On today’s show, we are talking about an issue that’s been in the spotlight quite a bit lately. You might have heard about the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act of 2021, a collection of 12 bills introduced by several members of Congress and the Black Maternal Health Caucus to comprehensively address every dimension of the black maternal health crisis in America.
Here’s a scary fact. We live in the richest country on the globe, yet the U.S. has the highest rate of maternal deaths in the world. Black moms are three to four times more likely to die in childbirth than their white counterparts. And for black women, access to resources, education, and maternal healthcare isn’t even close to where it should be. Now, of course, this is a breastfeeding podcast, which occupies just one tiny aspect of maternal healthcare. But we wanted to make sure we addressed the issues from our perspective, because even from our little corner of the world, we know that black women are not represented or supported the way that they should be. So let’s find out why.
Our guest today is Harlem-based IBCLC LaShanda Dandrich who knows a thing or two about supporting black families on their breastfeeding journeys. In addition to her work with Nest Collaborative, LaShanda also owns the Uptown Village Cooperative, a maternal health group that provides education and support around gentle birthing practices in Upper Manhattan and the Bronx, the Chocolate Milk Cafe, a lactation support group for African American families, and Lactation Learning Collective, a collective of lactation professionals mentoring aspiring IBCLC’s.