Birth is a social justice issue. Lactation and feeding your baby HUMAN milk is a social justice issue. Access to adequate support and resources during pregnancy and postpartum is a social justice issue.
At risk populations include pregnant, lactating and postpartum Black, Indigenous and people of color, immigrant, and LGBTQ+ families. This is heightened drastically during formula/abm shortages, natural disasters, pandemics, regional conflict and other circumstances.
How are they impacted? *
For Birth- The US currently ranks 55th globally for maternal mortality rates with 2/3rds of those being preventable. Of those deaths, black and latina maternal mortality rates are 4x times higher than their white counterparts. This is unacceptable for the resources available to us in this nation and it’s a direct reflection of the racism and problematic nature of the medical industrial complex.
For Lactation- Human milk is the optimal source of nutrition. By not feeding your child human milk, you are at increased risk for various ailments including high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, breast cancer and your infant is at increased risk of various infections, lower gut health, SIDS, type 1 diabetes and more. Studies have shown the disparities in racial and ethnic groups with nursing initiation. While actual numbers vary between regions and states, the problem persists everywhere. Birth Twin Cities supports all feeding decisions with empathy and compassion for the journey parents go to feed their child(ren). It’s one thing to choose to end lactation for various personal reasons, but it’s another thing to desire to nurse/body feed your infant and not have the resources available to make that happen. BIPOC women are historically/statistically not supported or given resources to achieve their lactation goals- and that, my friends, is a huge problem.
For infants- black infants are 2x more likely to die during their first year than white infants. Infants that are not given human milk are at higher risk of illness their first year of life.
Birth Twin Cities is committed to serving, providing accessible/equitable care and connecting individuals to resources within the community. If finances are ever a concern for a service, please know that Birth Twin Cities offers sliding scale, barter, gift card and payment plan options for families to receive the support they need.
This special time in people’s lives should be SUPPORTED, HEALING and JOYFUL! We want to help you experience just that.
*this is not intended to be a comprehensive list, rather a starting point in bringing awareness of Birth Justice.