MCH Blog Post #5
MCH Lactation Clinic Internship in Partnership
with MLK Hospital Lactation Project
By: Jordyn Brooks
January 20, 2022
For my summer internship this past year, I had the opportunity to participate in the MCH Lactation Internship in partnership with the MLK Hospital Lactation Project. This original project began with founders Dr. Grace Deukmedjian and lactation consultant Asaiah Harville as a means of bringing accessible breastfeeding education and assistance to the community of South Los Angeles. Through this partnership, the goal was to expand on providing lactation services to communities where breastfeeding support is not readily available.
Over the eight weeks, I attended a grand rounds series where I received information on breastfeeding physiology and its importance, reproductive justice, community driven practices and much more! Knowledge from these teachings and relevant breastfeeding literature was applied to a needs assessment conducted by my fellow interns and I, surrounding the current breastfeeding climate in the United States with an emphasis on breastfeeding in South LA. In addition to the needs assessment we were able to produce an asset map detailing the existing lactation resources available to new moms, dads, and their families. This research helped reveal the various benefits to breastfeeding, however despite these benefits there is a lack of breastfeeding implementation in communities like South LA, which happen to be predominantly people of color. This can be due to preexisting barriers, limited distribution of resources, and other challenges that disproportionately affect families of color as well as WIC participating and student mothers who also make up a large portion of the South LA community.
The good news is that these findings are not to be discouraging; instead they are encouraging and can be used as a guideline for how to best provide care going forward. This project is expected to implement these findings and soon responses from the public through social media engagement as a way of providing community based care for lactating mothers and their families.