AABN culminates Black Breastfeeding Week with ‘7th Annual Lift Up Every Baby!’

September 2, 2021

Photo by Yvonne Kemp

The African American Breastfeeding Network (AABN) and its sponsors Molina Cares and Educators Credit Union hosted the “7th Annual Lift Up Every Baby!” (LUEB) event to celebrate birth, health, wellness, breastfeeding and the resiliencies of Black families and communities. This event took place during National Black Breastfeeding Awareness Week (August 23-28) which parallels with World Breastfeeding Awareness Month. Families and community partners were invited to this celebration on Saturday, August 28th at Alice’s Garden, 2136 N. 21st St. “Even in the midst of COVID-19, African American women desire to breastfeed their babies. Even in the midst of historical trauma and disparities, we find that many women seek out help and support while pregnant. This is a very promising social behavior that can be a catalyst for policy change,” said Dalvery Blackwell, Executive Director of AABN.

Milwaukee’s infant mortality rates have been stagnant at 15.4 percent for the last 3 years. The maternal mortality rate in Wisconsin is five times higher for Black women than White women, most commonly due to cardiovascular-related and chronic medical problems. The toll of these disparities has been exacerbated by COVID-19, but the root causes are historical birth trauma, distrust in the medical system, and obstetric and institutionalized racism.

“Our annual LUEB event acknowledges our strengths and resiliency despite racism and negative health outcomes so that African Americans are reminded of their community resources and assets, can reclaim cultural norms and traditions to improve health,” Blackwell said.