Breastfeeding rates in the United States remain significantly lower for black mamas than for white mamas and black women are nine times more likely to be given formula at the hospital than white women. This discrepancy is problematic, but it's especially troubling given that black infants have higher rates of prematurity and infant mortality than white babies and breastfeeding could help.
As the nation acknowledges our long history of racial inequality and persistent forms of structural racism, we need to add breastfeeding to that list as well.
A recent article in The New York Times highlights the gap in breastfeeding rates, while also spotlighting efforts around the country to ensure that all mamas have the education, resources, and support necessary not only to start breastfeeding, but also to continue breastfeeding throughout their baby's first year.
One of those places is University of Cincinnati Medical Center, where they have one of the highest rates of infant mortality in the country. Thanks to a dedicated Lactation and Women's Health Team, they're committed to offering community education for traditionally underserved mamas and making sure that any mamas who visit the hospital have access to private and dignified spaces to pump breast milk or breastfeed their babies.
Assistant Chief Nursing Officer, Ruby Hemphill-Crawford, is leading the charge, first in certifying UCMC as a designated baby-friendly hospital and second as ensuring that all patients, guests, faculty, and staff have a clean and dignified space to pump or breastfeed with the Mamava Suites.
In celebration of National Breastfeeding Month, we connected Tommee Tippee with Ruby and her team at UC Health to donate 150 breast pumps for any new moms without financial resources. As Ruby says,
"University of Cincinnati Medical Center is very proud to serve a diverse population of women and infants in our community and beyond. We will make the donated Tommee Tippee pumps available to our most vulnerable and under resourced new moms who do not have the financial means to purchase a breast pump. Having access to the pumps for those in need supports our UC Health purpose: To advance healing and reduce suffering.”
We are so proud to partner with mama-focused companies like Tommee Tippee and places like UC Health because our mission at Mamava is to ensure breastfeeding is a right for all mamas, rather than a privilege for the few who have access to the necessary support, time, and space.
We're committed to making sure that mamas have everything they need to continue breastfeeding. Our pods provide a dignified space to pump or breastfeed and our free mobile app empowers mamas to find those places wherever they go.