Convinced

by Stacy Davis

She says she wants to breastfeed her baby,
But I’m not convinced.
She says she’s going to help me breastfeed my baby,
But I’m not convinced.
She says it’s too hard and her baby doesn’t like her breasts,
But I’m not convinced.
She says, “It’s okay and we’ll try again next time,”
But I’m not convinced.
She says her nipples hurt and she’s just too tired,
But I’m not convinced.
She says that she understands and is here to support and help me breastfeed my baby,
But I’m not convinced.

What she doesn’t know is that this is the first loving touch I’ve felt in my bruised and battered life,
But I’m not convinced that she understands what I’m feeling.
Maybe if she looked more like me or came from my neighborhood or my situation I could open up to her and she would be more convinced.

But I’m convinced that my baby and I will get through this.

Stacy Davis 2Stacy Davis, program coordinator at Black Mothers’ Breastfeeding Association, is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), with 16 years of community-based health care experience. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Health Administration from Davenport University and is currently pursuing her Masters degree in Public Health. Stacy is a 2015 Ecology Center Health Leaders Fellow and committee member for the National Association for Professional and Peer Lactation Supporters of Color. Mrs. Davis is the mother to four sons: Lawran (15), Devahn (12), Jessie (6), and Jace (3). As one of the few African American lactation consultants in the state of Michigan, Stacy is committed to providing families of color with culturally-competent breastfeeding support.

We honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. today with two guest posts on “Birth Work for Equality.” Thank you to Stacy and to Dr. Joia Crear-Perry for sharing your work and your passion.

On Working for Breastfeeding Equity

Interview with Joia Crear-Perry, MD

We caught up with Dr. Crear-Perry over email to learn about her work with the National Birth Equity Collaborative and how she came to be such a strong advocate for moms. Here is what she shared:

What is your name? How many children do you have and what are their ages?
I am Joia Crear Perry, and I have 3 Children – 22, 19 and 5. I am the full reproductive spectrum 🙂

When did you begin your work to support breastfeeding?

I am an OB/Gyn. When I trained, they taught us nothing about breastfeeding and how to support women to ensure that they are able to breastfeed. When I went into private practice, I began attending seminars and trainings on how to encourage and support breastfeeding as a physician and member of the community.

You help so many families. Can you share a little about the help you provide?

Having worked in private practice, in public health and inside of managed care companies, we often see that the needs of poor women and women of Color are not adequately met. Having a Doula support the birth and breastfeeding of our babies can be reserved for those who are more well resourced. We are currently working to ensure Doulas are covered on Medicaid and insurance plans so that this disparity does not continue. These systemic shifts in resources are critical to us reaching any equity.

How does inequality show up in the work you do with families?

Our Vision at the National Birth Equity Collaborative is that every African American infant will celebrate a healthy first birthday. The fact that black babies die at two to three times the rate of white babies is inexcusable. It is the canary in the coal mine of our times. The coalminers used to bring caged canaries into the mines with them. If the canaries became sick or died, this was a sign that something was seriously amiss and that miners needed to get out. We need to make the U.S. not be a coal mine for black babies. The structural inequities that contribute to this must end.

Do you remember a time when a family you were working with was treated unfairly?

Speaking with large health systems and insurers about the importance of breastfeeding for communities of Color, we are often met with the statement, “They just don’t want to do it.” We are able to show data that Black women have high intention rates to breastfeed but significant work and structural barriers that they can address to improve those rates.

Birth work is often challenging, especially when we are faced daily with racism or other bias. Where do you find support?

I have found my tribe. I have a community of fellow OB/Gyn’s, midwives, doulas, reproductive justice activists who fight with and for each other. We know this is a battle for justice that has been going on for generations and that together, we are continuing to push forward towards equity.

What does this support look like?

Anything from phone calls to 3 day spa retreats. ( Need more of those 🙂 )

What advice would you give to other birth workers who face racism, bias and inequity?

Make sure you find your tribe. We cannot do this alone.

What is one thing the person reading this can do to support equity in birth and breastfeeding?

Make sure any person you know is supported when they are pregnant, giving birth and breastfeeding. Ask them if they have someone to go to their appointments and hospital with them. Be a safety net for them. What we all need to have a safe, healthy baby is to be valued and supported.

