When Tangela L. Boyd, MA, IBCLC, CLC, CLE, CCCE, CPD, a Union Institute & University affiliated faculty member and owner of Mommy Milk & Me, Inc., had her twin boys 14 years ago becoming a mother of four, she simultaneously entered a space of advocacy.
“I had a very adventurous time with those guys in the NICU,” Boyd remembers. “It changed the way I thought about breastfeeding.”
As a young Black mother, Boyd says she feels fortunate to have had support from hospital staff to feed her twins (which she went on to do for three years), acknowledging that this is not often the case for BIPOC families.
“That support in turn gave me the desire to help other mommies,” she says.
Boyd’s passion lies in uplifting underserved communities, particularly families living in the rural regions of the Southeast U.S. where she lived for nearly 20 years.
Now located in Florida, Boyd’s newly released podcast, The Early Postpartum Period, offers a way to stay connected and reach underserved mothers with basic, relevant breastfeeding information.
Boyd admits that the technology was something new to her and it required much patience to bring the project to fruition. Still, she says, it’s something that she wants to commit to for a long time to come, connecting with families especially in the time after they’ve left the hospital. Boyd hopes to soon host focus groups to get a better understanding of what kind of information families would like her to cover in the episodes.
In the meantime, she plans to release more episodes over the summer. Her practice emphasizes the importance of organization, so she’s planning a podcast featuring organizational skills and time management tips.
“There is a lot of lactation education out there and I don’t want to be repetitive,” Boyd begins. “I want to hit areas that will really be relevant and give [parents] something they can use, not just something they can listen to.”
Boyd explains that learning organizational skills can bring a sense of calmness which allows parents the energy to move forward with daily tasks, rather than getting engulfed by an often chaotic world. She suggests things like preparation, avoiding procrastination and working up endurance through taking a breath and stepping away when necessary.
Especially as our country examines our foundations and current events have brought race to the forefront, Boyd emphasizes the urgency to address high Black maternal mortality rates.
The pandemic has illuminated ways in which to address these rates, Boyd explains, like out of hospital birth and doula support.
“We have to move forward,” Boyd encourages.
Boyd has been featured on Ifeyinwa Asiodu’s PhD, RN, IBCLC Blacktation Diaires for her work on increasing breastfeeding and perinatal education rates among BIPOC. She has also written for Kimberly Seals Aller’s Mocha Manual.