Black Breastfeeding Week 2020
25-31 August 2020
Our First Podcast, inspired by Black Breastfeeding Week
Why We Need A Black Breastfeeding Week in the UK
Why do we need a Black Breastfeeding Week in the UK? Ruth Denison explained it well in 2018
Recent MBRRACE reports identify shocking perinatal health inequalities for Black and Brown mothers and babies.
What is needed?
Dr Joia Crear-Perry: "It's racism, not race, that puts Black women at risk." National Birth Equity Collaborative. What is needed to overcome this in breastfeeding support?
We know that Black and Brown women’s voices are not always heard or respected and this can lead to serious health inequalities. We at OBS are listening and doing our work to ensure that there is equity in our service and systems for all of us going forward. We're all in this together.
There's no getting around the fact that breastfeeding support is provided predominantly by white women in the UK. OBS is committed to increasing the number of Black and Brown breastfeeding supporters in our community.
As Lyndsey Hookway, IBCLC of Feed Sleep Bond wrote recently in her blog post about privilege in the UK breastfeeding support world that "We need to commit to mentoring people of colour. Involve the BIPOC community in breastfeeding support, and amplify Black voices."
It is part of the OBS mission to continue to help develop an integrated network of local breastfeeding support, so that all parents can access skilled, timely breastfeeding help.
There is a worrying lack of images of clinical conditions on Black and Brown skin in medical literature. We are excited that this is starting to change with projects like these: DFTB Skin Deep & Black and Brown Skin. Health professionals, IBCLCs, breastfeeding counsellors & breastfeeding peer supporters please watch this illuminating free presentation by Nekisha Killings for Gold Lactation.
Can you help us to improve support for all breastfeeding/breastmilk feeding families in our community? Do you have suggestions to share with us? Are you interested in volunteering or working in breastfeeding support? Talk to us.
Kimberly Seals Allers said at last year's UK Baby Friendly conference "Whatever the question, the answer is in the community." We want to ensure that everyone feels safe and welcome to use our services. We want to break down the barriers and co-create solutions. We are listening. You can watch that presentation here.
We are proud of the difference we are making in our community and the ripples that extend even further. Bushra's story is a lovely illustration of how one very determined mother can improve the health of her wider family and beyond. Read Bushra's story.
Our Peer Supporters are an invaluable part of the OBS team. They bridge the gap between the Facilitators and the families so beautifully, with kindness, empathy, knowledge and role modelling. Chloe, an experienced breastfeeding mum of two, is one of the newest members of our team, becoming accredited just before lockdown started. Read Chloe's story.
OBS has been supporting breastfeeding/breastmilk feeding parents in Oxfordshire since 2006 and has always been run by our small team of Facilitators. Lisa Mansour has been part of the team since 2008, accrediting as an IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant) in 2011 and was Project Lead for several years before having her second baby almost exactly two years ago. You can read more about Lisa's progression to IBCLC.
We hope you enjoyed our BBW 2020 campaign. Please see our reading list, which is a work in progress, below.
Reading List (a work in progress)
Black and Brown Breastfeeding
Why Black Breastfeeding Week? Ruth Denison of 121 Doula
Reports of Mothers and Babies: Reducing Risk through Audits and Confidential Enquiries across the UK (MBRRACE)
The Lived Experience of BAME Women in Birth & Breastfeeding Kimberly Seals Allers at 2019 Unicef Baby Friendly Conference
The breastfeeding support system in the U.K. is built on, and relies upon privilege
Afua Adom's report on Black Breastfeeding Week for The Breastfeeding Network
Black and Brown Skin Tones in Clinical Imagery
How Did I Miss That?: Breast Assessment and Non-White Skin Tones Nekisha Killings for Gold Lactation
Decolonising dermatology: why black and brown skin need better treatment
Don't Forget The Bubbles - Skin Deep
Medical student creates handbook of clinical signs on black and brown skin
Last updated August 2020