As the commercial renaissance explodes downtown, neighborhood-centered organizations like Brilliant Detroit and the Black Mothers’ Breastfeeding Association work to ensure that every family, not just the ones within a few miles of the RiverWalk, can share a bright future.
Last month, Brilliant Detroit and BMBFA joined forces with Evenflo Feeding and installed designated breastfeeding spaces at all seven of Brilliant Detroit’s “home-based hubs” across the city.
According to Brilliant Detroit’s website, the hubs now offer “safe, judgment-free breastfeeding zones and new programs to provide moms the resources, tools and support they need to have a successful breastfeeding journey,” and they’re continuing to offer family enrichment services like tutoring and free activities.
“We don’t just want our kids and our families to be taken care of, we want them to be enriched and uplifted every step of the way. A partnership with BMBFA was a match made in heaven,” says Brilliant Detroit CEO Cindy Eggleton.
Brilliant Detroit’s “belly to 8” philosophy contends that the time between infancy and age 8 are the most pivotal years in a child’s life, which lines up perfectly with BMBFA’s mission to strengthen maternal and community ties by reintroducing black mothers to the health and emotional benefits of breastfeeding and postpartum assistance.
BMBFA founder and executive director Kiddada Green says, “I was overjoyed with the relationship I built with my newborn through breastfeeding.” She says she wants other moms and babies to have an opportunity to build similar bonds.
She says, “Black Mothers’ Breastfeeding Club is not just about supporting breastfeeding. It’s also about transforming lives and activating the social capital inherent in all African American communities for improved health and vitality of all infants.”
Did You Know?…
• Only 25% of infants are exclusively breastfed until at least 6 months old, as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the World Health Organization.
• Black infants are 15% less likely to have ever been breastfed than white infants.
• Low rates of breastfeeding add more than $3 billion a year to medical costs for mom and baby in the United States.
• Breastfeeding can help lower a mother’s risk of high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, ovarian cancer, breast cancer and postpartum depression.
• Infants who are breastfed have reduced risks of asthma, obesity, ear and respiratory infections, sudden infant death syndrome and gastrointestinal infections.
• When mothers exclusively breastfeed, their bodies naturally stop ovulating, preventing pregnancy at a 98% success rate for the first six months.
• Breast milk is more than 80% water and, therefore, breastfed babies do not need water before 6 months old – even in a hot climate.
• If all babies were exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life, an estimated 800,000 children would be saved every year.