connecticut in color

Lactation consultant helps Black mothers on breastfeeding journey

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Friday marks the start of Black Breastfeeding week and in Connecticut, one professional lactation consultant has made it her mission to teach Black women that they can breastfeed and there is support from people who look like them to do it.

Danielle Freeman is the founder of Milkin’ Melanin Lactation Services, which is dedicated to helping mothers on their breastfeeding journey. She started it in 2021 after realizing some of the disparities among new mothers.

“I got my start as the WIC, breastfeeding peer counselor, and I was able to be exposed to the disparities in the Black community. And once I became certified, I wanted to go into private practice in order to support families directly in the capacity that I could,” Freeman said.

Those disparities are staggering. Studies show African American women have the lowest breastfeeding rates compared to any racial or ethnic group in the United States.

At Milkin’ Melanin, Freeman guides moms and mom-to-be through the steps to breastfeed -- from latching, to how to know if their babies are eating, and more.

“When they're coming in not knowing what to expect, or not knowing if this is even an option for them, I meet them where they're at. Definitely providing the education and then offering them options so that they can decide what's best for them and their baby.”

This Saturday, August 26, Milkin’ Melanin is hosting its second annual Black Breastfeeding event at the Wilson Library Branch in New Haven in partnership with Lucinda’s House.

Click here to learn more about the event and Milkin’ Melanin’s services.

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