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Afrykayn Moon's picture

Tell us about View From A Rack and how it began.

Moon: I started View From A Rack because countless women have numerous questions about breastfeeding and mothering and there was really no one to ask. A lot of women reached out to me and needed to have someone they could trust to show them they are capable of so much more than they ever knew possible. So I said let’s do a show where all the scores of questions mothers had could be answered on a weekly basis.

Rebecca: In April 2014, Moon contacted me to ask if I would like to be a co-host with her on View From A Rack. I happily accepted.

Tell us about an experience you've had that conveys the importance of your this project.

Moon: On one of our shows we spoke about “feeling aroused” while you breastfeed. After the show we got 10 emails from women saying they were pregnant and that was a fear they held, but they were afraid to talk with anyone about it. We provided a forum where questions like these could be addressed in a safe learning atmosphere which helped to remove the stigma associated with this taboo type of question.

Rebecca: Recently an African American father of 8 formula-fed children contacted us via e-mail to tell us before he listened to VFAR he had no understanding of the power of breastfeeding and its importance.  Now, he has grasped the full perspective of the need to breastfeed our babies and the vital role men can play in the promotion and support of lactation and its duration. Reading his testimony affirmed the work we do weekly..

Moon: We had another show with men sharing their thoughts on the role of fathers in breastfeeding. That show was a big hit, men and women alike emailed us saying the dad was starting to feel left out and how much the show had helped them.

What data do you use to show the importance of breastfeeding and the impact of your work?

Moon: I do not share many statistics. We speak to experts in the field of lactation, experienced mothers, licensed midwives, doulas and other specialists in the fields of childbirth, nutrition and education. The biggest hang up parents have is uncertainty, we provide them with information and resources to be confident parents.Too many parents have been discouraged because of reading loads of statistics about baby formula and contradictory data about the effects of these things, good or bad, on the health of infants and children, which leads many to self-doubt and fear. View From a Rack is here to share knowledge from the perspective of mothers who have been there, in order to help others to make empowered decisions about their children.

Rebecca: With my background in lactation and training we use not only evidenced-based information, we also use our African-centered holistic awareness of our Ancestral and indigenous knowledge which has been authoritatively suppressed by academia.

What is one thing the person reading this can do to support View From A Rack?

Moon: Listen to the show and share the knowledge they have learned with others.

Rebecca: The most important choice a person can make to support VFAR is to listen every Tuesday at 9pm EST.

What is an area of breastfeeding support that is being overlooked and what should be done about it?

Moon: Not to sound redundant but I think the “one” thing being overlooked is a mother’s right to feed and care for her child(ren) in the manner that she sees fit in regards to breastfeeding and restoring confidence in our ability to parent our children without outside interference from doctors, corporations or government entities that attempt to dictate how children are born, fed and raised.

Rebecca: Funding is the number one area of breastfeeding support that is constantly being overlooked.  Not just year-to-year non-profit funding is needed, but the essential type of funding and financial backing that will create an indestructible foundation of appropriate compensation for lactation professionals and all those who work around the industry is paramount to the sustainability of the lactation professional field.  Another extremely vital piece being ignored is the lobbying and political strength needed to build a firm respect and response from local, state, and federal politicians, as well as policy makers. We need to ensure the various levels of government work for us without hesitation. Even if we have to establish a more extensive academic curriculum and licensing, we need to stop playing a game with the industry's requirements and start staking a claim in the medical professional industry.

What's your favorite breastfeeding resource (ie, article, blog post, video, website)?

Moon: Ms. Wrights Way,” “What the b**p am I doing?!,” “Occupy Breastfeeding,” and of course “View From A Rack” and many more. Every time I see another blog site about breastfeeding, mothering and parenting I can’t help but smile. We need all the encouragement we can handle.

My absolute favorite breastfeeding resource was Mothering Magazine. Now, I appreciate  Ultimately, I abundantly appreciate my African American Elder Sistas who recognize the spiritual and holistic elements to breastfeeding that lead to maternal enlightenment and is a source of health knowledge.

This post is part of #BlkBFing Next Door: Local changemakers in the African-American breastfeeding movement shine for Black History Month. Read more posts here.

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