In preparation for our National Action Summit this fall, we asked Tamela Milan, longtime community health worker and a member of our Board of Directors, to share a few words on this year’s theme, “Shared Voices for Equity in Birth and Breastfeeding.”
Thank you, Tamela.
Can you talk about your commitment to birth and breastfeeding support, and how you began? I began as a first time mom and as part of a team.
Where do you see inequities in the birth and breastfeeding experience? Stigma mostly in the African American communities that breastfeeding is not acceptable.
What can (or should) be done about these inequities? Start talking early with school age children about the importance and significance of breastfeeding and other maternal and child health issues.
What is an area of the birth or breastfeeding experience you find encouraging or powerful? How mom and baby bond is the fondest part of the process.
Can you share an experience that let you know you were in the right field? I had a client who was scared and actually was embarrassed to try breastfeeding in front of her friends and family. We made sure that the baby latched on and explained in our home visits that the good was much more worthy than the newest dance sensation in the streets, so I told her, “If you can learn that, you can definitely learn this.”
What’s your favorite birth or breastfeeding resource? Case Management and Doulas
What is one thing the person reading this can do to support equity in birth and breastfeeding? Support the services aimed to help our underserved and underfunded programs!
Any other thoughts or comments? No matter your background or where you come from, just remember that you will always be the best thing your baby ever has so give them a healthy start.