Archives for posts with tag: breastfeed

The Wonders of Mother’s Milk
by Mishawn Purnell-O’Neal

This book, The Wonders of Mother’s Milk by Mishawn Purnell-O’Neal, has been a staple at bed time in my home for quite some time now. Ahimsa and I just love the language and its vibrant illustrations. I appreciate the ethnic and racial diversity of the mamas and babes in the book; a culturally appropriate read in my opinion.

Using age-appropriate language, the topics discussed in the book include: the health and emotional benefits of breastfeeding, de-stigmatizing breastfeeding in public, breastfeeding mothers who work outside of the home, the notion of mother’s milk being green (yes!), and extended breastfeeding.

I’m excited to learn that The Wonders of Mother’s Milk is now available as a download for the iPad and iPhone. The book is offered through iBooks as an enhanced version which offers a “Read-To-Me Option” by a professional narrator. I believe that this is the first children’s book with a breastfeeding theme that’s being offered in this kind of digital format. The cost of the download is super affordable too!

A Kindle Edition is also available for download!

I got the enhanced version on my iPhone and can I just say it is so cool!! It really came in handy on our recent road trip to Nashville. Ahimsa enjoyed reading something she was familiar with and having it read aloud to her over and over again. I truly appreciate how, when read aloud, the words are highlighted in red, something necessary for young readers developing their literacy skills.

Thanks to the author Mishawn Purnell-O’Neal, I will be giving away a promotional code for the digital version of The Wonders of Mother’s Milk.   Leave a comment on this post by Saturday, June 9, 2012 and it will count as your entry. All names will be entered with a winner selected at random via random.org. I will announce the winner in the comments section by 5:00 pm, June 9th. Winner must respond within 24 hours, or another will be selected.

Jeanine @greendivasuper

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So, I’m not a “check the postal mail everyday” kind of person. Who needs another bill on the coffee table anyway? But when I checked my mail box the other day, the only thing that was in there was an envelope addressed to Green Diva Super. I immediately knew what it was!

Culturally appropriate breastfeeding activism SWAG!!

yes, yes, yes!

Pretty cool, aren’t they?!! I was gifted them by one of my most favoritest bloggers: Lactation Journey.

Since the beginning of my breastfeeding activism, I have been seeking out (read: stalking, lol) other Black women that address the topics of breastfeeding and health disparities in the Black community. It was right before the launch the Free to Breastfeed site that I came across Lactation Journey and was instantly hooked.

Lactation Journey is written by Acquanda S. who is a feminist, an anthropologist, and of course, a Black woman passionate about breastfeeding in the Black community. She writes about her journey to becoming an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), one of the breastfeeding-support professions that desperately need more Black women becoming certified in. In the state of Washington, home of Lactation Journey, Black IBCLCs are rare, if not non-existent.

Here is what Acquanda says about breastfeeding and her “lactation journey”:

This is a journey. It is not simply a task where I learn the steps of attaching an infant to its mother’s breast. That’s the easy part, I’m sure. I am hoping to explore this area via a holistic approach — examining cultural traditions, ritual, language, and all aspects of infant feeding and nurturing through the various ways it is expressed and experienced. My dream is to help create and maintain a positive atmosphere for Black women and all women who choose to participate in this wonderful, healthy tradition, and to encourage other women and men to advocate this area — especially those ‘non-traditional’ ones who, like me, do not have children, and who are often seen as not needing to concern ourselves with this area, to join in.

So check out Lactation Journey and get yourself some of those cool-a*! buttons now!

Jeanine @greendivasuper

Do you think they will get it now?!

For the past 18 months of my breastfeeding journey I have spent a lot of my time while pumping at work looking for a peaceful and quiet place to have an ejection reflex in.

I have shared my office with 4 (then 3, then 5, then 3 again) different people. People have walked out our office, leaving the door open, as clients and other staff walk back and forth down the hall.

People have paid no attention to my initial, modest sign that stated “pumping-in-session” and walked in (read: barged in) on me to get something from the printer, to gossip, or to ask me something in person “since I didn’t pick up my phone.” None of the interruptions mind you are time sensitive nor an emergency.

I’ve had people look almost pained when I’ve asked that they complain to me about their co-worker, the youth, or their partner in about ten minutes or so; once I’m done with trying to feed my kid. Smdh.

So once I moved to my new office this past Monday (where I am alone 87% of the time), I made the above “pumping-in-session” sign because, as it  states…FOOD JUSTICE IS REAL.

Me, out of necessity, returning to work before my daughter was three months old is an abomination. Me not having a private, beautiful space to pump is offensive (and yes, I know all the breastfeeding laws business but it’s real life). As I demand the space to meet my breastfeeding goal (a minimum of two years) I found that taking things into my own hands has truly benefited me. I demanded the move and since have almost doubled my daily output. This stuff is real.

Hopefully, folxs can get it now… f&^*ing knock ’cause this is the revolution.

What have you working mamas done to create or find space to nourish you babies while away from home?

In solidarity,

Jeanine

Free to Breastfeed: Voices from Black Mothers, the book, is in the home stretch and scheduled to be released soon. We want you beautiful, breastfeeding, Black mothers to come out and hang with us for our cover art photo shoot!

Free to Breastfeed Photo Shoot & Cafe

Saturday, March 31, 2012

3-6 pm

618 S Michigan Ave. (cross street Balboa)

Chicago, IL 60605

Bring you gorgeous selves, your babies, and your smiles for a amazing afternoon of breastfeeding goodness!

Meet other Black breastfeeding mothers!

Share your breastfeeding stories!

Be on the cover of Free to Breastfeed: Voices from Black Mothers!

