Is it possible to spoil your infant?

“Don’t pick up your baby too much because it will spoil them.”

“Feeding your newborn too much spoils them.”

“Let them cry it out. It will teach them how to self-soothe.”

“Breastfeeding your baby will keep them attached to you and they won’t like anyone else.”

“You don’t have to respond every time your baby cries.”

How many of the above statements have you heard? To spoil or not to spoil is the million dollar question. Many people have varying opinions and usually their input is well intended. Initially I was receptive to unsolicited “wisdom” from others because I was a first-time mom. Over time I grew annoyed because my thought process is rooted in the understanding of human development. The above statements negate science, human development and an infant’s cognitive ability. Contrary to popular belief; it is impossible to spoil an infant. Here’s why.

Infants cry often! Crying is their only form of communication at this stage of life. They have spent the beginning of their life in a confined womb and are birthed into an unfamiliar world. Making the shift to the new environment is a major adjustment for an infant. The infant solely depends on their primary caregiver(s) to respond to their cry. Your response caters to their basic needs — to be held, fed, loved and comforted. The primary caregiver(s) represents the infant’s first relationship and it sets the foundation for future relationships as the infant matures. The primary caregiver is given the awesome role of listening, determining what is needed and responding accordingly. A response may require holding the infant, changing their diaper, rocking them or providing food. This is the point where trust and attachment begins to take form as the primary caregiver’s response creates a sense safety and comfort within the infant. Infants who learn to trust their caregivers will likely formulate trusting relationships later in life because they have learned that others are capable of showing up for them.

Erik Erikson, the father of ego psychology, developed eight stages of psychosocial development (see above). Erikson emphasized the role of the social environment in personality development. According to Erikson, the society in which one lives makes certain psychic demands at each stage of development. He refers to these demands as crises. Coping well with each crisis makes an individual better prepared to cope with the next stage. Resolution of each crisis is an ideal, however, it is not necessarily a reality. The degree to which crises found in earlier stages are resolved will affect a person’s ability to resolve crises in later stages of life. If an individual does not learn how to trust in stage one, the person will find it very difficult to attain intimacy in stage six (Zastrow & Kirst-Ashman, 2007, p.256-257). I always reference the first stage, Trust vs Mistrust, when discussing newborn and infant behaviors. Trust leads to the virtue of hope; both of which are paramount in building future relationships.

“By developing a sense of trust, the infant can have hope that as new crises arise, there is a real possibility that other people will be there as a source of support.”

Simply Psychology

Infants cannot manipulate, swindle you or run a scam. At this stage of life their brain is unable to decipher the difference between needs and wants. Manipulation and scamming is too complicated of a thought process for an infant’s brain to generate. Full stop because manipulation assumes that their brain can do something that it is totally incapable of doing at this time. Recall that an infant wants nourishment, a dry diaper, sleep and to be held. Manipulation is not on their list! As an infant grows their needs change, their vocabulary expands and they begin to explore. Infants grow quickly so there will be time to establish rules and boundaries at a later date. No need to rush the process. For now, the focus is letting the infant know that they are safe, secure and loved. So yes — pick them up, rock them to sleep, breast/chestfeed often, hug and shower them with love.

“Parents may not always reach a falling baby in time, or they may accidentally feed an infant food that is too hot. Erikson sees value in these experiences because infants learn mistrust. With proper balance of trust and mistrust, infants can acquire hope, which is an openness to new experience tempered by wariness that discomfort or danger may arise.”

Kail & Cavanaugh, 2016, p.13

Take a moment to reflect as you consider the above information. Let’s focus on your hunger and your process of securing food. Hunger can bring on persistent discomfort. When hungry perhaps you may not want to associate with others or are easily agitated. As an individual well beyond the Trust vs Mistrust stage you are able to recognize hunger and utilize your vocabulary to communicate your need for food. You no longer cry, however, you make it your mission to resolve your hunger by using the tools in your toolbox to troubleshoot. Keep in mind that your toolbox is full of tools — thoughts, logic, vocabulary and behaviors — that were developed and refined over time. As your infant grows they’ll acquire new skills. For now, it is up to you to anticipate and tend to their needs. Remember that Erikson’s psychosocial theory covers the entire lifespan, therefore, one has their entire life to develop strengths and tools to navigate challenges. In the meanwhile, exercise patience, trust the process and find gratitude in this stage of your infant’s development.

