Like a rainy season in Southern California, February has come and gone. Our winter slowly giving way to warmer and longer days while still needing a thick blanket for those cold nights. With many wonderful things to look forward to in the coming spring and summer months, we should not forget the beauty that lies in the now. Quarantining and distance learning are the current norms but that will not stop CinnaMoms and Kaiser Permanente from striving to provide a safe place where we can come together to share, advocate and support each other in breastfeeding, parenting, and health for the entire life course.
CinnaMoms is holding virtual meets every 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month and for those of you that weren’t able to meet with us this month; here is what you missed!
Our February CinnaMoms virtual meet-ups were led by Lydia Boyd IBCLC, Peer Counselor, and Doula from our neighboring WIC Agency WattsHealth WIC, Wanda, IBCLC, and Sharen, RDN, MFCC from our very own Public Health Foundation Enterprises WIC. They are extraordinary women and breastfeeding professionals and with the help of much more education and health experts working tirelessly behind the scenes, groups of almost 40 individuals came together to learn and in support of each other. Our leaders, with years of experience under their belts, continue helping families overcome some of the greatest obstacles new and returning parents face.
February’s discussion topics included the importance of Babywearing along with many of the benefits for the entire family and engaging dads. Being that in February we celebrate Black History month, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to discuss our history of babywearing; a practice as old as time making a comeback over the last 20 years. We were also treated with a showing of Kirk Franklin’s powerful rendition of “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” Truly a must-see featured here link below.
Followed by a question, what is our personal significance to this song? These are without a doubt challenging times and staying lifted in itself is a great challenge now. Our participants were welcomed and encouraged to share by either speaking up or type away in the chatbox. This opened the doors to conversations we could all learn from. A truly safe space was created and families were at ease to speak their minds and listen with open hearts.
*Disclaimer: CinnaMoms is talking about dads
The men and father figures in our lives are the biggest supporters and the protectors in our rights to breastfeed. “His support, helps you meet your breastfeeding goals.” Did you know that when surveyed, only 1 in 12 dads were asked or involved in a discussion about feeding the baby? Even at doctor visits, dads were being ignored! “Dad isn’t the one breastfeeding!” Very true but let us consider this point, “Everyone wants to hold the baby, who’s going to hold mom?” If you’re in a safe space, why not share your struggles and your concerns? On breastfeeding on weaning “yes, it’s your breast but it doesn’t only fall on you.”
So why not consider the question posed by the wonderful Lydia Boyd “Who is supporting dad?”
What’s the connection?
After addressing some minor technical difficulties with the audio, we were able to take in the remarkable performance and ponder our personal significance to the Black National Anthem. We began talking about the history, importance, and benefits of babywearing! Did you know…? Wearing your baby allows moms to keep their babies close while doing other things and helps with mom's milk supply when breastfeeding. “Babies are spoiled by holding...” LIES!! The truth is, it is important to keep YOUR baby close. Benefits include: Helping with the baby’s emotional and developmental wellbeing, helps regulate baby’s heart rate and breathing not to mention it help to keep the hands away of all those people that just like touching babies!!
Benefits for dads? Other than the production of hormones like oxytocin that help in the development of paternal protective behaviors, it also helps dads recognize and learn the baby’s cues much faster. Don’t forget, babywearing means hands-free, so dad is able to help care for both the baby and their partner. Babywearing is a positive thing but safety first! So don’t forget to check the weight restrictions of your slings or device of choice and reach out to your Peer counselor, Doula, or Lactation Consultant for more information.
Not sure where to attain such services or how we can best support you?
You are not alone!
CinnaMoms will be meeting again every 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month.
This month on March 4th at 2:30 pm the topic will be “How the breasts make milk” and on March 18th at 2:30 pm, the topic will be "Breastfeeding Tidbits and FAQs".
So stay tuned and don't forget to RSVP here:https://www.cinnamoms.org/events
For more information on Doula and breastfeeding support, please visit our fellow partners:
Welcome Baby: www.welcomebabysupport.org
Black Infant Health: (323) 238-3205. Facebook: @TCCIBIH, Instagram: @blackinfanthealth_tcci
Daddy Dialogue: Join the Black Daddy Dialogue Social Support Group Changing the narrative African American/Black Fathers and Families every 2nd Wednesday of the month!
Dad’s can join the meeting on Zoom at https://us02web.zoom.us/j/76034735732
Frontline Doula Hotline: doulahotlie.typefor.com/to/uWvmtf