#DearCinnaMoms Spring '22
Welcome back CinnaMoms! It was April seventh when the wonderful Wanda, once again, headed another of our CinnaMoms events. With a comforting and empathetic voice, Wanda offered the benefits of her experience as a Lactation Consultant to support our CinnaMoms, sharing another high-interest topic (Breastfeeding beyond the first six months) and kicked off Black Maternal Health Week!
He’s Too Big!!
A common struggle families often face when breastfeeding for longer than six months, is when to stop. With good intentions --and often misinformed-- loved ones and even strangers rush to our aide to offer their best advice.
• He’s too big
• If she can ask to breastfeed, she’s too old
• Breastfeeding ruins their teeth
• Your breastmilk is no longer nutritious
• You shouldn’t breastfeed when you're pregnant
• You don’t want your baby to continue to depend on you
Does anyone ever ask what it is you would like to do? Mothers are told what they should and shouldn’t do, and what would be best for them, and rarely are their opinions and feelings taken into consideration.
*Disclaimer* Pregnant moms may continue breastfeeding, and for those considering tandem breastfeeding, please consult with your doctor regarding high-risk pregnancies.
We now know that breastfeeding for the first 1000 days of life reduces the risk of illnesses for both mothers and their babies! Your breastmilk does not lose its nutritional benefits after your baby reaches a certain age, and why shouldn't a mother nurse her baby as long as she and her baby feel comfortable doing so?
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding for a MINIMUM of one year with an introduction to complementary foods at six months; the World Health Organization recommends a minimum of 2 years.
This decision is in your hands, though I am just sorry you are getting more criticisms than the support you deserve.
The Dynamic-Duo and Your Birthing Stories
On April twenty-first, we witnessed another outing of the Breastfeeding Peer-Counselor's dynamic duo, as they shared their birthing stories and inspired our CinnaMoms to do the same.
Beginning only as a segment, with your experiences, and your successes, your birthing stories became the focal subject of the day. One after another, armed with courage, and supported by your fellow CinnaMoms; you came on camera and shared your struggles, your pains, and your triumphs. Even though at times it may be difficult for us to acknowledge those successes, especially when things do not go as planned... Here you are, sharing those experiences with us, offering your guidance to those of us that will follow.
Through your experiences, you drew attention to two very important points: how important it is to advocate for ourselves, and how our support systems can and should advocate for us.
It is not okay to be ignored; your questions and your concerns should not be dismissed, especially when you are in a hospital having a baby! You matter!
Though we never did get around to discussing what was “supposed” to be the main topic for the day, there were no complaints here. Your birthing stories needed telling, so to you givers of life, caretakers, teachers, and warriors, we applaud and thank you.
Happy Mother’s Day CinnaMoms! We gathered only once this May of 2022. After celebrating mothers and welcoming new and returning families to the CinnaMoms family, we were invited to choose which topic best suited us through breakout rooms. Within Zoom, support groups within a support group for a smaller and more intimate gathering.
What would you have chosen?
Teams of breastfeeding professionals led these discussions, in one room, families addressed concerns of milk production, engorgement, pumping, and returning to work. In the other breakout room, the discussion topic led to ideas for self-support and the importance of caring for yourself.
With so much attention directed towards the baby, many, including mom forget about mom. The first one to get up in the morning, and the last one to bed. The one caring for the family when the family is sick, and the one caring for the family when she is sick. But how can you care for the family, when you are not taking care of yourself?
CinnaMoms’ advice when one is not able to get away for some alone time: “Think of things you can do with your kids, to give yourself still, time.” Or as Cheryl said, “it’s the importance of balance, doing something for the kids, then doing something for me.” *courtesy of University Village
The message I took from this gathering was that no one is an island; we all need support, in one form or another, whether breastfeeding or emotional, and CinnaMoms is here. Facing parenting problems alone will be more difficult than navigating them with someone who was there before. With someone who may walk with us, and at the very least, virtually reminds us “you are doing great.”
Have you heard of the WIC Peer Counselor Program?
A PC can help to breastfeeding moms with problems many think will end their breastfeeding journey.
As a testament to the love, the passion for their craft, I share with you a quote from our LC Wanda. “It’s painful to see a mother’s breastfeeding journey end before it was meant to.”
Happy Juneteenth & the CinnaMoms’ Summit
Finally federally recognized, and with the return of the Annual CinnaMoms’ Summit –though virtual—what an event to experience! In the past, the CinnaMoms’ in-person Summits were an amazing gathering of people, with illuminating panel discussions, and incredible food!! After all, we have lived through these past two years, we couldn’t wait to gather in person once again but that would have to wait just a little longer...
This year, over 100 attendees came together to celebrate, and take part in our grandest virtual summit yet. With the help of our partners at Black infants and Families L.A., CinnaMoms offered four different breakout rooms that even included a space for dads to come together and share how to best support the women in our lives.
Breastfeeding Support with Tia, a CinnaMoms’ Project Specialist
Go with the Glow
Pregnancy and Beyond with Janelle, a PHFE WIC Peer Counselor
New Baby, New Life
My CinnaBaby and I with Danille, a PHFE-WIC Certified Lactation Educator
When a Man Loves a Woman: Beyond Finances
Dad’s Den with Davion, a Fatherhood Coordinator with Black Infant Health
CinnaMoms will soon be hosting a live event, celebrating Black Breastfeeding Week at the St. Andrews WIC office.
Join us Tuesday, August 30th, 2022 from 10 am-2 pm for fun and giveaways.
For more information: https://www.cinnamoms.org/event-details/lets-celebrate-black-breastfeeding-week
We have gathered and continue to gather, whether, in person or remotely, we come together to learn from and support each other. So I thank you all for your efforts, your dedication, and your love for the craft and each other. Together, we are CinnaMoms.
For resources and continued support, please visit: https://www.cinnamoms.org/resources