Until next time,

💙 Salimah

Peace, Love & Breastmilk™

Kail, R. V., & Cavanaugh, J. C. (2016). Human development: a life-span view. Cengage Learning.

Zastrow, C., & Kirst-Ashman, K. K. (2007). Understanding human behavior and the social environment. Thomson Higher Education.

The Maziwa Tribe blog does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Content from Maziwa Tribe’s blog is not intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment. The information provided on this blog is intended for general consumer understanding. The information provided is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Please contact your family doctor or other medical professional to obtain medical advice.

Mental Health Awareness Month 2021

We are half way through the month of May and I cannot let the month pass without acknowledging Mental Health Awareness Month. I am happy that an entire month is dedicated to highlighting the importance of mental health. In my world mental health is placed onto a pedestal on a daily basis. I will continue to speak about it and its importance to overall health every opportunity afforded to me.

An entire year has come and gone since the start of the pandemic. In March 2020 many mental health professionals found themselves overwhelmed with the amount of new clients reaching out to initiate services. I experienced an increase which has yet to slow down 14 months later. The world paused and mental health clinicians ramped up! Opinions about mental health shifted along with the way that we render services. The use of telehealth made therapy easily assessible without having to leave ones home. Telehealth is not a new phenomenon and I credit it with helping many to navigate daily challenges associated with the pandemic. Telehealth brought a layer of comfort in seeking out therapy that did not exist prior to the pandemic. It is my personal belief that the pandemic helped to erase the negative stigma associated with mental health. Many were able to partake in therapy during the workday while working remotely — talk about maximizing workday productivity! Telehealth also eliminated the need to dedicate time to travel. Additionally, keeping attendance from family was impossible as the entire family was likely in the home while the session was taking place. For once mental health was deemed to be equal to physical health and it took a global pandemic to make it possible.

I highly encourage you to keep mental health awareness at the forefront of your mind beyond the month of May. Mental health and self-care was discussed heavily in 2020 and I urge you to keep the same energy. Keep the same energy by seeking out mental health services. There is no need to wait until another crisis to begin the process. Continue to acknowledge your feelings and have conversations about them by any means necessary. Keep the same energy by regularly indulging in self-care. Emotional self-care was discussed in a previous post along with suggestions for tapping into it. Perhaps you gained new skills and healthy habits during the 2020 quarantine. Keep the same energy by implementing them into your new routine as you begin to reacclimate yourself to the world.

Mental Health Awareness Month exists to raise awareness and educate the masses about mental illness. Visit the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) to familiarize yourself with warning signs and symptoms. Check out the May 2020 Mental Health Awareness Month post where perinatal mood and anxiety disorders was explored. You are not alone and you do not have to suffer in silence. Help is available via the resources below. Utilize them if needed and pass the information to anyone in your circle needing mental health resources.

Until Next Time,

💙 Salimah

Peace, Love & Breastmilk™

Mental Health Resources

The Maziwa Tribe blog does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Content from Maziwa Tribe’s blog is not intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment. The information provided on this blog is intended for general consumer understanding. The information provided is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Please contact your family doctor or other medical professional to obtain medical advice.

The Maziwa Tribe Blog Turns 1

On February 11, 2020 I posted my first blog post introducing myself. A blog was on the to-do list for ages and I recall being extremely proud of taking the step. Those who know me know that I have always loved reading and writing. My high school English teacher (we are still in contact) taught me how to write a properly cited research paper. I credit my parents for my love of reading because our home was always full of books! The library is one of my favorite places and I hope to visit again in 2023! We’ll see what the future holds.

I am amazed that one year has passed. I am getting close to the anniversary of the point where life paused and the world shifted. So much happened in 2020 and my first blog post would have had a different title had I been able to foreshadow the remainder of the year. Mental health is my specialty and my work multiplied a hundredfold. Mental health professionals did not get specialized training on how to help our clients navigate 2020. Keep in mind that we were simultaneously experiencing the same events that our clients brought into our counseling spaces. I did my best to provide coping strategies within this space knowing that the only certain aspect of my world was my nursing toddler and her ongoing request for my milk!

