MCH Blog Post #6

By: Richelle Kingi

                                                                                           October 3, 2022

Richelle-Kheadshot

The Maternal and Child Health program through the UCLA Center of Excellence created an internship for students to immerse themselves in research emphasizing the importance of maternal and child health. My field of study was focused on Lactation for the Spring 2022 Social Media Internship in collaboration with CDU BMHCE, UCLA, Hood Medicine, and the MLK Outpatient Lactation Clinic. As one of the three leaders in my team, we embodied dedication to meet twice a week in order to educate ourselves and create content accessible to a wide range of audience. 

 

Collaboratively, my team and I created a magazine, infographics, and social media posts in efforts to create an inclusive and delightful place to access resources. I am presenting the magazine my team and I created “Breaking Black Breastfeeding Myths.” Lactation among the Black and African American community is profoundly lower making chest feeding African American infants at the lowest rate in the United States. The population focus for this project was Black and African American parents as they are less likely to chest feed due to a combination of discouragement from integral women in the parents’ life and societal pressures. The goal of this project was to bust myths that discourage individuals from chest feeding. Myths such as chest feeding in public is inappropriate, painful, dependent upon chest size, and formula is more beneficial, have all been discussed in this project to be inaccurate. Through outreach and engagement, we were able to incorporate community events in Los Angeles for readers to access for further information. It is imperative that we work together as a community to confront false ideations associated with chest feeding that have persisted through multiple generations. 

 

I thoroughly enjoyed being a team member in this internship. The experience enhanced my ability to lead a team and reaffirmed how important it is to support and protect Black and African American mothers and lactating individuals. Through compassion and selfless services, we can promote long-term improvements in the health of Black babies well into adulthood.

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