Renae Green, IBCLC

Breaking the Silo Cycle

Renae Green managed and developed Healthy Start, Inc.’s Center for Urban Breastfeeding program initiative. Healthy Start Center for Urban Breastfeeding (HSCUB) seeks to improve breastfeeding initiation and duration rates for black mothers in Allegheny County and normalize breastfeeding for black families by providing on-demand, 24/7, telephone, virtual, and in-home consultations at no cost. Currently, Renae works as a Lactation Consultant at UPMC Magee Women’s Hospital in Pittsburgh, PA and support initiatives of the local Allegheny County Breastfeeding Committee. Renae’s passion for breastfeeding began as she experienced challenges when navigating her own breastfeeding journey. Renae wondered how many women, who looked like her, shared similar experiences. Renae completed the Healthy Children Project’s Lactation Counselor training course in March 2017 and studied at Union Institute and University where she is obtaining a bachelor’s degree in Maternal Child Health: Human Lactation. Renae has made a commitment to change the culture of feeding Black babies. When Renae is not working, she enjoys spending time with family, sharing laughs with friends, quilting, and trying new foods.

Session Summary:

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.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Assess how community stakeholders are currently working in partnership to ensure breastfeeding families are supported throughout multiple agencies/associations. 
  2. Identify barriers to building relationships that limit community stakeholders from working together.
  3. Obtain solutions to prevent working in silos, thus supporting families in a lactation ecosystem.