Spread the word!!!

For more info email: jeanine@freetobreastfeed.com.

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What would be a dream come true for a breastfeeding, hip hop aficionado?

A rap song about breastfeeding no doubt!

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ComScore

I just finished listening to this lyrically amazing song Food for Thought by Njeri Earth.

Njeri Amira-Nana Earth is a mother of four, wife, daughter, sister, Hip Hop artist and musician, child care provider, business owner, youth mentor, and holds a B.A. in Organizational Management with a minor in Child Development; among other things.

Fans might recognize her from her earlier years in hip hop with her collaborations with the Wu-Tang clan’s GZA/Genius album “Beneath the Surface on songs “1112” and “Victim” and the again as the “3rd Parking Lot Rapper” in Eminem’s ” movie 8 Miles.” Releasing her first album “Supa Sista” in 2005 and then the follow up albums “20-20” in 2007 and “The Best Part” in 2008. She back now with the upcoming release “The Highest Elevation” with features this breastfeeding gift of love, Food for Thought.

Although this sista has been out for some time, the song Food for Thought is spreading through the breastfeeding advocacy community like some good gossip. With breastfeeding, Black women becoming increasingly more visible in mainstream this song is right on time.

Check out the Food for Thought lyrics below and Njeri Earth Facebook page here.

I nurse my babies from my bosom, so U can put the Similac back
The breast is best and that’s an actual fact
Unfortunately some don’t see it like that,
A woman’s chest is just for sex, may I suggest that’s foolishness
I was blessed with these to nourish my seeds
Gives em’ what they need, antibodies to combat disease, so please
Spare me your staring, snickering, and snaring,
As I’m preparing to swaddle, my babies need no bottles
Nor a pacifier, because they’re satisfied
And ain’t no other food that money buys able to give what Mother’s Milk provides
So why must, I be mocked and criticized,
Told to stay behind closed doors, like I’m breaking a law
Or doing something that’s wrong, by feeding my new borns,
And covering with a shawl where U can’t even see my bra, naw
Ya’ll dead wrong for try’na censor Mother’s Nature
Maybe U would be greater if ya mama gave ya
(Food For Thought; Designed for the mind and it can’t be bought;
No matter how they try with the lie that’s taught;
That formula is all your babies need, I encourage my sisters to Breast Feed)-
Lyrics By: Njeri Earth, from the song “Food For Thought,” – (Inspired by the Breastfeeding Mothers Unite organization) on the album “The Highest Elevation”; coming soon. PEACE!

In 2008, Harlem Hospital became the first hospital in New York City to gain the special ‘Baby Friendly’ recognition for promoting breastfeeding among it’s mothers–mostly who are African-American and African. Being recognized as a baby-friendly hospital/birth center includes not distributing formula as well as supporting the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding.

The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, created by UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO), defines itself as:

The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) is a global program sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to encourage and recognize hospitals and birthing centers that offer an optimal level of care for infant feeding. The BFHI assists hospitals in giving mothers the information, confidence, and skills needed to successfully initiate and continue breastfeeding their babies or feeding formula safely, and gives special recognition to hospitals that have done so.

Baby-Friendly USA is the national authority for the BFHI in the United States. According to their website, as of December 22, 2011 there are only 125 US-Baby Friendly Hospitals and Birth Centers. You can find their interactive map here.

This video is part of the Women’s eNews Black Matetnal Health Series. Find more info on this series here.

Often, I find myself singing the “milks” song to my daugther. It’s pretty simple: “milks, milks, Himi loves milks.” I was singing this in the dark when I thought about the mothers all over who were breastfeeding their babies right at this moment. What were they singing?

Interested, I did some research. I was amazing to find this video by Cameroon Link  of the NKah Women of north west Cameroon using this song to promote breastfeeding in their country.

I don’t know about you but I love the lyrics:

Only breastfeeding, we no go tire, we no go tire

Only breastfeeding, we no go tire, Only breastfeeding, we no go tire

Only breastfeeding, we no go tire

We no go tire

As stated on their website, Cameroon link or camlink, is a registered charity, not-for-profit organisation created on the 9th September 1991 with head office in Douala, Cameroon. Its objectives include the promotion of food security through interaction with small scale farmers and breeders with media practitioners, especially those involved in community radio action. Media action focuses on poverty alleviation through the promotion of food and nutrition, community health development, women’s empowerment, human assistance, advocacy, education and communication on the rights to adequate food for all.

Some of the activities supported by camlink are the promotion of exclusive breastfeeding of babies for the first six months and advocacy for the promotion of the International Code on the marketing of breast milk substitutes. They were also major participants in 2011’s World Breastfeeding Week.

Another awesome video by Cameroon Link is the Cameroon Breastfeeding Hymn.

The Cameroon Breastfeeding Hymn is a song that was composed to promote exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of the life of a baby. It is sang by expectant mothers and lactating mothers who attend pre-natal and post natal counselling sessions at Cameroon Link and its affiliate associations. It guides mothers on the importance and relevance of breastmilk and the dangers of using formulae before the baby is six months old. It also encourages mothers to compliment breastfeeding of babies from six months with continued breastfeeding up to 24 months and above within the context of the Cameroon National Code.

What are some things you sing to your babies as you nurse them?

happy friday folks! i’ve been listening to dead prez’s new mixtape “RBG: Revolutionary but Gangsta Grillz“. i’m really feeling it.  thought i’d do my own version of RBG.  how’s this for starters…

RBG: REVOLUTIONARY BREASTFEEDING GODDESS!

stay tuned for more breastfeeding inspiration.

beauty…

RBGs…where u at?!

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