Breastfeeding rates for Black women are significantly lower than non-Black race/ethnicities although we know that breastmilk, often referred to as “liquid gold”, has immense physiological and psychological benefits for both moms and babies. According to the CDC, while 75% of White women have breastfed, only 58.9% of Black women have. Join Maritza Franqui and Weyu Hodge, CHI Implementation Advisors, to examine the social and economic contexts, as well as policy implications that impact these rates and ways to help promote breastfeeding within the Black community.
Weyu Hodge, MPH, CHI Implementation Advisor, brings over 10 years of experience working to improve racial and health disparities for communities across borders. She is a native New Yorker with a passion to empower communities of African descent by building local capacity and social justice advocacy. Her work across Africa, Asia, and Latin America involved coaching medical providers and local governments to improve access to medical care and address social inequities. Weyu’s life work reflects her passion for bringing conversations of racial disparities and inequities to the forefront while empowering black and brown communities.
Maritza Franqui, MPH, CD, CLC, CHI Implementation Advisor, has dedicated her public health career to the improvement of maternal and child health in Black and Brown communities. As a native of Brooklyn, NY, she provided volunteer doula services to adolescent girls, helping them navigate the healthcare system while providing them with the critical social-emotional support they needed to buffer the negative effects of toxic stress. She believes that the provision of equitable, holistic care and access to wellness education across the reproductive health and birthing continuum, in addition to systemic change, are fundamental to long-term, positive health outcomes for families of color. Maritza will be joining the UC, San Francisco’s newest cohort of nurse-midwife candidates this Summer.
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