Anything else you want to share?

We are living in a very exciting time. Equity and justice are parts of daily conversations in the United States today. The impact of structural, institutional, interpersonal and internalized racism on our health over the lifespan must be ameliorated.

Dr. Joia Crear-Perry is the Founder and CEO of the National Birth Equity Collaborative. Previously, she served as the Executive Director of the Birthing Project, Director of Women’s and Children’s Services at Jefferson Community Healthcare Center and as the Director of Clinical Services for the City of New Orleans Health Department.

After receiving her bachelor’s trainings at Princeton University and Xavier University, Dr. Crear-Perry completed her medical degree at Louisiana State University and her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Tulane University’s School of Medicine. She was also recognized as a Fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Dr. Crear-Perry currently serves on the Board of Trustees for Community Catalyst, National Medical Association, and the New Orleans African American Museum. She is married to Dr. Andre Perry and has three children: Jade, Carlos, and Robeson.

Her love is her family; health equity is her passion; maternal and child health are her callings.

We honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. today with two guest posts on “Birth Work for Equality.” Thank you to Dr. Joia and to Stacy Davis for sharing your work and your passion.

perinatalrevolution-cover-sq

Read The Perinatal Revolution report (2014)

The Community-Based Doula Program provides low-income mothers with someone from their community who can help make breastfeeding easier, and guide them toward a healthy pregnancy and a baby who has the ultimate nutritional advantage. This study shows that community-based doulas can change the way our country cares for our most vulnerable moms and babies, and it can save taxpayer dollars.

Download a one-page summary of the Perinatal Revolution

U.S. breastfeeding rates are particularly low in disadvantaged communities, where babies are more likely to face health problems. The World Health Statistics in 2010 revealed that 40 countries had better neonatal mortality rates than the United States and 32 had higher rates of exclusive breastfeeding at six months. Furthermore, according to the CDC1, Non-Hispanic Black babies were almost twice as likely as Non-Hispanic white babies to be born at low birth weight, and Black babies were twice as likely as white babies to die before their first birthday.

Community-based doulas change this trajectory, with an approach that consistently results in high breastfeeding rates and low c-section rates. A community-based doula is a woman of and from the same community who provides emotional and physical support to a woman during pregnancy, birth and the first months of parenting, through home visits and center-based activities. The effectiveness of the program emerges out of the trusting relationship between a community-based doula and her participant, the duration of their relationship, and the continuous presence of the doula during labor and birth.

The study, supported jointly by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), looked at 8 community-based doula sites around the country assisted by HealthConnect One, and found that 87% of community-based doula clients were breastfeeding at 6 weeks, as compared to 61% of a similar sample. Even at 3 months, 72% of community-based doula clients were still breastfeeding, as compared to 48% of the broader sample.

The Community-Based Doula program has since been adopted by multiple organizations and was named a best practice by AMCHP’s Innovation Station in 2015.

Download The Perinatal Revolution

Shared Voices for Equity in Birth and Breastfeeding

 

Summit 2015 BabiesLast month, HealthConnect One hosted a National Action Summit to explore birth equity – and many other topics. We asked participants what stood out to them about this gathering:

“The real commitment to reflecting on and improving community based models of care was so refreshing and inspiring,” said Kayla Harvey Nasca. “How comfortable the group was,” offered another participant. “The women clearly felt comfortable sharing and being together. There was a palpable trust in the room that bought warmth to the learning.”

Summit-015We also asked about the experience of peer-to-peer learning, which is the core of every meeting, every training, and everything we do.

Kayla shared:

I learned a lot of ways that Bold City Doula Coalition can enhance and improve our community-based doula program. I gained insight as to what my peers and colleagues are dealing with their work and how I can better support them. I learned techniques to improve my own leadership skills in order to help my organization be more successful.

I think peer-to-peer learning is much more valuable than theoretical knowledge so this summit was an amazing educational opportunity for me and my organization.

Another participant told us:
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I learned that community health workers heal themselves as they help women avoid what many of them experienced. I realized that the work is sacred not only because of what it does in the community, but because of the bonds that are built and the healing that happens within the women that do the work. I learned that it is the healing and the deep sisterhood in the work that propels women to push beyond the difficulties of the position.

