Posted on Friday, May. 3, 2019 at 2:46 pm
Despite known benefits, some families are less likely to start and continue breastfeeding. Structural racism, lack of social support, problems pumping at work, and other factors impact breastfeeding rates across racial and age groups in Dane County. For these reasons, we work with community partners to reduce breastfeeding disparities.
For the past two years, we’ve been working closely with Harambee Village Doulas, the African American Breastfeeding Alliance of Dane County, Centro Hispano of Dane County and Roots4Change. Each of these organizations provides culturally-aligned, community-led care and support for pregnancy, breastfeeding, and family health.
To highlight the awesome work that they are doing, we hosted a Breastfeeding Equity Open House in April during Black Maternal Health Week.
Micaela Berry, Executive Director of Harambee Village Doulas, spoke about the need to support women who experience economic injustice, “Sometimes we’re supporting mamas who are giving birth and then two weeks later are going back to work.”
Harambee Village Doulas works to bridge this support gap by providing doula care to those who would otherwise not be able to afford it. “As community-based doulas, we support families during pregnancy, birth, postpartum and through early parenting,” says Tia Murray, co-founder. “We have seen the positive outcomes of providing immediate postpartum breastfeeding support in the hospital setting, which is the most critical window for breastfeeding and lactation success.”
The African American Breastfeeding Alliance of Dane County similarly bridges the support gap by offering one-on-one lactation support, support groups, and education for families.
Community Wellness Workers (promotoras de salud) and doulas from Roots4Change provide culturally relevant health education to the Latinx community through postpartum support groups and doula services. They shared their stories of overcoming struggles to find support in pregnancy and breastfeeding. “We want our families to feel that they are visible and that they have a voice, and that they can advocate for themselves,” said Mariela Quesada Centeno, Maternal and Child Health Community Fellow at Centro Hispano.
The event was energizing and well-attended—nearly 100 individuals stopped by to show their support for breastfeeding and Black Maternal Health Week. Attendee Christine Muganda remarked, “Thank you so much for all your work on this event. It was stunning. I felt so proud to live in Madison.”
We’d also like to thank Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway and State Representative Shelia Stubbs for speaking and showing their support!
Learn more about what we are doing to increase breastfeeding rates.