+
A new program in Mississippi is helping Black mothers breastfeed. Here's why it's crucial.
via Pexels.com

The Delta Baby Cafe in Sunflower County, Mississippi is providing breastfeeding assistance where it's needed most.

Mississippi has the third lowest rate of breastfeeding in America. Only 70% of infants are ever-breastfed in the state, compared to 84% nationally.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends infants be exclusively breastfed for their first six months of life. However, in Mississippi, less than 40% are still breastfeeding at six months.


The population of Sunflower County is 74% Black and studies show that only 69% of Black mothers breastfeed their babies at birth, 16% fewer than white mothers.

There are multiple reasons why Black women are less likely to breastfeed their children. First, according to the CDC, maternity wards that serve large Black populations are less likely to help Black women initiate breastfeeding after birth or provide lactation support afterward.

via PixaBay

"With breastfeeding specifically, there's an assumption when [Black] women give birth that they're not going to breastfeed, and they're not offered the same kind of assistance. They're offered formulas right away. There is no attention paid to potential health risks," Andrea Freeman, law professor and author of "Skimmed: Breastfeeding, Race, and Injustice," told NPR.

Black women are are also overrepresented in low-wage jobs which tend to have inflexible schedules and provide less maternity leave.

"Policies that enable taking paid leave after giving birth, flexible work schedules, and support for breastfeeding or expressing milk at work might help improve breastfeeding intention, initiation, and duration," a CDC study says.

To add to the issue, Black babies have a greater chance of being born premature or with low birth weight. "Black women have babies born too small and too soon," Kimberly Seals Allers, a maternal and infant health strategist, told PBS. "Those babies need breastmilk the most."

Research suggests that breastfed babies face a lower risk of developing diabetes, obesity, asthma, digestive tract, ear, and respiratory infections.

via PixaBay

The Delta Baby Cafe, supported by the Delta Health Alliance, provides support for new mothers by teaching logistical techniques, such as how to position the baby while feeding. It also provides access to breast pumps, and breastfeeding education.

"I started attending the breastfeeding classes, then it just got easier and easier," Kaylyn Walker said. "It's definitely a different experience (than with her first daughter who was bottle-ed). So like I said, I didn't plan on going this long but, you know, with my daughter, if it's something she likes then I'm okay with it. And it helps her as well with her immune system. Anything that's helping her, I'm okay with it."

The Baby Cafe's main goal is to increase the number of women in Sunflower County who breastfeed, but to also reduce the stigma associated with breastfeeding. By supporting over 80 new mothers a month and promoting breastfeeding as a women's health issue, hopefully this will increase breastfeeding numbers in the county.

"When you start by having programs and having things available for women, you begin to see that this is a part of a woman's health," says Jacqueline Lambert who launched the Baby Cafe last year. "I think most of it, the stigma, is because we just don't see it. And when you don't see a thing, you don't think it's normal."

Joy

Delivery driver's reaction to snacks left for him shows how a little kindness goes a long way

'Seeing a grown man get so excited about Capri Sun is extra wholesome.'

"Dee" the delivery guy stoked to get some Doritos.

Sometimes the smallest gesture can change someone’s day for the better, especially when that act of kindness lets them know their work is appreciated. Over the last few years, delivery drivers have done a fantastic job keeping people healthy during the pandemic, so Toni Hillison Barnett told News 11 that she and her husband started a tradition of leaving snacks for their drivers on the front porch.

The Barnetts, who live in Louisville, Kentucky, can see the drivers' reactions by recording them on their doorbell cameras. “I live for reactions like this to our snack cart! Thx to all of the delivery drivers out there! We appreciate you!” Toni wrote on an Instagram post.

Recently, one of the Barnetts’ delivery guys, a joyous fellow that we believe is known as Dee, went viral on TikTok because of his positive reaction to receiving some snacks during his deliveries. The snacks are tasty, no doubt. But it’s also wonderful to feel appreciated. After Toni posted the video, it received more than 100,000 views.

“Oh my God, you guys are the best, I gotta take a snapshot of this,” Dee can be heard saying in the video. “Oh, Capri Suns are my favorite, Yes!”

Keep ReadingShow less
Joy

In 2018 Chadwick Boseman returned to his alma mater to give an unforgettable speech

The Black Panther star left behind so many powerful memories.

Photo pulled from YouTube video

Chadwick Boseman delivers amazing commencement speech.

This article originally appeared on 05.14.18


Howard University alumnus Chadwick Boseman returned to the school to deliver its commencement address.

Speaking to Howard's class of 2018, Boseman channeled his inner T'Challa for an engaging, inspiring half hour filled with bits of wisdom for students and onlookers alike.

Keep ReadingShow less

Phil Collins and George Harrison

This article originally appeared on 12.01.21


Beatle George Harrison was pigeon-holed as the "Quiet Beatle," but the youngest member of the Fab Four had an acerbic, dry sense of humor that was as sharp as the rest of his bandmates.

He gave great performances in the musical comedy classics, "A Hard Days Night" and "Help!" while holding his own during The Beatles' notoriously anarchic press conferences. After he left the band in 1970, in addition to his musical career, he would produce the 1979 Monty Python classic, "The Life of Brian."

Keep ReadingShow less
Pop Culture

Christopher Meloni responded to a fan's 'Law & Order: SVU' themed wedding invitation

Fans have some hilarious suggestions for how to make the most of his appearance.

Nothing beats a response from the Zaddy himself.

You may have heard of Christopher Meloni. You know, the actor who’s starred in 12 seasons of a little show called “Law & Order: SVU"? Whose character was so popular he got his own spinoff show? The originator of the “zaddy” moniker? Yeah, that guy.

Well, it’s no secret that the 61-year-old actor, and the show that put him on the map, has a loyal fan base. Recently, a couple, clearly dedicated to the show, decided to tie the knot with a series of “Law & Order”-themed wedding invitations. Naturally, they invited Detective Elliot Stabler himself.

“Chris, please come to my wedding,” tweeted Kelly Heenan, the bride-to-be. Along with her request, she posted a photo of her wedding invitation, which was a spitting image of the show's iconic poster.

The couple’s dedication apparently paid off, because Meloni replied with a simple “and do what?” This set off a hilarious slew of suggestions from fans, who knew exactly how to make the most of this proposed appearance.

Keep ReadingShow less