It was the best learning because traditional power dynamics that are associated with learning are not present and/or openly discussed. There was an ability to be open and build trust and exchange not just words: histories, hopes, frustrations, and, positive energy.

It was a blessing to be in the space.

This is what happens when you hold space, raise questions, and wait. This. Right here.

Fathers and Breastfeeding… What Can We Do?

by Randi McCallian, MPH, CPH, CLC, CD(DONA)

“I think it’s such a high-risk deal, and you sacrifice a lot more by breastfeeding, but people don’t understand the benefits. Like saving money, their kid is gonna be a lot healthier, the mom is going to recover faster, reducing cancer risk. A lot of parents don’t know things like that, especially like us, the younger parents. And if we aren’t informed about it, we won’t want to do it. And we’ll take the easy way out.
“I think it’s such a high-risk deal, and you sacrifice a lot more by breastfeeding, but people don’t understand the benefits. Like saving money, their kid is gonna be a lot healthier, the mom is going to recover faster, reducing cancer risk. A lot of parents don’t know things like that, especially like us, the younger parents. And if we aren’t informed about it, we won’t want to do it. And we’ll take the easy way out.”

Men often wonder what they can do to support breastfeeding, sometimes saying they feel left out when a mother breastfeeds.

What they don’t often know is…

The support of the baby’s father is the most important to a breastfeeding mother.

At MHP Salud, we surveyed and interviewed almost 100 migrant Latina mothers who are successfully breastfeeding and they said that the baby’s father was the most important person that supported them.

Many breastfeeding programs and messages focus on the mother, but now it might be time to put some of that effort into helping men know how important they are to breastfeeding success, and how they can help.

Why support breastfeeding?

Babies fed infant formula are not as healthy as babies fed breastmilk.

Breastfeeding helps protect babies* from:

  • Sickness and diseases
  • Obesity
  • Asthma and allergies
  • Some cancers
  • Dying from SIDS

And helps protect moms** from:

  • Ovarian and breast cancers
  • Heart disease
  • Osteoporosis

It’s important for dads to be “supportive with public breastfeeding, even holding the blanket to help cover her. Because public breastfeeding is going to happen... be supportive and don't be embarrassed about it
It’s important for dads to be “supportive with public breastfeeding, even holding the blanket to help cover her. Because public breastfeeding is going to happen… be supportive and don’t be embarrassed about it.”

Ways to support a breastfeeding mother: 

Breastfeeding mothers say these are a few ways you can show your support and help them breastfeed!

✔   Encourage her to breastfeed.

Babies should eat only breastmilk for the first 6 months and continue breastfeeding for at least one year. There is no limit to how long breastfeeding should last, so mother and baby can breastfeed for as long as they desire.

✔  Congratulate her for breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding is hard work, and you can help her keep going!

Tell her you are proud of her!

✔   Help her breastfeed in public.

Breastfeeding in public makes many women uncomfortable. Try helping mom cover up, or go with her to a private spot to breastfeed.

✔   Burp the baby after a feeding.

Hold them on your shoulder and pat gently.

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REFERENCES:

* “Breastfeeding Benefits Your Baby’s Immune System.” HealthyChildren.org. American Academy of Pediatrics, updated August 20, 2015. Web. October 21, 2015.

** “Healthy Milk, Healthy Baby: Benefits of Breastfeeding”. National Resources Defense Council, updated March 25, 2015. Web. October 21, 2015.

MHP Salud - Randi McCallianRandi McCallian, MPH, CPH, CLC, CD(DONA)
Randi’s passion for maternal and child health has been cultivated for over a decade. She has received certifications as a birth doula, lactation counselor, and completed a Master’s Degree in Public Health. Currently, Randi directs a Breastfeeding Program with MHP Salud and has conducted some of the only known Positive Deviance Inquiry research with breastfeeding mothers in local, Latino, migrant communities. Her most recent accomplishments include the birth of a daughter and her own breastfeeding journey, as well as sitting for the IBCLC board exam.

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Connect with us on Facebook or Twitter and tell us:

What works for you?

