The final week of National Breastfeeding Month is upon us, closing out strong with Black Breastfeeding Week: Revive. Restore. Reclaim (August 25-31).
During Black History Month, Nichelle Clark of SonShine & Rainbows Lactation wrote in her piece Breastfeeding As An Act Of Resistance For The Black Mother:
“Black History Month in the breastfeeding community is normally littered with posts and articles about the dark history of African American Breastfeeding in this country. I firmly believe that in order to understand where you are going, you must first understand where you have been. However, Black Mothers in today’s society face a very different dilemma: actually being Black History.”
Joy R. Gibson, MSEd is an early childhood educator and advocate and the mother of five, ranging from age 18 months to 13 years. She gave unmedicated birth to all five of her children in Pittsburg, Pa., practiced the Lamaze method, and talked to her babies as she labored with them.
“We can’t wait to see you,” she gently called.
Gibson went on to breastfeed all of her children until they self-weaned.
“I think [breastfeeding was] best for my babies, and I love the bond that it creates. I love when it gets to be that one-on-one time to focus on the child,” Gibson shares.
She goes on to share that early on, she and her first child struggled to find a comfortable latch. After visiting with a hospital-based lactation care provider, Gibson and her baby were able to work through the challenges. Beyond that, she recalls her babies not appreciating being covered in public while they nursed, which felt more like an inconvenience than a challenge, she describes.
Gibson felt supported through her breastfeeding journey.
“Always from family and friends and even from my job when I had to pump,” Gibson says.
While working in a child care center, Gibson would feed her baby who was also at the center and then return to work.
Having felt empowered through her birth and infant feeding experience, Gibson says she wants to become more involved in maternal child health advocacy and connect with other mothers through their challenges and triumphs. She is currently involved with Healthy Start, Inc. Pittsburgh/Allegheny County’s Community Health Advocate Training Program where she will be able to exercise her passion and help improve the health outcomes of other mothers in her community.
Gibson is Black History. Gibson is #ReviveRestoreReclaim.
How will you #ReviveRestoreReclaim Black breastfeeding in 2020? Join the #BBW20 movement and follow @BlkBfingWeek.
USBC also calls upon us to:
- Raise your voice for breastfeeding families and take action with @USBreastfeeding in support of the MOMMA’s Act! Learn more about the bill: https://bit.ly/2CUOmE9 #NBM20 #ManyVoicesUnited
- @USBreastfeeding is launching another free webcast session this week! Learn about the presentations in “Optimizing Support for All Populations” https://bit.ly/NBCCReimagined #NBM20