I am a Black British born, sister and mother from a Jamaican family, I live and work within a multicultural community, in London UK.
The Breastfeeding Culture Safety Course was created after witnessing the disparities in breastfeeding and the lack of inclusion for people from Black, Asian and Ethnic Minorities.
From 2007 I have worked in the NHS maternity unit, I have supported breastfeeding families in, SCBU, Delivery Suite, Birthing Centre, Antenatal Clinic, Postnatal Ward, Tongue-Tie Clinic and within the community. I also work privately supporting families.
With my years of experience, I have not only witnessed the uptake of families breastfeeding but have also witnessed the lack of breastfeeding practitioners who look like me. When working in the NHS I have experienced being in a position where I was given additional roles within breastfeeding but when I ask to be sent on a course to benefit my development in breastfeeding on paper, outside of what was offered to me, management tried to avoid engaging with me directly and asking me to speak to different members of the management team, I was passed me around in circles, until I decided to send emails and ensured I copied them all in, this was when I managed to get a face to face response. I was then told that there was no funds available. But I was ready, I had the funds. I then asked if I paid for the course for myself will I be able to take the days off as study leave, my manager’s face went red and after a stutter or two she then said I could take the time off.
I had enough playing 2 roles, Maternity Care Assistant and Breastfeeding Specialists with no real recognition for my work, but additional workload, many of my colleagues saw this and believed I deserved more and was being taken advantage of. I loved my job, but started to become frustrated with the feeling of being stagnant which was why I had to push for change, and what helped me to keep headstrong was the support from an outstanding Black Midwife named Jayne Bekoe and my other half.
I also remember being told from the breastfeeding specialist midwife (white women) which I worked alongside with, that I should focus on raising my family. This is the same midwife who I have witnessed make microaggressive jokes towards people of different ethnicities in front of me, towards families we supported. Deep down I know she did not have great intentions for my development but great intentions for me to be her hands and feet in supporting families and helping reduce her workload, but I loved my role which kept me doing the job, I just knew that I will find a way to develop myself as I was determined to grow, and after being in the NHS for many years I also witnessed the lack of promotion for people of colour, especially my black colleagues. This made me ready to step outside the box.
I started up a company called 1-2-1 Breastfeeding Support in 2015, this company then merged to 1-2-1 Doula & Breastfeeding Support, as I still felt the need to do more for mothers and their families, I started looking into maternity courses, which led me to train to become a recognised Doula. This allowed me to provide all-rounder continuous support for new/expectant parents, including breastfeeding support which was something that I specialised in since 2007 as my passion grew in this area within my first few weeks working in the hospital maternity department and undergoing the UNICEF Breastfeeding Management course, learning how beneficial and important breastfeeding/breastmilk was for mother and baby, and how much support was lacking in this area.
When working privately, I independently launched Black Breastfeeding Week UK (BBW) in 2018. I have spoken at a few breastfeeding events such as, The Breastfeeding Network Annual Conference, The Milton Keynes Breastfeeding Festival, and have written and shared a few blogs in regards to breastfeeding in the black community.
I solely launched a breastfeeding campaign, Breaking Breastfeeding Barriers & Uplifting Education, at BBW UK 2019 event, from the back of this, a colleague and I birthed a non- profit Black, African and Caribbean breastfeeding organisation Breaking Breastfeeding Barriers in 2020.
I am an advocate for cultural safety in maternity, predominantly within breastfeeding as there is a great lack of awareness in this area, this has led me to create a much needed course “Breastfeeding Culture Safety – Online Course for Practitioners” to help close the disparities in breastfeeding and infant mortality.
Learn more or book onto the breastfeeding culture safety online course here: Breastfeeding Culture Safety – Online Course for Practitioners.
Receive 10% discount with this code: bcs1021
Let’s make breastfeeding inclusive for all families from every race and cultural background!
Together we can!!