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#NormalizeNursing a Soulful Mama Lifestyle

 YaYa Dacosta spreads breastfeeding truth on Instagram

Greetings Soulful Mamas!

When I was rebranding my business I didn’t have to think too long about my tag line. I knew I wanted black women to connect with their soulful wisdom, and I knew I wanted to focus on pregnancy, birth & lifestyle. I’ve been getting some questions lately about the “lifestyle” portion of my work & offerings.  I thought I’d share with you today the essence of the Soulful Mama Lifestyle and how sometimes my own Soul Song gets challenged.

What comes after pregnancy & birth…? Motherhood. Soulful Lifestyle is everything Mama. For me that includes Babymoons, Breastfeeding, Self Care, Attachment Parenting, Babywearing, Yoga, Rest & Nutrition. To name a few. I’m constantly evolving as a mother, and so will you. There is no one “mothering method” that is going to fit all women. That’s the beauty of learning to listen to your Soul Song, the voice of your intuition. She will lead you, and your Soulful Lifestyle will look very different than mine.

As a Pregnancy Empowerment Coach I try very hard to let judgment pass me by. It’s not to say that judgement does not exist, but how I channel it matters to me. This morning as I was finding inspiration for this blog post I definitely hit a big ole’ FAIL (As my 11 year old son would say) in the judgement department.

I was completely inspired by an image I came across on Instagram yesterday of actress YaYa Dacosta breastfeeding her sweet babe. The hashtag was #NormalizeNursing. Passionate Lifestyle site for black women Madame Noir, picked up the story and I told some undeserving black woman who was not in support of the photo in the comment thread to “Put a blanket over her own head!” Then, I copy & pasted my comment onto my Facebook page. What in the world is the matter with me? Why not focus on the overwhelming support for this gorgeous pic? Why not comment about how proud I am to be an advocate of breastfeeding? Why not post my own dang #NormalizeNursing photo? I’ll tell you why.

My Soul Song is dedicated to mothers breastfeeding. The photo of this beautiful mama breastfeeding inspires me even more than other breastfeeding content online because I am fiercely devoted to black mothers breastfeeding.  My entire being wants black women to know that breastfeeding is actually saving our baby’s lives.  I realize that my rude comment about breastfeeding in public had nothing to do with the idea that we live in a culture that sees breasts as a pleasure stimulation, but it was a result of a deep hurt in knowing that black babies are more likely to die before their first birthday than white babies.1 Low birth weight is a serious complication & black babies are at the highest risk for this birth outcome. Breastfeeding can directly improve this birth outcome and save babies who might not otherwise celebrate their first birthday. How’s that for incentive to Normalize Nursing? 

Media shapes the world we live in. If every black model, actress, musician, politician or any other black woman in media spotlight shared breastfeeding shots like the one that inspired my writing today, our community and our community’s babies would benefit significantly. So with the understanding that my comment was a result of a very real and heartbreaking outcome for mothers and babies, I am sorry for my judgement FAIL.

In the future I will rise above my judgment, continue to spread my Soulful Mama truth with positivity, light and hope that my tribe will also rise above our challenges and make Breastfeeding a normal part of our lifestyle.

How do you #NormalizeNursing ? Speak Your Mind in the comments below.

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1. http://www.jointcenter.org/hpi/sites/all/files/IM-Breastfeeding.pdf