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Back to our Breastfeeding Roots

During Latino-Hispanic Heritage Month, HealthConnect One is excited to celebrate our breastfeeding traditions through online and real-life conversation and support. This is the 9th guest post in our blog series, “Celebrating our Breastfeeding Traditions,” featuring individuals who identify as Latino/Hispanic who are breastfeeding leaders, advocates of breastfeeding support, and members of breastfeeding families.

by Maria Briseño

Maria BrisenoMy name is Maria Briseño. I normally identify myself as a Latina, but currently what’s going on with politics with Mexican immigrants, I’m Mexican and proud.

My breastfeeding commitment started with my mother. Prenatally, she didn’t mention breastfeeding to me … until my first born was born.

Sweet memories. On September 17, 1995, he was born, he was jaundiced and the pediatrician on staff told me, “Breastfeed. It’s good for him.” I followed Dr.’s orders, but it was hard, and not natural. He resisted me, until my mother told me it’s good for him. Funny: She will get on her knees to pump my breast, and tell my husband to help with the other breast.

Breastfeeding matters in the Latino community. Why? It’s part of our culture, our religion. La Virgin Maria nursed Jesus. Our grandmothers, mothers, and aunts nursed in Mexico, but it’s lost as we adjust to America (El Norte). Let’s go back to our roots.

It’s important to me because I was able to breastfeed my sons with my mother’s support. Sadly, not all Latina mothers have that. It’s a loss. The confidence, the natural feeling and pride of being able to have breasts to nurse your baby isn’t the norm anymore.

Americans assume that Latinas’ breastfeeding rates are high, but sadly, it’s not the case. Latinas want to be Americans, live the American way, be free, leave baby and work. But breastfeeding doesn’t have to be hard. It’s a natural process. Trust your body. Let the baby nurse and let people talk. You will only get one chance to nurse that baby. The grieving process is hard. Why? I pumped my milk for my oldest for a year. It wasn’t easy. I did my best.

My mother is, and continues to be my role model. Even though I was upset. At the time, I didn’t understand motherhood; I just became one.

As a mother of three boys, they know what breasts are for. They have been exposed to nursing mothers and classes I teach, and listen in to the calls I receive. Hopefully, my future grandchildren will be breastfed. I’m praying one of my sons decides to go into the mother and child field.

Throughout my breastfeeding experience as a mother, peer counselor, doula and educator I have noticed the most encouraging support is mother-to-mother support. Our gatherings aren’t classes or support groups; they are Charlas. We meet. No agenda is created. Why? I decided not to follow the tradition of: Let’s plan a topic, I’m going to teach a specific topic, and end it for the day. That doesn’t work. Mothers have voiced a struggle that disables them to be fully attentive to a class we expect them to attend.

Most classes are in English, lacking understanding of our culture and tradition. Labeled as the “men control us,” our men protect us and their children. Our family is important. Don’t assume abuse because we aren’t liberal.

To my Latina sisters: Si se puede!

Maria Briseño, who breastfed her three sons, is a certified lactation counselor and doula. She is a La Leche League breastfeeding peer counselor trainer and has years of experience providing support, education, and advocacy in Healthy Start communities.   


TWEET WITH US on October 7th at 2:00 p.m. ET, for a #WellnessWed Twitter Chat about Breastfeeding in Latino/Hispanic Communities. Share your voice with hashtag #DandoPecho!

Breastfeeding is about LOVE

During Latino-Hispanic Heritage Month, HealthConnect One is excited to celebrate our breastfeeding traditions through online and real-life conversation and support. This is the 8th guest post in our blog series, “Celebrating our Breastfeeding Traditions,” featuring individuals who identify as Latino/Hispanic who are breastfeeding leaders, advocates of breastfeeding support, and members of breastfeeding families.

by Esperanza

EsperanzaMy deep love for breastfeeding began when my son was just a newborn baby and I was on the brink of depression. As a single mother, it felt lonely and impossible to raise a child on my own. But breastfeeding felt like my ray of hope, and ironically my name is Esperanza. I felt like, although I was struggling, at the very least I knew I was providing the best nutrition for my baby without even trying, and that’s what pulled me through the sadness.

