Midwifery and Racial Oppression, #BlkBFing Chat Highlights, Black Women and Medicaid Podcast and More!

blackbabyborn

I’m going to try my best to post weekly/bi-weekly links to articles I come across. I forget that not everyone uses Facebook and Twitter, and that’s where I post most of the things I come across.

Anti-Racism and Anti- Oppression Work In Midwifery – Letter To Midwifery Today: Real Talk About Midwifery and Racial Oppression.
This powerful letter was collaboratively drafted by 97 BirthWorkers from around the globe.

While the article is gone from the Midwifery Today site, the discussion it has engendered is too important to disappear without a trace. It is important to us that your readers understand why the comparison between the anti-slavery struggle and the midwifery movement is wrong and profoundly hurtful. Even more than this, however, we hope to show that the struggle to provide a full range of birthing options must address our history of racial oppression if we really want to change birth in this country.

ChildBirth Connection Transforming Maternity Care – Urge Women To Question Elective Deliveries.

Don’t schedule elective, non-medically indicated inductions of labor or cesarean deliveries before 39 weeks 0 days gestational age.

MomsRising Blog – Breastfeeding: Obesity, Diabetes and Asthma Prevention.

Breastfeeding decreases the risks for obesity, diabetes and asthma. As a nephrology social worker, I see firsthand the consequences of obesity that can lead to diabetes and ultimately chronic kidney disease.

Healthy Black Women – Podcast on Why Black Women Should Care About Medicaid and It’s Expansion.

Twitter – #BlkBFing Twitter Chat Highlights.

Every Mother Counts via Jennie Joseph – Black History Month: Midwifery Matters.

As a Black midwife, newly arrived in 1989, I had no understanding of the history or legacy of midwifery in the USA, let alone the foundational role that African-American midwives played in the provision of maternity care for both Black and White women from slavery on upwards.

Reports Say Black Women Don’t Breastfeed… #BlkBfing

My Son - Samuel. Breastfeeding at 21 months old.

My Son – Samuel. Breastfeeding at 21 months old.

I am so happy to share with you this list of black women who breastfeed! If you check the current data on black women and breastfeeding you’ll most likely find reports saying that we do not breastfeed, we have the lowest rates, we only breastfeed for 3-6 months, etc.

I would like to know where are the studies talking about the black women that do breastfeed?

There are websites, Facebook pages, Twitter Accounts and Blogs dedicated to Black Women Breastfeeding. I’m not saying the data is wrong, but I don’t believe it’s as dire as they claim it to be either.

I know that black women breastfeed, and the evidence is right here on this website.

Some women chose to list how many children and for how long they breastfed. Some chose not to, and that’s ok. It doesn’t mean they didn’t breastfeed for a certain amount of time, they simply chose not to include that information. This list includes black women from all walks of life. Mama’s to one child, some to three, and six children. Married mama’s, single mama’s…some work, others stay home. Some nursed for 6 months – while others tandem nursed for years. Some used donor milk – others induced lactation.

Lets get started…

Marilyn

Kalina

Deesha

Toya

Jatika – and her cousin Shanetra.

@lawgurl both children

Dee 4 children: Last one currently nursing now over 2 yrs old.

Melek: Battled through biting issues and low supply from 9 months until he weaned at 12 months.

Dianthe: Breastfeeding for 4 years…on 2nd baby and tandem nursed for a year.

Monique: 13 months and counting! her mom, cousins and aunts also breastfed their children.

Angela: Breastfed all four of her children.

Natasha: 29 months and counting!

Sylvia: Tandem nursed 2.5 yr old and 3.5 yr old until she was 7 months pregnant. She weaned them at that time and is now nursing her 3rd baby.

Tiffony: Breasted my two for 2.5 years each. Was breast fed by my mom until age 3.

Jamita: nursing for almost 6 yrs. 2 yrs w/Myles, 2.5 yrs w/Myla and currently nursing Mylex 14 months.

Tamika: Breastfed for 27 months until she had to have oral surgery and was placed on medications for it.

Tiffany: Breastfed both of her older children, and planning to breastfeed her newest arrival as well.

Kimberly: Breastfed her first until he was 27 months, and currently nursing her 19 month old.

Kimberley: Induced lactation and breastfed two adopted daughters. Her oldest breastfed for 13 months but continued to receive breastmilk until she was 28mos. Her youngest breastfed for 10 mos but continues to receive breastmilk and she is 14 mos. They both come off the breast when they were teething, milk not coming fast enough and constant biting. Side note: They both received donor milk PAID FOR by Medicaid.

Pamela: Breastfeeding her son at 14 months. She plans to continue until he is 18 months.

Michelle: Currently breastfeeding her three-month old.

Tiffany C.: Breastfed her first till she was 14 months old; her second till she was 21 months old; and plans to breastfeed her new baby as long as we can!

Chalis: Breast fed her 1st for almost a year (14 years ago) & currently breastfeeding her 4 month old!

Kimberly D.: Breastfed her first until she was 3 yrs, her second until he was 3 yrs, her third until she was 3 yrs, her fourth until she was 4 yrs, her fifth until he was 4.5 yrs, and currently bf her 6th who is almost 6 months old♥

Courtney: Nursed her son until about age 25 mo, planning to let the baby still in the oven self wean.

Kornika: 10 months and counting!

Bianca: Breastfed for 6 months.

Rashanna: Breast fed all three of hers; 8 months was the longest.

Sheril: Breastfed five for a year each!

