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#DearCinnaMoms Apr 21'

Warm days and cooler nights, what beauty is spring?

Flowers bloom and trees are bearing new fruit but where are the April showers?

Well CinnaMoms did not disappoint.

April 1,2021

Our CinnaMoms were showered with love and support, they were gifted with the tools (and gift cards to the raffle winners!) to not only survive but thrive in the early days after delivery. So it was absolutely fitting that Destiny’s Child’s “Survivor” was playing as we were joining our first April gathering because those early days can be brutal but they don’t have to be.

Hey Queen! Who doesn’t appreciate a little motivational reminder?

Early Days After Birth A survivor indeed

Our very own Ronietra Stewart RDN, IBCLC from PHFE WIC lead the CinnaMoms support group in a discussion about engorgement. Engorgement is a major contributor to pain and very early weaning from breastfeeding. It is often caused by infrequent removal of breastmilk and can make latching an even more difficult and painful experience. We may each have different reasons that drive us to wanting our little ones to nurse. When dealing with pain, some mothers believe they are to push through it as a normal part of the breastfeeding process (it’s not).

After 9 months of pregnancy, 36 hours of labor, no sleep, constantly worrying about not producing enough and now your breast so full that the slightest touch sends tears down your cheek! How can anyone be expected to go on?

Yes, for moms without the proper support, sometimes it is just too much. Our CinnaMoms now know what our Lactation experts and Doulas have always known to be true. Now so will you: engorgement is not a normal part of the normal breastfeeding experience. Pain is not normal. “Breastfeeding is like learning a new dance, tender maybe even a little sore but it should not be painful.” CinnaMoms is lucky to have such an incredible group of Women, Mothers, Peer Counselors, Lactation Gurus and true Queens come together and share their experiences that allow us to learn from each other.

Here is the video on a technique called Reverse Pressure Softening on dealing with engorgement:

April 15, 2021

“Teach me how to breast feed teach me teach me how to breastfeed”

It truly does take a village; our second April meeting fell on Black Maternal Health Week with Rhonda, Aqueelah, Bethany, Cheryl, Wanda, Lydia, Ericka and K’lynn taking the lead to discuss these matters that are of literal life and death. Topics like: The Hospital Visits and what to Expect, Breastfeeding, The Importance of Postpartum Visits, Dental Visits and the Urgent Maternal Warnings signs to look for when immediate medical care is needed. Cheryl and Rhonda shared with us what are Doulas and the benefits of Doula Services, Peer counselor support and the Journey through WIC to provide anticipatory guidance. A clip was shared from Chocolate Milk Documentary series, during our meeting to give context of what the mission of changing the narrative of Black Motherhood. Though it was difficult to watch, we also see the reality of Family, Love and Life. #BlackBFJoy

“A Gift”- What powerful words, thank you Ericka and Bethany for reciting your uplifting and empowering poem. Nothing like hearing an original poem exactly how it was intended to be heard and directly from its authors.

It is a remarkable experience to be in such a loving and caring space. Even a virtual one where we can come together away from the harsh realities around us to highlight the good. We need each other and here we can come together to continue supporting one another.

Take a look at the poem for some encouragement:

Black Mother Love:

Now for a breathing exercise: Inhale safety: “I am safe.” Exhale slowly: Let go of everything that scares you. Don’t carry the hurt. While chatting about our experiences, a poll was taken and when asked to describe yourself as a mother, the number one answer was “Loving.” The word we were drawn to the most was “Resilience” followed closely by “Powerful.” So, if you yourselves are powerful, then what is your milk? “Do not second guess yourself, do not carry doubt with you Queen Mother, you are a gift!”

Black Mother Joy:

We want to continue to highlight the Black Mother Joy, and would love for you all to participate in our #CinnaMoms4Life Campaign!

As we continued to honor the Black Maternal Health Week, the San Gabriel Valley African American Infant and Maternal Mortality Community Action Team sponsored a Fresh Produce Drive-Thru Event at the Pomona Wellness Center on April 14th. This event was highly anticipated with long trail of cars winding around the corner prior to the event. Well over 300 families received produce boxes, in addition to diapers, baby clothing, cookbooks and kitchen tools.

Check out the following resources :

Apply for WIC:

WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counselor program:

(888) 278-6455

Black Infant Health: (323) 238-3205


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