August 18, 2023

Black Breastfeeding Week in 2023 is August 25th-31st, 2023. The theme is "We Outside! Celebrating Connection & Our Communities." I wanted to shine a spotlight on a local lactivist who is on a mission to increase breastfeeding/chestfeeding rates among the Black community. Her name is Tameka White, she leads LactPower. She is an active community based worker who is a certified lactation specialists, childbirth educator and doula.

From her website:

"LactPower is a community-based, equity-centered breastfeeding support service program in Benton Harbor, focused on centering the needs of Black families while providing culturally responsive care by trusted providers that reside in and represent the community they serve. Black families are often unable to access unbiased care and are facing public policies that limit their breastfeeding success, including inequitable workplace, unpaid leave, and child care policies. LactPower addresses these barriers by providing direct services to families in the community through empowerment, education, and support."

How to Support LactPower

Attend the Community Grand Rounds: Black Maternal and Infant Health Summit on August 24th

Tameka White will be one of the panelist for the Community Grand Rounds: Black Maternal and Infant Health Summit on August 24th at 2-4:30pm at Lake Michigan College Mendel Center. (Bianca Niot, IBCLC will also be on the panel!)

Here's what the website has to say about the event: 

"Corewell Health will be shining a light on the inequities related to Black maternal and infant health at the Community Grand Rounds event on August 24, 2023.

Why is this topic important? The maternal mortality rate for Black women in Michigan is three times higher than for White women (Michigan Department of Health & Human Services [MDHHS], 2019). Every mother deserves to feel safe, cared for and listened to during pre-and post-partum care. Our health system is committed to educating ourselves and our partners on issues that impact our communities so that together, we can work toward fairness and equity in maternal infant health outcomes. "

Attend the Black Breastfeeding Panel Discussion Virtual Event on August 28th

Tameka White will be one of the panelist for Black Breastfeeding: A Candid Cross Community Panel Discussion virtual event on Monday, August 28th at 12-1:15pm.

"This Black breastfeeding panel aims to provide a safe and empowering space for Black families and lactation professionals to specifically address the challenges and barriers they face. The group represents multiple Michigan communities and team members across the Corewell Health Enterprise."

Buy Boob Earrings

Tameka White leads a weekly in-person breastfeeding support group. I'm doing a fundraiser to help support the Black families in Benton Harbor on their lactating journeys by donating it to LactPower. She will use it to buy snacks and drinks for the support group, or however else she deems necessary to support her lactivism.

I made limited edition polymer clay earrings to celebrate the lactating journey of parents who were able to do that, due to access and support in their communities. I'm selling them on my Etsy Shop. 50% of the proceeds will be given to LactPower.

About the Author Kristen Schell

Kristen is a birth doula, photographer and childbirth educator. She wants to help families feel inspired by what birth can be. It can be beautiful, empowering, supported, and evidence based.

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