I believe I’m one of the rare cases where breastfeeding was actually easy for me. The milk flowed plentiful and I never had any challenges – at least where breastfeeding is concerned. I also felt like I couldn’t relate to other moms because they had partners and their breastfeeding support group revolved around breastfeeding struggles. I craved a space where all types of families would be present and we could celebrate breastfeeding. So I create those spaces now for other moms and parents.

I’m proud to be the Mamas Justice Organizer at Young Women United, a community organizing and policy project by and for women of color in New Mexico. I’m blessed to work alongside powerful women and people of color on birth and parenting justice everyday, with breastfeeding justice being a central component. Breastfeeding justice means advocating for access and support to breastfeeding, as well as honoring and celebrating breastfeeding for all families of color, including single, queer, trans*, young parents and more.

I work to uplift mamas and parents who are breastfeeding so they can know they are loved and incredible. As women and people of color, we live in a society where the toll of racism, classism, homophobia and transphobia impact our bodies and our milk. The one thing we can do is at least show our sisters and brothers of color love in their breastfeeding journey. For Hispanic Heritage Month, I hope you join me in celebrating ourselves and other breastfeeding families because we all deserve it!

Esperanza is a New Mexican Hispanic mama to an 8 yr old son, Julián and works at Young Women United in Albuquerque, NM.


TWEET WITH US on October 7th at 2:00 p.m. ET, for a #WellnessWed Twitter Chat about Breastfeeding in Latino/Hispanic Communities. Share your voice with hashtag #DandoPecho!

Man-to-Man: Let’s Talk Breastfeeding

During Latino-Hispanic Heritage Month, HealthConnect One is excited to celebrate our breastfeeding traditions through online and real-life conversation and support. This is the 7th guest post in our blog series, “Celebrating our Breastfeeding Traditions,” featuring individuals who identify as Latino/Hispanic who are breastfeeding leaders, advocates of breastfeeding support, and members of breastfeeding families.

by Damien Dimas
Damien w Both Kids

Greetings! My name is Damien Dimas. I wanted to introduce myself by sharing a few things with you. A Chicago native, I spent my formative years in Central Texas Hill Country. In those parts, we refer to ourselves as Texican. As a father and husband, I have developed a strong commitment to breastfeeding. But, it wasn’t with the start of fatherhood that I became an advocate of nursing naturally. Long before fatherhood, I witnessed the miracle-like effects of a mother’s milk.

As an educator in public education, I feel my commitment extends to educating those in need about the benefits of breastfeeding. That’s why I’m sharing this with you now.

Damiens FamilyI just want to point out to you some things that I think should concern the men of the Latino community: The role of Latino men in supporting our Latina women in their breastfeeding efforts. It is an issue that is close to my heart. I hope to share a message with my fellow Latinos about how they can support the women in their lives when they are attempting to nurture their babies in the most natural and healthy way.

Damien w Son Skin to Skin
Of course, the best way any man can support the mother is to be there for her. Offer encouragement by way of positive reinforcement, letting her know how proud you are that she’s giving the child the best type of nutrition, natural immune defenses and of course, the unbreakable bond made by a skin-to-skin connection. I encourage men to take part in this last part, especially.

Damien SonI had a unique and rare opportunity to deliver my own son with my own two hands. This wasn’t the plan, obviously. But, it worked out that way. My wife and I knew that our son’s best chance of survival and continued growth was momma’s milk.

Now, my son is a healthy, happy, intelligent three year old. Without a doubt, he is as strong and as smart as he is because of the nourishment provided to him from the best possible source: Breast milk. There is no substitute.

Damien Dimas, a native Chicagoan from Texas, earns his living by teaching life through music to the students of Dallas ISD. He and his wonderful wife are raising their two beautiful breastfed children, a 12 year-old genius daughter and the coolest three year-old boy, ever. As a matter of fun fact, Damien delivered his own son back in 2013.  

Damiens Musical Kids 

TWEET WITH US on October 7th at 2:00 p.m. ET, for a #WellnessWed Twitter Chat about Breastfeeding in Latino/Hispanic Communities. Share your voice with hashtag #DandoPecho!

