
“Black Breastfeeding Matters more than ever! Breastfeeding is one area in which Blacks continue to lag behind other groups. But unlike other health disparities, breastfeeding is a fundamental, free and doable practice that can help lower the risks of other health conditions such as diabetes, obesity, respiratory conditions, and heart disease,” the Black Breastfeeding Matters Walk website states.
Participants at the walk carried posters with images of Black nursing families and printed campaign messages: Welcome Black Breast/Chestfeeding Everywhere, Protect Black Breast/Chestfeeding Everywhere, and Support Black Breast/Chestfeeding Everywhere.
“This is so awesome! Thank you to all those who worked hard to pull this off. Job well done! Thank you for allowing my family to be a part of this movement,” attendee Akira Dunn commented on a Facebook post about the walk.
For more information about AAIMM’s Black Breast/Chestfeeding Week campaign, please visit www.blackinfantsandfamilies.org/blackbreastfeeding and for all media inquiries, please contact Melissa Franklin at [email protected].
About Soul Food For Your Baby
In response to perpetuating low breastfeeding rates and health disparities, Soul Food for Your Baby was created in 2006 to address breastfeeding concerns that impact African American families.
What distinguishes SFYB from other programs is that it:
- Emphasizes a cultural connection to breastfeeding and links nursing to the experience, history and legacy of members of the African American Diaspora
- Targets African American families
- Delivers a critical message to the people who need it
- Encourages community support & collaboration
About the African American Infant and Maternal Mortality Prevention Initiative
The Los Angeles County African American Infant and Maternal Mortality (AAIMM) Initiative is a coalition of the Los Angeles County Departments of Public Health, Health Services, and Mental Health, First 5 LA, community organizations, mental and health care providers, funders, and community members. We are united in one purpose: to address the unacceptably high rates of Black infant and maternal deaths in Los Angeles County and ensure healthy and joyous births for Black families. The AAIMM Prevention Initiative includes four Community Action Teams (CATs), which develop and lead efforts in communities to close gaps and support joyous and healthy births for Black families. For more information, please visit the initiative website at www.blackinfantsandfamiles.org.