Archives for posts with tag: Infant

Happy World Breastfeeding Week and National Breastfeeding Month!

Ahimsa and I got together to send a special shout out those RBGs out there. We hope you like it.

 

In solidarity,

Jeanine @greendivasuper

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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.

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?

I have to admit it.

I really have been enjoying the “sh*t people say” videos. Some of them are hilarious! Soul Veg Mama and I got to spend some time together on her recent trip home. This is our version:

Along with the video, we created a Facebook page. If you want more from us, learn about the upcoming book, or get support and advice check out the Free to Breastfeed: Voices from Black Mothers Facebook page.

Free to Breastfeed is a online support network which addresses the breastfeeding inequities amongst Black women as well as provides support and a centralized place to connect with other Black women who breastfeed.

Free to Breastfeed was started by us, two blogger mothers interested in normalizing breastfeeding in our community by increasing the visibility of nursing Black mothers online. Our initial project, the Brown Mamas Breastfeed Project, was a huge success and only solidified our belief that more Black women wanted to breastfeed but desperately needed the support to reach their breastfeeding goals. Our mission is to raise awareness of and provide basic breastfeeding education relevant to Black women.

“Like” us and stay tuned for updates about the book.

Also, follow us on Twitter at: FreetoBF

What are some crazy things people have said to you while breastfeeding?

September 18, 2010 is a day I will never forget.  It is the day that I realized I had made the most important decision in my child’s life—to have her at home.  My daughter was born peacefully at home with an Illinois midwife.

I stand by this decision and know that it is better for me and the women in my community.  I know allowing for culturally competent, licensed professionals to attend women during pregnancy, birth and postpartum will stop the disproportional rates of infant and maternal mortality in the Black community. Black babies are 2.4 times more likely to die as infants compared to non-Hispanic white babies.  Also, Black mothers are 4 times more likely to die than non-Hispanic white mothers.  I know wholeheartedly that this must change.

Many of my sister friends know this as well.  That’s why they are choosing  home birth for themselves and their families.  Many of them are working with unlicensed, underground midwives.  Underground midwives cannot legally carry oxygen or anti-hemorrhage drugs; both important for saving lives.  They do not have privileges to perform certain newborn screenings nor can they file birth certificates.   If a mama in their care needs an emergency cesarean section, an underground midwife cannot call ahead to a hospital and ask to have an operating room ready.  She will not be taken seriously because she is not part of this defunct healthcare system–neither are many Black women.

Many of my sister friends are also choosing to do it themselves—having “unassisted” home births (which has increased in Illinois by 10% last year). Should they have to go to the hospital with an emergency, these same women are also challenged by hospital staff, policed, and threatened with  DCFS (Department of Children and Family Services) intervention.  Black women and their parenting will continue to be scrutinized if we do not change the system.

This is why I am sincerely requesting that the Illinois Black Caucus vote YES to the Home Birth Safety Act, currently amended to SB3712, when they see it next week in Springfield.

We need licensed, Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs) to work in our communities to make sure we are getting the appropriate care we need to keep Black mothers and babies healthy and alive—to improve our increasingly devastating outcomes.

This is birth justice…

Jeanine Valrie, mama of Ahimsa Logan

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