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Connect with us on Facebook or Twitter and tell us:

Dads, How do you support mom?

A TU BEBE

Durante el mes de la herencia latina/hispana, HealthConnect One se complace en celebrar nuestras tradiciones de lactancia materna a través de conversaciones por internet sobre el apoyo de lactancia. Este es el sexto puesto de invitada en nuestra serie de blogs, “Celebrando Nuestras Tradiciones de Lactancia Materna”,  de personas que se identifican como latinos/hispanos que son líderes, defensores y que apoyan la lactancia, y miembros de las familias que amamantan.

por Elva Mireles
Elva foto

Cada mujer merece tener una hermosa experiencia de embarazo y de parto sin importar su raza condición social.

Teniendo mamas atendidas durante el embarazo, vamos a tener mas ninos saludables y mujeres fuertes para salir adelante con y por sus hijos y nosotros estamos ahí para decirle que ellas lo pueden lograr.

EL MEJOR LEGADO DE UNA MADRE A UN HIJO DE AMOR Y DE SALUD ES AMAMANTARLO.

(CONECTATE DE POR VIDA CON TU HIJO)

Todas las mujeres podemos trabajar y guardar ese tesoro de vida y salud para nuestros bebes, podemos salir a pasear y sentarnos tranquilamente a amamantar a nuestros hijos en cualquier lugar.

VIVE LA HERMOSA EXPERIENCIA DE AMAMANTAR A TU BEBE.

Elva Mireles: Me considero una mujer guerrera con el corazón para ayudar a los demás y trasmitir mi fe y mis valores a los demas sin juzgar a nadie.  

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TWEETE  CON NOSOTROS el 7 de octubre a las 2:00 pm hora del este, con una #WellnessWed Twitter charla sobre lactancia materna en comunidades Latinas/hispanas. Comparte tu voz con el hashtag #DandoPecho!

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Breastfeeding Support: Interview with Ondina Miranda

Durante el mes de la herencia latina/hispana, HealthConnect One se complace en celebrar nuestras tradiciones de lactancia materna a través de conversaciones por internet sobre el apoyo de lactancia. Este es el quinto puesto de invitada en nuestra serie de blogs, “Celebrando Nuestras Tradiciones de Lactancia Materna”,  de personas que se identifican como latinos/hispanos que son líderes, defensores y que apoyan la lactancia, y miembros de las familias que amamantan.

During Latino-Hispanic Heritage Month, HealthConnect One is excited to celebrate our breastfeeding traditions through online and real-life conversation and support. This is the 5th guest post in our blog series, “Celebrating our Breastfeeding Traditions,” featuring individuals who identify as Latino/Hispanic who are breastfeeding leaders, advocates of breastfeeding support, and members of breastfeeding families.

Entrevista con Ondina Miranda  …  Interview with Ondina Miranda
Ondina Miranda

Ondina Miranda, de Honduras, es una ex participante de PASOs y ahora  es voluntaria como promotora de PASOS. Ondina facilita charlas mensuales de lactancia materna en la comunidad también da apoyo individual y aliento para amamantar a las madres latinas. Además, Ondina está amamantando a su tercer hijo, Moisés.

Ondina Miranda, from Honduras, is a former PASOs participant and now volunteers as a PASOs promotora. Ondina facilitates monthly breastfeeding charlas in the community and provides one-on-one support and encouragement to nursing Latina mothers. In addition, Ondina is currently breastfeeding her third child, Moisés.

(1) ¿Cómo comenzó su compromiso con la lactancia materna?

Mi madre me amamantó hasta los 4 años de edad. Ella dice que yo me sentía segura y tranquila cuando me amamantaba, Siempre me dijo que amamantar es lo mejor que podemos hacer para nuestros hijos. También, PASOs me ayudó a entender la importancia de amamantar.

How did your commitment to breastfeeding begin?  My mother breastfed me until I was four years old. She says that I felt safe and calm when I was being breastfed, and she always told me that breastfeeding is the best thing we can do for our children. PASOs also helped me understand the importance of breastfeeding.

(2) ¿Por qué crees que lactancia materna es un asunto que concierne a nuestra comunidad latina?