“My professional life and my personal life have collided and this is the final outcome. Mental health, motherhood and breastfeeding is a way of life for me…”

Salimah

The above quote was taken from my first blog post. Mental health, motherhood and breastfeeding continues to be a way of life for me one year later. These three areas come naturally (after years of practice) which leaves me no other choice but to write about them. Each area comes with challenges that I will save for a future blog. I am grateful for every reader, every comment and every person that has hit the share button. I am human and I may miss a comma here and there. My only hope is that I have educated and inspired my readers. For me, that’s enough to keep on writing about mental health, motherhood and (breast/chest/human) milk!

Until Next Time,

💙 Salimah

Peace Love & Breastmilk™

The Maziwa Tribe blog does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Content from Maziwa Tribe’s blog is not intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment. The information provided on this blog is intended for general consumer understanding. The information provided is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Please contact your family doctor or other medical professional to obtain medical advice.

The Four Year Milestone

So much taking place in the world which gives me a variety of topics to write about. Today I am choosing to practice exactly what I preached in my April 1, 2020 Emotional Self-Care post. I am making the deliberate choice to control my self-care narrative.

Today is January 16, 2021 and I am nine days away from having a four year old. The time has flown by quickly and it feels like we were just discharged from the hospital. Her birthday, January 25, also represents the fourth year of our breastfeeding journey 🎉🏆!!! We had challenges immediately following birth and I would have had unpleasant words for anyone on January 25, 2017 had they told me that I’d still be nursing my daughter four years later. To utter such words would have been the ultimate form of disrespect resulting in the end of a relationship! At that point in time we lived life in three-hour increments and it was asking too much of me to even focus on the next day.

Time flies fast! The three-hour increments turned into a day. The days turned into weeks. The weeks turned into months and the months turned into years. I am amazed that the four year milestone is quickly approaching and we are still at it! I vividly recall setting our breastfeeding goal for six months. We were supposed to be done in June 2017, however, the art of breastfeeding somehow became easier and we never stopped. Fast forward to 2021 and my baby (she will always be my baby) is content with nursing a few times a day. She knows what she wants and will not hesitate to grab her milkies when she needs a quick snack. All challenges have disappeared and I have zero complaints about this leg of the journey.

I am beyond grateful for our journey; yet I recall our humble beginnings! You couldn’t pay me to be grateful in January 2017 and six months could not come quick enough. Grateful is the feeling because the choice to breastfeed my daughter has created new opportunities for me. I had no idea that I would become a Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC) and would assist other babies, parents and families. A blog certainly was not on my radar in January 2017 nor was a Monthly Breastfeeding / Chestfeeding Subscription Box. Who knew!? I simply hoped to shower every few days, catch a quick nap and survive the next three hours. Anything beyond that was not important. I also cannot forget about the friendships and professional relationships that I have built in the last four years. Breastfeeding is still a way of life for me because it has positively impacted every aspect of my life. The unbreakable bond with my baby and the unwavering desire to breastfeed her was the catalyst that sparked it all!

There are still those that respond with negativity when proudly state I breastfeed my daughter. Said people existed at every part of the journey. They really frown when I state that my baby still nurses as she approaches four years old. I am not offended and will respond by dropping facts about breast / chestfeeding. My teachable response often results in silence by the other party. Their silence is not my concern as I have done my part by educating. I admit that I wasn’t always in this space. My outward confidence was not the best early on given our struggles, however, I remained steadfast and never waivered on my goal to nourish my baby.

In closing, it is imperative to remember that the duration of your breast / chestfeeding journey is between you and your little one. It is your personal choice to determine what works best for you and your dynamic. My personal experience highlights the importance of choosing a supportive tribe. I will forever and always preach about the need to surround yourself with a positive and affirming breast / chestfeeding community. Such communities exist. Do yourself a favor and seek them out! You won’t regret it.

