Last Thursday, I was made a member of the Indiana Black Breastfeeding Coalition, and I am ecstatic! This is the first breastfeeding coalition for me. Actually, this is the first coalition I’ve ever been a part of in any area, so it makes it all the more exciting! The Indiana Black Breastfeeding Coalition is the only Black breastfeeding coalition in the state of Indiana and was founded in 2007 to “Encourage the African American community to support women in their breastfeeding choice and efforts.”
The founder, Terry Jo Curtis, has phenomenal and extensive breastfeeding knowledge, history, education and personal experience, including being an International Board of Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). She is also a Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC), Pasteurize Technician for the Indiana Milk Bank — making banked milk safe for babies, is a Lactation Teacher, is Certified to teach lactation in the workplace, teaches breastfeeding at A.M.E. Zion Church, teaches breastfeeding at health clinics, studied mammals and breastfeeding at Sea World, works as an associate in a pregnant woman’s store, speaks on breastfeeding at churches, schools, events, and health fairs, founded the first [Black] Fathers Supporting Breastfeeding group in the state of Indiana, is a recipient of the “2009 Indiana Perinatal Network Most Valuable Player Award for her work in the breastfeeding community,” and has two children of her own with two very different breastfeeding stories. She also has a very interesting story of how she became interested in breastfeeding — through her grandmother’s job as a wet nurse. So I hope you understand my high level of excitement.
This is such a great step towards working with breastfeeding among Black women, Women Of Color, and all women. And even though I have no idea exactly what I’m doing just yet, I know I will soon begin learning information to help assist mothers in various ways with infant feeding, and this is just the beginning. Building bridges and raising awareness — paving the way to more success and empowerment in the fight against disparities. I am honored to be a part of this.