Así tendremos una comunidad latina fuerte y saludable y nuestros hijos no tendrán problemas de salud graves. Crecerán fuertes y con más defensas.

Why do think breastfeeding matters in our Latino community? If we breastfeed, we will have a strong and healthy Latino community and our children won’t have serious health problems. They will grow up strong and with more immune defenses.

(3) ¿Por qué el amamantar es importante para usted?

Por la relación que se establece entre el hijo y la madre la cual es muy importante, además del amor y el calor que solamente las madres que amantan pueden trasmitir a sus hijos. También, porque los niños crecen más sanos y con menos problemas de salud.

Why is breastfeeding important to you? Because of the relationship it establishes between mother and child, which is very important. This relationship grows with the love and warmth that only mothers that breastfeed can transmit to their children. It’s also important because it helps children to grow up healthier and with fewer health problems.

(4) ¿Cómo podemos seguir preservando nuestra tradición de lactancia materna?

Mis hijos mayores me ven amamantando y ellos siempre dicen que cuando su hermano menor crezca, le contarán que yo lo amamantaba, también mi hijo mayor dice que su hermano no necesita nada más que leche materna hasta que tenga 6 meses de edad. Ellos entienden que la leche materna es importante para el crecimiento.

How can we continue to preserve our breastfeeding tradition? My older children see me breastfeeding and they always say that when their little brother grows up, they will tell him that I breastfed him. Also, my oldest son says that his brother doesn’t need anything besides breast milk until he’s six months old. They understand that breast milk is important for growth.

(5) ¿Cuál es un área de apoyo a la lactancia que usted encuentra alentar o poderoso?

La información recibida por medio de clases, me ha dado poder para elegir y hacer las cosas mejor. PASOs me ha ayudado a tener mayor información y esto me ha dado más motivación para seguir amantando y ayudar a otras mujeres a hacer lo mismo.

What is an area of breastfeeding support you find encouraging or powerful? The information I learned in classes has given me the ability to choose and in turn, do things better. PASOs has helped me be more knowledgeable and this has given me the motivation to continue breastfeeding and help other women to do the same.

(6) ¿Cuál es un área de apoyo a la lactancia que se ha pasado por alto en nuestras comunidades latinas? Que debería o podría hacerse al respecto?

Aquí es más complicado amamantar, nos encuéntranos con más obstáculos y al no tener a nuestras madres, abuelas y amigas cerca, nos sentimos sin apoyo. Trabajar y dejar a los hijos en casa es uno de los mayores obstáculos, ya que muchas veces no tenemos los recursos para saber cómo seguir amamantando mientras trabajamos.

Necesitamos más información y estar conscientes como padres de qué es lo mejor para nuestros hijos, también es importante tener el apoyo de nuestros esposos y que entiendan que este es un trabajo de equipo.

What is an area of breastfeeding support that is being overlooked in our Latino Communities? What should or could be done about it? Here in the U.S. it’s more complicated to breastfeed, since we encounter more obstacles and don’t have our mothers, grandmothers, and friends close, and we often feel unsupported. Working and having to leave the children at home is one of the greatest obstacles, and we often don’t have any knowledge of how to continue breastfeeding while working.

We need more information and we need to be more conscious, as parents, of what is best for our children. It’s also important to have the support of our spouses and for them to understand that this is a team job.

(7) ¿Qué palabras de sabiduría y de estímulo le daría a otra hermana y familia latina acerca de la lactancia materna?

Amamantar es el mejor regalo que podemos dar a nuestros hijos.

Nuestros hijos estarán más saludables y crecerán mejor si los amamantamos.

What words of wisdom and encouragement would your give another Latina sister and family about breastfeeding? Breastfeeding is the best gift we can give our children. They will be healthier and grow up better if we breastfeed them.

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TWEETE  CON NOSOTROS el 7 de octubre a las 2:00 pm hora del este, con una #WellnessWed Twitter charla sobre lactancia materna en comunidades Latinas/hispanas. Comparte tu voz con el hashtag #DandoPecho!

TWEET WITH US on October 7th at 2:00 p.m. ET, for a #WellnessWed Twitter Chat about Breastfeeding in Latino/Hispanic Communities. Share your voice with hashtag #DandoPecho!