Until Next Time,

💙 Salimah

Peace, Love & Breastmilk™

The Maziwa Tribe blog does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Content from Maziwa Tribe’s blog is not intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment. The information provided on this blog is intended for general consumer understanding. The information provided is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Please contact your family doctor or other medical professional to obtain medical advice.

Pandemic Holiday Blues. Tis the Season.

The holiday season can bring on a variety of emotions. November marks the start of events that seem to keep rolling throughout December and into the New Year. The end of the year is compromised of work potlucks, increased family and friend obligations and festive gatherings that seem to last forever. Fast forward to 2020 and those colorful festivities of yesteryear have been replaced with more life altering challenges than we can count.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

In March it was much easier to reframe the experience. Here we stand many months later and seeing the glass as half full can be a stretch. Life is different and the loss of life cannot be ignored. There is an ugly side to the pandemic and this factor alone can make it extremely difficult to get into the holiday spirit. I spoke about trauma in April 2020. Many do not recognize that experiencing a pandemic is traumatic. In my practice I have heard several verbalize that they “don’t know what happened but something is off.” I find myself helping said individuals to recognize that their disclosure is a direct result of the pandemic. The pandemic is the “what” that is causing the mind and body to be “off.” Overall functioning is compromised causing one to be in constant survival mode. Being in survival mode makes it difficult to socialize, work, sleep, relax, think, recall / retain information, tap into creativity and focus on relationships. This automatic response to the pandemic (trauma) does not simply disappear during the holiday season because the calendar says that it is December.

It is important to acknowledge that the holiday season isn’t a festive time for everyone. There are some who dread the season because it automatically brings on feelings of sadness and grief. Such feelings alone can exasperate mental health concerns without even factoring in the pandemic. Adding in the pandemic plus other environmental stressors (housing insecurity, food insecurity, job loss, financial difficulty) can compound an already unpleasant dynamic. Please seek out a therapist if you find yourself feeling that something isn’t right with your functioning. Help is available and a licensed clinician can help you to find direction in the midst of the chaos. Remember that it is ok to not be ok.

Please also consider the following:

Connecting with those that bring out the best in you can put you in a healthier and happier space. Seek to connect with family, friends or your chosen tribe given that in-person gatherings and travel may not be an option. It can be helpful to utilize a virtual platform to create a new holiday experience. This by no means replaces the in-person festivities, however, it gets a step closer to maintaining social connections and avoiding social isolation. Yes, (insert the name of your favorite virtual platform here) fatigue is real because it has been the primary means of communication since March! Do yourself a favor by limiting use and taking breaks as needed. Consider picking up the phone to remain connected and remember that disconnecting from virtual platforms (phone included) is totally acceptable too!

The calendar is a reminder that December is here, yet the holiday season looks and feels different. There isn’t much that can be done with changing the calendar as the days will continue to move at their standard pace. The 2020 holiday season may be a great opportunity to deviate from old traditions by creating new memories and experiences. Creating new experiences can bring about positive feelings and positive feelings can help to elevate ones mood. The overall goal is to create good memories which help to smooth out the not so pleasant memories. A deliberate attempt to introduce a few good memories here and there is good for the soul.

Self-care is still a must. 2020 has forced us to redefine what was previously classified as self-care. Restrictions are still in place which limits indulging in some pre-pandemic activities. Redefined self-care equates to granting yourself a bit of self-compassion by meeting yourself wherever you are. Remember that it is totally acceptable if all you did this year is survive. 2020 has taught us that survival is a big deal. Make it your priority and everything else will fall into place at a later date.

Until Next Time,

💙 Salimah

Peace, Love & Breastmilk™

Resources are below to assist you in connecting with a therapist in your area.

The Maziwa Tribe blog does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Content from Maziwa Tribe’s blog is not intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment. The information provided on this blog is intended for general consumer understanding. The information provided is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Please contact your family doctor or other medical professional to obtain medical advice.

