For mothers, there is perhaps nothing more important than the health of their children, and when it comes to giving them the most and best nutrients from the very start, research has long proven that breastfeeding does exactly that. While every mother may not be able to breastfeed—and those who are able may find it incredibly challenging—when possible, it is an opportunity to both bond with and uniquely nourish your baby with proteins and antibodies tailored specifically to their developmental needs.
Next week, Aug. 25-31, is the eighth annual celebration of Black Breastfeeding Week, and this year’s theme is “Revive, Restore, Reclaim.” In hopes of doing exactly that, Sugaberry, the recently launched lifestyle brand and community for modern moms of color co-founded by actress, producer and entrepreneur Tika Sumpter and award-winning business executive Thai Randolph, is hosting its inaugural Milk & Suga Summit on Aug. 28, calling it “a bountiful day of virtual programming designed to celebrate, educate and empower Black moms on their breastfeeding journey.”
Per a release sent to The Glow Up, the Milk & Suga Summit is billed as “a day of virtual programming bringing together moms, doctors, doulas, nutritionists and midwives for candid conversations about the joys and challenges of Black breastfeeding.” For the free to the public livestream sponsored by organic baby and children’s clothing brand Monica + Andy, Tika and Thai will be joined by talent including actress and doula Yaya DaCosta, Dr. Jackie Walters from Bravo’s Married to Medicine, and celebrity wellness and lifestyle maven, author, doula and 2019 Root 100 honoree Latham Thomas.
“Milk & Suga is a showcase in celebrating significant joys of Black motherhood,” says Sumpter. “When I discovered I’d be a mom, I didn’t see spaces where we existed to embody the pleasures of this journey. We are not made up of only our pain and trauma, we need and deserve sweetness and my hope is the Milk & Suga Summit carves out a space I wish I saw back then.”
“There is a significant disparity in the rate at which Black mothers and White mothers breastfeed,” Randolph adds. “That gap is not driven by a mere matter of ‘preference,’ but rather is the byproduct of complex chasms in access to healthcare, representation and societal support that marginalizes Black moms and their babies during what’s supposed to be a special time in the mother/child development journey.”
Speaking to the frustrations of mothers unable to breastfeed, Randolph continues: “As a mom who faced challenges breastfeeding (and out of frustration ultimately opted not to), I am thrilled to create a space where Black women can be supported, celebrated and guided through their options to nourish their babies.”
Per the Sugaberry release, the day-long Milk & Suga Summit intends to be both inspiring and inclusive. Panels will include:
We’ve all heard about the value of “Liquid Gold” but we also know breastfeeding isn’t always an option for or preference of every mom. In this session, moms, nutritionists, and medical doctors will explore the fundamentals of keeping your child full, fed, and feeling fine – regardless of which path you choose.
It’s not latch and go for all of us and early struggles can be a deterrent for many new moms. Sure nursing can be lovely, but it can also be HARD. In this session, our lactation specialist will guide women on tips, tricks, and techniques for latching, pumping, and getting through the early parts of your breastfeeding journey.
Let go and let it flow. Breastfeeding isn’t all about the mechanics, it’s about your mindset. In this Doula-led session, we’ll get mantras and meditation exercises to relax your bodies and your mind when easing into Breastfeeding.
Join visible and vocal public figures on a quest to normalize the beauty of Black breastfeeding. Moms will share their experiences breastfeeding – from navigating public breastfeeding to showcasing their precious moments on social media.
Join the discussion! The Root is hosting its first-ever, virtual Root Institute, presented by Target, featuring several of the leading minds in our community talking about politics, culture, health, community building and social impact. Subscribe for updates today!