Black Mothers’ Breastfeeding Association (BMBFA) hosted its third annual open house last month.
“We had a great turnout,” says BMBFA Program Coordinator Stacy Davis, IBCLC. “I would say one of our best.”
Families, stakeholders, community partners–like United Children, Family Head Start and Peace Maternal Infant Health Program– and members of other community organizations all attended the open house.
“We also had potential funders come see the work that BMBFA does in and out of the community,” Davis reports.
Each BMBFA home visiting program participant was honored at the open house with a Pandora charm signifying every breastfeeding milestone accomplished: initiation, three months, six months, twelve months and beyond.
Davis’s sister-in-law Gwendolyn Yarbrough-Gordon and her best friend Barbara Staunton came from Toledo, Ohio to present pregnant mothers in the doula program and mothers who had not breastfed in the doula program with handmade blankets, pillows, bibs, and hats.
This year, the first publishing of BMBFA’s annual report was presented at the open house.
“We find it necessary that our stakeholders know the accomplishments that we have made with the funds that we have received,” Founding Executive Director Kidada Green writes in a BMBFA newsletter. “Most importantly we want you to know how these accomplishments have made a difference in the lives of the families we serve.”
BMBFA’s accomplishments are extensive and make a big impact in a community with an alarmingly high infant mortality rate. The organization’s home visiting program has serviced over 537 families since its June 2013 start date.
In 2015, BMBFA helped 198 breastfeeding peer counselor participants and 47 doula participants, Davis adds. BMBFA’s growing doula program assisted over 20 births in 2015.
The organization expanded its doula services with two new program initiatives: the Community Birth Worker Initiative and the Our Health, Our Births Gatherings. The Community Birth Work Initiative is a grant-funded project supported by the March of Dimes’ Michigan Chapter.
Vested women in the Detroit community are trained to become community-based doulas, Davis explains.
The Our Health, Our Births Gatherings is a project funded by Community Connections that aims to create informal, relaxing and accessible spaces with stimulating events for pregnant women in the Osborn community, she goes on.
Davis reflects on BMBFA’s other accomplishments since its launch eight years ago.
“I am proud of the growth of the Black Mothers’ Breastfeeding Club (BMBFC,)” she says.
BMBFC started as a monthly meeting and has grown to weekly meetings in two locations on the east and west sides of Detroit.
“I am also proud of the fact that organizations across the country are interested in replicating BMBFC and the work BMBFA has done in the community to support black families in breastfeeding,” Davis says.
Readers can connect with BMBFA and its mission several ways:
- Become a member of the BMBFA Advisory Board. Meetings are held quarterly. The next meeting will be held in June 2016.
- Join BMBFA’s free monthly webinar series. Attendees have the option to reciece continuing education credits for a fee.
- Attend BMBFA’s 7th National Seminar on October, 14, 2016. This year’s theme is Maternal Care Reframed.
- Connect with BMBFA on social media.