Election Week 2020

Tuesday, November 3, 2020 is a day that many have anticipated. So much has taken place in the last few days and waiting on the outcome feels like an eternity. No surprise that it has stretched well beyond Tuesday. COVID-19 has impacted life itself and the election is no exception. If you are like me you are glued to the television and switching between news channels. For many the end result is a matter of life or death and the luxury of checking out is not an option. Families and communities have and still are being ravished by COVID-19. The pandemic didn’t mysteriously disappear this week despite minimal news coverage! Trust me when I say that the pandemic hits you differently when you have the experience of watching the funeral of someone you know via Facebook live. Recall that children still remain in cages, violence is incited nonchalantly and white supremacy is readily condoned. Human lives are at stake and I refuse to take it lightly.

I have a few additional counseling sessions before the week is over and I will continue to speak about self-care. As I am taking inventory of my week I admit that self-care wasn’t my primacy focus. I didn’t turn the channel nor did I enjoy the warm Chicago weather. In fact, I listened to cable news stations while driving compliments of satellite radio. I have the ability to time outings with television commercial breaks so that I can make it to the car in time to turn on my satellite radio. My three year old remains content playing with her tablet and has not complained. I stopped keeping track of her screen time this week and concluded that I am better served by keeping the battery charged on her tablet!

My saving grace is my daughter complaining that she is “sick of watching the news and those numbers.” She prefers to watch her shows on Nick Jr. and I oblige by allowing her to change the channel. In her world none of this matters but as a mother I know that the election outcome will impact her future. I smile because for once I am able to turn the channel, however, I resort to my cellphone so I don’t miss anything. This week self-care equates to keeping all of the electronic devices (tablets, laptop and cellphone) fully charged, switching between cable news stations and listening to the commentary. Mental health is my specialty and watching a personality disorder unfold has also held my attention over the course of the last four years. The personality disorder, performances and temper tantrums are on display this week and I’m certain that the nation will continue to be subjected to them in the months to come. On a serious note, my self-care regimen this week is watching democracy play out in real time because lives depend on the outcome.

Sending a special thank you to the election officials for remaining diligent in counting ballots around the clock. Their personal safety is important as they bring counting to a close. Salute to the news personalities that have worked countless hours to keep us informed with the latest information. A special shout out to all who have casted a vote in person or via mail-in ballot. This. Is. Democracy.

Until Next Time,

💙 Salimah

Peace, Love & Breastmilk™

The Maziwa Tribe blog does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Content from Maziwa Tribe’s blog is not intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment. The information provided on this blog is intended for general consumer understanding. The information provided is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Please contact your family doctor or other medical professional to obtain medical advice.

The Essentials

While pregnant I read every book I could get my hands on that was related to birth. I am an avid reader so reading books was the norm. The internet and social media spaces catering to birth and breast / chestfeeding were was also my go-to sources. I was armed with information and the text made breast / chestfeeding look easy. Certainly I thought I had it covered between the detailed descriptions, footnotes, the diagrams and links to further reading. I was the expectant mother that clicked on the links within the links to see what else I could discover.

I was grateful to have given birth in a hospital that had a phenomenal (and I mean PHENOMENAL) breastfeeding program that included a team of Lactation Counselors, a weekly drop in breastfeeding clinic and a monthly support group. I was surrounded with care throughout my journey and I am eternally grateful. We had issues; issues that could not be solved via book or Google. Nothing compared to the hands-on support that I received following the birth of my daughter.

Getting help is a must during the early stages of breast / chestfeeding. A Lactation Counselor is an expert trained to assist with lactation concerns. When in doubt, find one! Let’s put this into perspective. You would not call your trusted auto mechanic to fix household electrical issues. It seems logical to contact an electrician — one who specializes in electrical concerns.

It is ESSENTIAL that you educate yourself about breast / chestfeeding. This means researching and obtaining information from reputable sources. Trust and believe that I heard my share of old wives tales and false information based on uninformed opinions. Those spreading this nonsense are usually first to offer advice. Research and connections to knowledgeable individuals will help you to decipher between fact and fiction. Arming myself with factual information certainly helped me to tune out unwanted, unhelpful and absurd information. Consider enrolling in a class during pregnancy in preparation for the arrival of your little one(s). Let’s normalize planning and preparing to breast / chestfeed in the same manner utilized to flawlessly execute baby showers, gender reveals and other celebratory events.

