You Don't Know My Story
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has outlined that increased breastfeeding among black women could significantly decrease the infant mortality rate—saving the precious lives of infants who are born too small, too sick or too soon and need the immunological properties and protective health benefits of breast milk the most. All infants can benefit from the reduced risks of ear infections, Type II diabetes and childhood obesity that mother’s milk have been proven to cause.
Many interventions, including increased prevalence of breastfeeding support groups, have been proposed and or implemented to address reducing this disparity and therefore, the disproportionate death of vulnerable black infants. Hospitals, WIC offices and community health organizations across the country have created various support groups in an attempt to buoy black breastfeeding rates. However, an identified gap in current breastfeeding support models has been their ability to maintain and sustain attendance and mother engagement. By and large, breastfeeding support groups for black women remain ineffectual.
The limitations of current models include a lack of a social cultural context, a lack of mother leadership and community input and a void of dialectical interaction. These critical lapses have heretofore hindered transformational and authentic support for breastfeeding success.
The Black Mothers’ Breastfeeding Club model, however, is distinctly different for several key reasons. Unlike most stand-alone support groups, the mother-to-mother model created by BMBFA is based on a collective impact framework which involves a centralized infrastructure, a dedicated staff, and a structured process that leads to a common agenda, shared measurement, continuous communication, and mutually reinforcing activities and action plans by club facilitators and members.
In addition to the unique culturally relevant and appropriate structure and framework of BMBFA clubs, BMBFA fully understands that increasing breastfeeding engagement among Black women, like other social problems, is not just a technical challenge, it is also an adaptive challenge. Reaching an effective solution requires culturally-grounded learning by the stakeholders involved in the problem, who must then change their own behavior in order to create a solution.
BMBFA takes much pride in asserting that its club model is far removed from the isolated approaches that often dominate breastfeeding support initiatives and inhibit any major effort at comprehensive, large-scale change in reducing racial disparities in breastfeeding rates. After seven years of successful and long-standing support groups, with robust attendance and continued connections with parents beyond the time a member is breastfeeding, BMBFA has begun to codify what it has learned so that other organizations can build and maintain successful support groups more rapidly. Processes and culturally nuanced knowledge that took BMBFA years to develop can now be adapted and replicated by other communities and organizations nationwide in significantly less time.
During the video, two breastfeeding mothers describe how Black Mothers’ Breastfeeding Club was a significant factor in the survival of their infants.
Learning Areas:Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Describe ways social support networks for breastfeeding support help new mothers to overcome postpartum depression and preterm birth complications.
Keyword(s): Diversity and culture
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Kiddada Green is the founding executive director of Black Mothersâ Breastfeeding Association (BMBFA), co-founder of Black Breastfeeding Week and sits on the advisory council of the Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters, Womenâs eNews Black Maternal Health and Wayne Childrenâs Healthcare Access Program. Mrs. Green is a Kellogg Foundation Community Leadership Network Fellow. Kiddada holds a Bachelorâs Degree from Michigan State University and a Masterâs Degree in the Art of Teaching from Oakland University.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.