I began my journey into the breastfeeding world with my two boys. My first son was formula and breastfed for three months and my youngest was an exclusively breastfed baby for 13 months. #IDidThat 🙌🏾⠀⠀
I had an excellent lactation nurse who helped me and I researched more information on breastfeeding the second time around and surrounded myself with other breastfeeding moms at play groups and it worked, 13 months of breastfeeding. #BreastFriends⠀
My own personal journey compelled me to research more information breastfeeding. And what I found was suturing. Black Women have the lowest breastfeeding rates of all ethnic groups. I began to deep deeper to why that was and the results were shocking. It basically boiled down to lack of support in underrepresented communities, socioeconomic stayed and culturally insensitive staff and lack of representation.
To find out about these barriers read here.
I began this journey as a R.O.S.E. Community Transformer as a breastfeeding peer counselor. I started local monthly support groups for women to attend to gain evidence based information and support during their journey.
I received a full scholarship to Rose and Lactation education resources to obtain my certification as a breast-feeding specialist.
But it didnt stop there.
I applied for the position as a breastfeeding peer counselor for the Board of Health and was hired. All of these blessings I call them compiled together is what really motivated me to become an I BCLC.
picture of breast model we made during training
Now with me being 40 returning to school was the LAST endeavor on my mind. But the help needed is ectremely warranted by di many mothers and breastfeedung advocates. My journey has just begun ans will lst about two years. i aim to take my licensing exam
April 2021. The exam is offered twice a year ans this really makes you put thungs into perspectuve and get busy.
Time is of the essence. so I am required to complete a 90hr Lactation education course, 14 Health Science Courses and GERD Courses such as CPR training, couple with a supervised 1000 clinical hours under a IBCLC. To find out more jnformation the rewuirements to become aN IBCLC, click here. I was fortunate enough that my new position satisfied the clinical hours and I’m able to be paid for my work. #IssaWin
I’m anxious to begin this journey and I am documenting it on the blog in hopes to encourage more Black women and women of color to become peer counselors, lactation consultants and IBCLCs.
To mitigate the low rates I believe more lactation consultants of color are needed. I hope this blog will encourage anyone that is interested in becoming a peer counselor, lactation consultant or an IBCLC.
I also have a Facebook group called Future IBCLC’s of Color which aims to increase the interest in the lactation field, gain support and encouragement for existing lactation consultants training for licensure. To join us, click here. The lack of representation for black women and women of color is detrimentally low and in order to increase these breast-feeding ratea, we need to see women that look like them.
Join me in on this long journey but so worth it in the end!!