It is ESSENTIAL to surround yourself with a tribe of supporters that “get it.” This is imperative as these individuals will be the ones to cheer you on and support your personal breast / chestfeeding goals. Let’s also normalize surrounding a new parent with postpartum support by way of preparing homecooked meals, washing dishes, running errands and caring for the older children while the new parent focuses on their newest addition.

It is ESSENTIAL to recognize that you do not need to suffer in silence. Mental health is imperative to your overall wellness. Seek out a Therapist. Seek out a Psychiatrist (a Medical Doctor that specializes in mental health and can prescribe medications) if needed. And yes, there are psychotropic medications that can be taken during pregnancy and while breast / chestfeeding.

It is ESSENTIAL to plan ahead. Planning ahead by lining up key individuals will set you up for success along the journey. Therapists and Lactation Counselors are ESSENTIAL WORKERS. Remember that you do not have to wait until you are in crisis to enlist assistance. Reach out to your tribe early on to outline the type of support that you are seeking. Invest in yourself by starting the planning process early. You will not regret it!

Until Next Time,

💙 Salimah

Peace, Love & Breastmilk™

The Maziwa Tribe blog does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Content from Maziwa Tribe’s blog is not intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment. The information provided on this blog is intended for general consumer understanding. The information provided is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Please contact your family doctor or other medical professional to obtain medical advice.

Black Breastfeeding Week 2020

This week marks Black Breastfeeding Week! Revive. Restore. Reclaim! is the theme for 2020. In my June “Breathe, Thrive and Grow” post I wrote that I planned to tackle the systemic racism and implicit bias connected to Black breast / chestfeeding parents during my Black Breastfeeding Week post. As I began writing I decided that this post would take a different turn because I do not have the mental capacity to discuss systemic racism. Instead I want to detail my personal thoughts on the 2020 theme and ways that each word can be put into action.

Revive – In this space breast / chestfeeding is a way of life and is discussed daily. The entire month of August brings it to the forefront for the rest of the world.  I especially look forward to the last week of August because the spotlight is placed onto Black mothers (parents).  Revive means that one activates or gives life to something. Human milk is life sustaining and Black Lives Matter. Giving life to breast / chestfeeding means that we continue to verbalize our needs and engage in dialogue beyond the last week of August. This means that we present factual information backed by science to dispel myths as we hear them. To revive our breast / chestfeeding experience means that we nurse out loud. Seeing is believing and witnessing another Black woman (parent) nursing is a major action that has proven to be supportive, uplifting and empowering.

Restore – To restore means to make like new. Restoring our breast / chestfeeding experience means that we normalize it in our communities and within the spaces that we frequent. We can also do this by educating ourselves and our families, seeking out reputable sources and making connections with those sharing a similar mindset. I highly recommend adding breast / chestfeeding to the list alongside all of the other steps required to prepare for a newborn. Restoring the experience equates to taking a breastfeeding class during the prenatal period and identifying a tribe of supporters that will support your personal breast / chestfeeding goals. Your tribe should include the following: other Black nursing mothers (parents), a Pediatrician that understands lactation and a Lactation Professional. Normalize switching providers and finding a new tribe if you do not feel supported. Seek out Black Medical Providers as you see fit. They exist!!!

Reclaim – Black mothers (parents) have a complicated history with breastfeeding. I discuss it in my June “Breathe, Thrive and Grow” post. Acknowledging this history is a must because the experiences have been passed down for generations. History cannot be erased and failure to acknowledge our complex, strained historical relationship with breastfeeding means that the behaviors will be repeated. Making the choice to breast / chestfeed is an act of resistance against racism. It is a healthy choice in a world where Black mothers (parents) are often robbed of the right to nourish our offspring from our bodies. I outlined several instances within my June blog. Making the choice allows us to gain empowerment through positively reframing an experience that was once deemed to be negative. Shifting from pain to purpose allows us to reclaim an entire experience that should not have been stolen from us to begin with.

Black Breastfeeding Week 2020

Salute to all of the Black breast / chestfeeding moms (parents)! I see you and I stand in solidarity with you! I salute the Black mom frantically pumping during her half hour lunch break. I salute the Black mom actively tandem nursing twins. I salute the Black mother just starting the journey and the Black mother currently nursing a toddler. I see you and I understand! Thank you to all of the Black Medical Doctors, Nurses and Lactation Professionals that allow us to feel heard, understood and safe within medical settings. Representation matters. Thank you to the tribe of supporters who support us in meeting our personal breast / chestfeeding goals. It takes a village to make this way of life possible.

