Nasheeda Pollard, MPH, IBCLC, CLC
The Southern New Jersey Perinatal Cooperative
Nasheeda Pollard is a public health professional and a International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore and Masters of Public Health in Health Education and Promotion from Benedictine University. Her career in public health began more than seven years ago as a youth nutrition educator promoting healthy eating for young children. She began working with pregnant women and families as the health educator for Camden Healthy Start, teaching pregnant, prenatal, and postpartum women critical strategies for having
healthy pregnancies. Motivated by her personal belief that each family should have access to breastfeeding support, she obtained her certification as a lactation counselor in 2016 and received her IBCLC in 2020. She continues her commitment to the field of breastfeeding through her work as a Board member of the New Jersey Breastfeeding Coalition.
Within the Black Breastfeeding Caucus (BBC) the Direct Service subcommittee has been researching and developing various priorities to aid in elevating Black lactation professionals while uplifting Black breastfeeding dyads. We are looking to collect data in an innovative way by conducting brainstorming sessions in a focus group style workshop to understand the impact of community-centered collaboration to support the breastfeeding dyad.
Based on NACCHO’s Weaving a Lactation Care Safety Net, establishing a lactation ecosystem in communities of color where gaps in human milk feeding exist will lead to improved outcomes for the parent/baby dyad. Continuity of care, consistent messaging, and building relationships among community stakeholders, clinical providers, etc. are crucial to supporting Black lactating families during their most vulnerable moments in parenthood. The goal of this session is to yield strengths-based needs and solutions to creating a lactation ecosystem within any respective community/city region.
As members of the Direct Service Committee, we invite you all to partake in this innovative effort to assess and design strategies to improve engagement, collaboration, and cohesively maintain support for Black lactating families.
Our end result is to utilize our findings to contribute to our current BBC Direct Service Committee briefing and commence a national challenge for communities to participate. The engagement of participants in this workshop will be credited for the contribution.
- Assess how community stakeholders are currently working in partnership to ensure breastfeeding families are supported throughout multiple agencies/associations.
- Identify barriers to building relationships that limit community stakeholders from working together.
- Obtain solutions to prevent working in silos, thus supporting families in a lactation ecosystem.