RootMama hosted the 1st annual Chocolate Milk Festival in DeSoto, TX on Sunday, August 28, 2016 during national Black Breastfeeding Week.
The event was a huge success. We convened more that 50 expecting and new mothers to celebrate breastfeeding in our community. We affirmed and supported mothers who choose to breastfeed. We connected mothers with each other and with resources in the community to help make their breastfeeding and parenting journey a success.
Check out the video of our event...
This event was a collective effort. I have so many people to thank for its success. First, thanks to all the families that came out to fellowship and celebrate. Thanks to our sponsor, Babies "R" Us and LeTisha Nichole Photography for your contributions.
Panel Discussion Highlights
The Chocolate Milk Festival featured three panel discussions to address different topics in breastfeeding.
Fathers of Breastfed Babies: My Role Supporting my Partner
Fathers play a big role in the success of a breastfeeding mother and baby. I am so thankful to our dads who shared their perspective on supporting their wives while she breastfeed.
The dads discussed how they overcame being some of the only breastfeeding couples in their family and social circle. They shared their inspiration and journey learning about the wonders of breastfeeding. Kenyon remarked that he noticed the optimal healthy of his children and he attributes their health partly to the breastfeeding.
I'm paraphrasing here, but something that Kenyon said that was very inspiration was that he learned how to anticipate the needs of his wife, Jona, during breastfeeding and parenting in general. He said that instead of being in "reactive mode" responding to requests and potential problems, he anticipates the needs of his wife like knowing she will need to stay hydrated and bringing her water during late night/early morning feedings.
Clay made a very important point. He emphasized the need to "desexualize" breasts. He noted that men may not be supportive of their wives breastfeeding because they are not familiar with breasts being used in the way "God created" them - to feed a child. He shared that when he speaks to young men expecting a baby, he encourages them to learn the breastmilk is best and to learn how to support their wives.
Brandon shared that he appreciated all the natural lifestyle and parenting information that his wife had been sharing with him including breastfeeding and cloth diapering. Brandon that he is amazed by the science and biology of breastmilk. After learning all the benefits of breastmilk, he couldn't imagine giving his infant son anything else.
We had to give our fathers a strong Black hand because they represented well. It is an inspiration to see how fathers are secure in supporting their wives during this important time.
Grandmothers Supporting Breastfeeding Daughters
Mama Helen is a grandmother. She told us about her life while she was pregnant and breastfeeding her daughter.
The key take away of what Mama Helen shared is that making time to eat and drinking plenty of water is critical. She had a supply issue back in the day. The Elders advised her to take not of her food intake. After she increased her food and water intake and eating a traditional rice dish, her supply increased.
We give thanks to Mama Helen for her presence and insights as a grandmother.
Breastfeeding Pros & Mamas
Darline Turner of Mamas on Bedrest and Beyond is a physician's assistant and bedrest coach. After experiencing two high risk pregnancies, she realized that women placed on bedrest lacked physical and emotional support. She shared with us how she counsels with her bedrest clients to have the healthiest pregnancy possible, prepare for delivery, breastfeeding and postpartum recovery.
Lisa Bailey supports moms as a Lactation Counselor at hospitals in Dallas. She hosted the Black Breastfeeding Day parties in South Dallas for years and has worked very hard to increase the breastfeeding rate among Black women. She encouraged women to utilize all the breastfeeding support agencies like WIC. She also shared her personal journey in breastfeeding her children.
Mariset Lufia-Mills is a Registered Nurse working in Labor and Delivery. She shared with guests how she facilitates immediate skin-to-skin and breastfeeding for her patients. She shared steps that DFW area hospitals are taking to become Baby-Friendly.
Sincere Gratitude to Our Awesome Vendors & Supporters
Thanks to Our Amazing Host Committee
"If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together." ~ Afrikan proverb
Together we are making great strides to make breastfeeding in the Black community normal again. Thanks for your support in these great efforts.
With love, Sister Freya
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Sis. Freya is the creator of RootMama. She loves encouraging women to achieve greatness.
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