MyBrownBaby Moms, Dads and Friends,
My friend, fellow blogger and black mom champion Kimberly Seals Allers of MochaManual.com needs our help. As part of her fellowship project with the Kellogg Foundation, she’s collecting stories of black women and men and their breastfeeding experiences—interviews, video diaries or audio clips that she’ll use to create an online content library and “Listening Library” of black breastfeeding stories. Kimberly is looking for all sorts of experiences—from women who breastfed three days, those who breastfed three years, those who didn’t breastfeed at all, teen moms and older moms, too. She would like to hear from mothers, fathers and even grandparents about their breastfeeding experiences and their thoughts on and ideas about it.
Kimberly’s goal is to show that all sorts of black women DO breastfeed and that WE should be telling OUR stories.
To simplify and expedite the collection of stories, Kimberly set up a toll-free 800 number (800.780.7305) with a recorded line so that participants can call and leave an “audio clip” of their breastfeeding experience. The clip should be around two minutes or less, and you should work from the following suggested scripts:
1.My name is (first name only) ____from (city, state)____and I had my first breastfeeding experience at ______years old. _______________ encouraged me to breastfeed. (Examples: My doctor, OB/Gyn, mom, friends, WIC counselor, nobody.)
2. In a word, my breastfeeding experience was ________________. (Please be honest: disappointing, exciting, scary as hell, a nightmare, brief, orgasmic… are all acceptable answers.)
3. I say this because ______ (then briefly explain why you said previous answer. Examples: I was scared all the time. I had no support from my mom. I loved bonding with my child, etc…).
4. I think my breastfeeding experience was different/easier/harder as a younger mom because______ (if you don’t feel there was any difference in your experience, your family’s response, the response of strangers, etc, then you can skip this one). My biggest challenge was __________________________.
5. Breastfeeding changed______ (Examples: the way I think about my body, how I bonded with my child, my relationship with my husband/boyfriend, my compassion for moms who can’t/don’t, my appreciation for stopping and slowing down to feed my child, the shape of my breasts forever, etc.).
6. Ultimately, I breastfed because_____.
1. My name is _________________ and I was _________years old when my wife/partner/girlfriend decided to breastfeed.
2. At first I thought_______________________but later I was/realized that____________________________________.
3. If there was anything that I didn’t like/didn’t realize/surprised me about her breastfeeding, it is that __________________________________.
4. In the end I’m _____________(glad, proud, disappointed…) my baby was breastfed because ___________________________.
Call 800.780.7305 and tell Kimberly your story. Both she and I appreciate your participation and trust that with your stories, the voices of black parents will be lifted in a way that they never have been before.
Mom. NY Times bestselling author. Pop culture ninja. Unapologetic lover of shoes, bacon and babies. Nice with the verbs. Founder of the top black parenting website, MyBrownBaby.