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#DearCinnaMoms Sept 21'

How did you first hear about CinnaMoms?

It was 2015 when new life was breathed into what is now known as CinnaMoms. Dedicated WIC staff came together to address the breastfeeding rates in the Black/African American community and provide direct support. A conversation began and CinnaMoms quickly evolved into something more.

A community in pain

There are great racial disparities plaguing our families. In the age of the internet, we, scientists, and health agencies from around the world can connect in an instant and work together to create a vaccine to stop the worst pandemic in modern history.

So why with our advancements in medicine, are pregnancy-related deaths higher now than in 1987?

The CDC has uses The Pregnancy Mortality Surveillance System or PMSS to monitor pregnancy-related deaths since 1987 and reported that the pregnancy-related mortality ratio has consistently risen from 7.2 in 1987 per 100,000 live births to 17.3 in 2017.1

The PMSS report states the reasons are unclear but looking at pregnancy-related deaths by race, it is evident disparities exist1 and that 60% of maternal deaths should be preventable.2 Access to care, the quality of care, the prevalence of chronic diseases like other cardiovascular diseases, infections, or sepsis and not to mention a rise in deaths from cardiovascular, cerebrovascular accidents have been noted as some of the major causes. Structural racism, along with implicit biases have also been noted as contributors to the variability to the risk of death by race and ethnicity; as stated in a 2017 article: Lancet. 2017

Structural Racism is described as: “the totality of ways in which societies foster racial discrimination through mutually reinforcing systems of housing, education, employment, earnings, benefits, credit, media, health care, and criminal justice.”

If we are all created equal, then why are we not offered the same opportunities and distribution of resources? Why then such an emphasis on a manufactured concept like race? Where we “distinguish” individuals based on observable physical traits/characteristics that in turn reinforce discriminatory beliefs and values. In the third in a series of five papers about equity and equality in health in the USA: “to justify systems of oppression and privilege.” Lancet. 2017

Our past is tormenting our present and endangering our future

No phrase has bothered me more than “life isn’t fair.” What felt like an excuse that enabled the powers at be to continue being, to fight change, and discourage progress. Not so strange that these words often came from those capable of enacting such changes. We are they who come together in support of fairness and equity. We strive to be the change we wish to see and promote health and wellness for the days to come and the lives that will be.

CinnaMoms commits

The mission of this incredible group is to empower and advocate for Black/African American women and their families for the entire life course. True lactation support in hospitals has always been limited with few lactation consultants available, more so now thanks to COVID. Our hospital staff may not always have the time, nor patience to explain what is happening and are often unable to offer the support needed to overcome obstacles and barriers new moms, especially new moms of color often face. Breastfeeding support begins long before a baby is born and mom’s support begins the moment you contact CinnaMoms.

Feel free to contact CinnaMoms or any of our sister programs for more support:


WIC Peer Counselor program

Welcome Baby Denise Cervantes (323) 285-2384

Soul food for Baby

Black infant health

Call: (323) 238-3205

Frontline Doula

Children First An early head start program

Call to enroll (310) 664-7536


1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2018) Pregnancy Mortality Surveillance System.

2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Foundation (2017) Report from Maternal Mortality Review Committees: A View into Their Critical Role.

3. Bailey ZD, Krieger N, Agénor M, Graves J, Linos N, Bassett MT. Structural racism and health inequities in the USA: evidence and interventions. Lancet. 2017;389(10077):1453-1463. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(17)30569-X

4. Howell EA. Reducing disparities in severe maternal morbidity and mortality. Clin Obstet Gynecol 2018;61:387–99.

5. Hall WJ, Chapman MV, Lee KM, et al. Implicit racial/ethnic bias among health care professionals and its influence on health care outcomes: a systematic review. Am J Public Health 2015;105:e60–76. https://doi. org/10.2105/AJPH.2015.302903


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