Malikah Gardner and Victoria Washington, BMBFA Mommy Ambassadors
Over the years, research has shown that individuals with strong social support systems that include community are more likely to have greater satisfaction with their personal health, increased self-esteem and improved coping skills related to stress management. Creating a strong breastfeeding community can give mothers the support and confidence they need to be successful on their breastfeeding journey. For over 12 years, Black Mothers’ Breastfeeding Association (BMBFA) has aimed to build fundamental networks of support. These networks strengthen systems to overcome historical, societal and social barriers to breastfeeding success. Through its signature work Black Mothers’ Breastfeeding Club, BMBFA has committed to creating a safe space for women and families to receive support and education throughout their breastfeeding journey. This unique model is community-based and infuses mother-led breastfeeding groups that uplift woman as experts in their own lives. Their experiences are accepted as truth. They are empowered to share their stories with others to strengthen one another and produce communal growth.
For the last year, BMBFA has worked with Brilliant Detroit and Evenflo Feeding to create breastfeeding friendly community spaces in Detroit neighborhoods. Each Brilliant Detroit house functions as a neighborhood gathering place with an atmosphere of love and safety. Brilliant Detroit is focused on serving children within the community by ensuring families have the support they need. In each house, Evenflo Feeding will sponsor a breastfeeding safe space and provide moms with the tools they need to have a successful breastfeeding journey.
Join BMBFA, Brilliant Detroit, and Evenflo Feeding as we work together to spread the word that Brilliant Detroit is a place where moms can feel safe and comfortable feeding their child while they receive education and breastfeeding support. They can connect with other moms who are also on a breastfeeding journey. Building a successful community centered breastfeeding hub will require the support of everyone in the community. This is an effort that will need to be built with, for, and by community members.
Call to Action:
- Community organizations can stand with us to make their spaces breastfeeding friendly.
- Community members can continue to spread the word about the benefits of breastfeeding.
- Current breastfeeding mothers can provide inclusive support to new moms on their breastfeeding journey regardless of the breastfeeding preference they choose. (i.e. covered vs. uncovered; pumping moms vs. nursing on demand)
- Breastfeeding supporters can offer words of encouragement and provide accommodations to breastfeeding mothers.
“BMBFA created a space of acceptance for me. If I decided to cover or not it is ok. Feeling that my choice to breastfeed in public with moms who look like me was the support I never knew I needed. BMBFA has always been my safe space to be vulnerable, learn and grow in my breastfeeding journey. I am encouraged to trust my instincts, stand by my decisions, and enjoy my bond with my child. I am so grateful for this opportunity to say thank you to BMBFA for nurturing this Breastfeeding Advocate.”
-Tommara Grice, BMBFA Mom