Khadija Garrison Adams, BA

Check Your Research: Teaching Moms How to Self-Advocate When Encountering Outdated Medical Advice

A lifelong builder of bridges, Khadija Garrison Adams is a brilliant curator of conversation who uses good words, better listening skills, and a little bit of laughter to put people at ease while delivering hard truths like good medicine. She has a rare ability to cultivate empathy and vulnerability by modeling those traits in her storytelling. Khadija was a double major (Psychology/Religion) at Ohio Wesleyan University (2004). She then spent nearly a decade as a missionary through the Coalition for Christian Outreach, living and working among college students in Pittsburgh and later Columbus, Ohio.

At the urging of the vibrant virtual community that Khadija has been shepherding through issues of race, gender, and faith since the 2008 presidential election, Khadija launched her often viral blog, On the Neutral Ground, and her racial justice coaching business in 2019. In 2015, Khadija co-founded Black Lactation Circle Central Ohio, a 900-member in-person and online community serving Black pregnant and nursing mothers, birth workers, and health professionals. The group aims to empower women in Metro Columbus to meet their breastfeeding goals. Conceding to the demand for her sought-after Sweet Potato Chocolate Chip Cookies, Khadija launched Deez Cookies in 2020 to spread comfort and joy during these uncertain times. When she’s not trying to change the world, she looks for great ice cream places, laughs a lot, and watches hair and baking tutorial videos on Instagram. A proud New Orleanian, speaker, singer, and mediocre knitter, Khadija, her husband, two daughters, one son, and their VERY affectionate Rottweiler live on an unexpectedly bucolic tract of land in Columbus, Ohio.

Session Summary:

Breastfeeding is natural, but it surely does not come naturally. Black Mothers in the U.S. face an uphill battle in initiating and maintaining a healthy breastfeeding relationship. Unfortunately, nursing parents often encounter unhelpful to sabotaging advice from the most ironic of sources – their healthcare providers! During this session, we will discuss the benefits of lactation education and evidence-based support during the prenatal and postpartum period. We will suggest methods of self-advocacy in the face of outdated or inaccurate lactation-related advice from medical professionals caring for mother and child. We will also identify green light, yellow light, and red light indicators in the language of care providers (i.e. the difference between a breastfeeding-friendly provider, a breastfeeding-tolerant provider, and a breastfeeding-hostile provider).

Learning Objectives:

  1. Describe unhelpful breastfeeding advice often given to mothers by medical professionals.
  2. Discuss the benefits of access to knowledge regarding lactation prior to delivery.
  3. Suggest methods of self-advocacy in the face of unhelpful, inaccurate, or sabotaging advice regarding lactation from medical professionals.