This coming week marks the 6th annual Black Breastfeeding Week. The theme is #LoveonTop, because love motivates and captures what people do as parents from breastfeeding to nurturing children, families, and communities. Why is there a specific week during National Breastfeeding Month dedicated to black families? Read the Top 5 Reasons blog post!
The Milk Bank Spotlight: Aimbriel Lasley
This month's spotlight is Aimbriel Lasley, lactation consultant, breastfeeding advocate, and co-host of next week's Love on Top: Black Breastfeeding Summit.
Tell us more about your professional background.
I am an IBCLC and also hold a Master degree in Health and Wellness Counseling. I work PRN at a local hospital as a lactation consultant.
What inspired you to become a breastfeeding advocate and lactation consultant?
I have four children but did not breastfeed my first. After having my second child and taking a different route I opted to breastfeed. Shortly after the second child, I had twins and had a successful breastfeeding journey with all three. However, along my journey I discovered barriers and misinformation about breastfeeding. I wanted to help other mothers like me have a better experience. Additionally, learning of our high infant mortality rate and the lack of support and representation in the field of lactation I had no other choice but to become an advocate.
Can you share a highlight of your volunteer work with Indiana Black Breastfeeding Coalition?
I have been involved with the coalition for about 8 years. I have been fortunate to work with lots of moms as well as provide education and support. Additionally, the coalition helped me with my first steps towards becoming an IBCLC by providing a scholarship to me in 2013 to take the CLC (Certified Lactation Counselor) course.
This coming week is Black Breastfeeding Week. Why is this designated time so important?
This designated time is so important because the tradition of breastfeeding was lost in our culture. Many moms in the black community do not see representation in breastfeeding within their healthcare system or in their immediate support circle. Black Breastfeeding Week is an opportunity to show that black mothers DO breastfeed and that we CAN change the scope of our public health if we invest in each other and support each other. We need to reclaim our roots and traditions of child rearing practices and breastfeeding is an integral part in that.
Tell us how the Love on Top Summit came together and what can attendees expect?
I have had the vision to do a summit for some years to really talk about black breastfeeding and the support that we need in order to be successful. This year has been an amazing year of things coming to fruition. My good friend Meisha Wide, co-host of the event, sent me a message that she wanted to circle back to an idea we had spoken about previously that encompassed black maternal mental health. I shared my idea of a summit and together we came up with this event to showcase black breastfeeding and its disparities, but also mental health. Attendees can expect to hear breastfeeding data that supports our need for Black Breastfeeding Week, a presentation from The Milk Bank that will help debunk some myths about donor milk and give education about donor milk, as well as mental health professionals and more! There will be snacks, raffles and hopefully just a good time to network and fellowship with others passionate about breastfeeding and maternal health!
Indiana Black Breastfeeding Coalition
Black Breastfeeding Week Celebration
This Saturday, August 25th from 2-5p, join the Indiana Black Breastfeeding Coalition for its annual Black Breastfeeding Week kick-off event at Tarkington Park. There will be a picnic, time to play at the park, and a celebration of breastfeeding parents, their babies and families.
Love on Top: Black Breastfeeding Summit
The Love on Top: Black Breastfeeding Summit is on Tuesday, August 28th from 6-7:30p at Flanner House. This forum serves to meet the needs of breastfeeding moms’ physical and mental wellbeing. The summit is open to moms, mom advocates, and people that love on moms. Register for free here.