Until Next Time,

💙 Salimah

Peace, Love & Breastmilk™

Below you will find a list of references where you may obtain additional information about the need for Black Breastfeeding Week, slavery and its impact on Black breast / chestfeeding parents, systemic racism, food deserts in the Black community, racial and ethnic disparities in breastfeeding and Black infant mortality. This is by no means a comprehensive list but it is a good starting point at expanding your learning. Reading and researching is fundamental. Start here.

(n.d.). Retrieved August 28, 2020, from https://www.slaveryfacts.org/classroom/breastfeeding-master-s-babies-the-wet-nurse-slave

Allers, K. S. (2014). Top Five Reasons We Need A Black Breastfeeding Week. Retrieved August 28, 2020, from https://blackbreastfeedingweek.org/why-we-need-black-breastfeeding-week/

Food Deserts*. (n.d.). Retrieved August 28, 2020, from https://foodispower.org/access-health/food-deserts/

Freeman, A. (2020). Skimmed: Breastfeeding, race, and injustice. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. https://www.sup.org/books/title/?id=28151

Jones, K., Power, M., Queenan, J., & Schulkin, J. (2015, May). Racial and ethnic disparities in breastfeeding. Retrieved August 28, 2020, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4410446/

Picheta, R., & Howard, J. (2020, August 20). Black newborns 3 times more likely to die when looked after by White doctors. Retrieved August 28, 2020, from https://www.cnn.com/2020/08/18/health/black-babies-mortality-rate-doctors-study-wellness-scli-intl/index.html

The Maziwa Tribe blog does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Content from Maziwa Tribe’s blog is not intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment. The information provided on this blog is intended for general consumer understanding. The information provided is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Please contact your family doctor or other medical professional to obtain medical advice.

Subscription Box Countdown

UPDATE September 1, 2020 — The Peace, Love & Breastmilk Monthly Subscription Box is available. Please click on the links below! 💙

I am eagerly preparing to launch the Peace, Love & Breastmilk Monthly Subscription Box on September 1, 2020!! 🎉✨🎁 The time has flown by and it’s hard to believe that it is weeks away! The idea written on scrap paper in March 2020 will soon become reality. I am excited!

I will celebrate year four (yes, 4) of my breastfeeding journey in January! 🏆 The start of my journey came with challenges that required me to do lots of reflection about my needs and my infant’s needs. In between brief naps (recalling the newborn stage) was tons of reading, lots of research, several visits with Lactation Counselors, midnight chats within online support groups and trying products to figure out what worked for us. In 2017 I had no idea that the challenges and findings would result in the development of a monthly subscription box three years later.

Here is a sneak peak at what is in store for subscribers. Launching September 1, 2020! Arriving to your doorstep Fall 2020!

The Peace, Love & Breastmilk Monthly Subscription Box will bring breast / chestfeeding necessities to your doorstep! Staying home is common practice these days and convenience is imperative. Each box will contain five to six items to support lactation, mental wellness and self-care. Subscribers will be provided with a monthly reminder that overall wellness is important. Look for empowerment, education and support in every box plus an element of surprise!

Breast / chestfeeding can come with challenges. I get it! Mental wellness and self-care can become a low priority. I truly understand! Thank you for allowing me to help you navigate this important time of your life. Thank you for welcoming the Peace, Love & Breastmilk Monthly Subscription Box into your home! Thank you for trusting me to meet your needs. Here’s to saying yes to self-care and mental wellness throughout the breast / chestfeeding journey!

For more information do not hesitate to click on the links found above. You may also visit all of the social media platforms.

Until Next Time,

💙 Salimah

Peace, Love & Breastmilk™

The Maziwa Tribe blog does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Content from Maziwa Tribe’s blog is not intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment. The information provided on this blog is intended for general consumer understanding. The information provided is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Please contact your family doctor or other medical professional to obtain medical advice.