Kristal: Not only was she a breastfeeding peer helper for the WIC office, she also nursed her FAB 5…. One for 3 years… Breast ONLY!

Adiaha: breastfed two daughters. One for 2.5 yrs and the other up until one week before her third birthday.

Kanyla: happily breastfeeding for 7 months and plans to continue until her baby girl is ready to stop

I also breastfed all three of my children. My first for 10 months, my 2nd for 29 months and my 3rd 21 months and counting! At the time of this post 2/27/13 I have been breastfeeding for 34 months AND we made the cover of the 2013 breastfeeding calendar from Birth Routes.

Black Women Do Breastfeed is a Blog/Facebook page is about making the community of black breastfeeding moms visible. If you’re on Twitter follow along @BlkWmnDoBF.

Black Mothers Breastfeeding Association is a non-profit organization increasing awareness of the benefits of breastfeeding throughout the African-American community. Follow them on Twitter @BMBFA.

Blacktating features Breastfeeding news and views from a mom of color. Elita’s blog was talked about on TMZ! Check out the post here. Follow her on Twitter @Blacktating.

Did you know that Michelle Obama breastfed her daughters? Erykah Badu has breastfed all of her children and is seen breastfeeding her daughter in one of her music videos.

Then, there is this video on Black Women Breastfeeding: A Multi-generational Story.

As you can see, there are plenty of black women breastfeeding. Thousands even! We have since the beginning of time, and will continue to do so.

When I put the call out for women to have their name included I wasn’t shocked by the response, but very happy and excited that so many of you responded. Thank you so much to all who shared with us!

If you breastfed your child would you please leave a comment for others to see that black women do indeed breastfeed.

This post originally appeared as a guest post on Free To Breastfeed: Voices From Black Mothers on 2/29/12

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I am happy to join ROSE(Reaching Our Sisters Everywhere) and Moms Rising in getting the word out on Black Women Breastfeeding for Black History Month. Read the other Making HERstory blog posts!

On Wednesday, February 27th, the “Blk BFing: Making HERstory” Twitter chat will take place with the hashtag #BlkBfing. To participate, search for #BlkBfing and join in the tweeting!

Radical Doula, Miriam Perez is running a series on Radical Doulas. In this post she shares the profile of Acquanda Stanford from her blog Journey to Lactation Consulting.

Radical Doula

Acquanda

This is a series highlighting folks who identify as Radical Doulas. Are you interested in being part of the series? Go here to provide your responses to the profile questions and I’ll include you!

Acquanda is a Black Feminist, cultural anthropologist, Certified Lactation Educator (CLE), and ICTC-trained Full Circle Doula, who hopes to one day bring the combination of these to higher education when she’s a professor. Acquanda writes the Lactation Journey Blog, which was created as a space to chronicle her venture in breastfeeding advocacy that focuses largely on inequities among African Diasporic women and the overall community. She grew up in Southern California, the fourth and fifth (she has a twin) of six children, and is also a ‘super auntie’ and ‘othermother,’ who has played a hand in raising each of her 16 nieces and nephews – including her one-year-old great nephew. Acquanda lives in Washington State and…

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The Ideal Way To Birth

Most people know that I am a HUGE homebirth advocate. I love it, I love midwives, I love the entire experience of birthing in my home…. climbing into my bed with my new baby and the rest of my family.
My first was born in the hospital, and my last two were at home. If I were to have more children, there is no way you could convince me to birth in the hospital. Birthing at home is ideal for ME, it may not be for you, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Not everyone can have a homebirth….and not every woman wants a homebirth.

I think it’s time we stop focusing all of our energies on homebirth. Yes that’s how every woman birthed many moons ago, and more women are choosing to birth at home. but it’s not the ideal way to birth for all women.

Your ideal birth might be birthing in the hospital with all their fancy technology at your fingertips, wearing perfect makeup, or maybe a birth center….it’s your body and your birth.
Maybe our time and energy would be better spent if we put our focus into helping men and women learn all they can about birth itself. We present fact-based evidence…after that it’s up to the woman to decide what’s best for her.

And can we stop telling the story of having a homebirth in the hospital? I get where people are coming from on that topic, but I think it sets women up for possible failure. It also sounds like no one ever has a peaceful hospital birth experience, and we all know that’s not true. There are policies and procedures that the hospitals have to follow, and a hospital is not your home. Not all hospitals and their staffs are terrible. Infact, there are some really great Hospitals, OB’s, Midwives, Doulas, and Nurses working in the hospitals….imagine that.

We need to stop bashing women because they choose to birth differently than we do.
I’m guilty of talking about homebirth like it’s the ideal choice for every woman. No more. Don’t we realize it’s not how we birth that makes the mother? How a woman births has become a competition. It’s not good enough to give birth unmedicated. Now you’re a super woman if you birth at home, but you gain the ultimate in respect if you birth unassisted out in the woods or by the ocean. I’m not making fun of people that do that….I would love to birth near the ocean! I think we’ve lost focus and we need to bring it back to the whole woman, meeting her where she is and making sure she’s informed of all her choices, then supporting her in the birth she chooses.

If a mom chooses a cesarean, stop talking about her choice and offer to bring her meals or do her laundry. She made her choice, bashing her decision won’t change it.

We’ve got to stop the birth debates, bullying, and scare tactics. It’s not helping anyone and it makes us look like jerks.
The woman that chooses an epidural deserves the same love and attention as the woman that chooses to birth at home. They are both becoming mothers in their own way.

Birth matters for every woman, whether she realizes it at the time or not, let’s do our part to support the decision of her ideal birth, not ours.