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Unpacking the Invisible Diaper Bag of White Privilege: An Overview of Racial Inequities in Breastfeeding Support

by Cynthia Good, MS, LMHCA, IBCLC, CATSM
  • Duration: 60 Mins
  • Credits: 0.75 CERP, 0.75 L-CERP
  • Learning Format: Webinar
  • Handout: Yes
  • Origin: GOLD Lactation 2014

White lactation specialists and white-dominated breastfeeding institutions in the US and other societies are vulnerable to manifesting racial bias—even unintentionally—due to their unseen and unearned white privilege and power. Antiracism work is an inherent part of avoiding bias and developing cultural competence, an ethical obligation of many lactation specialists and an inherent part of fulfilling institutional missions to serve mothers without discrimination. This session 1) provides an overview of the impact upon breastfeeding of racial inequities in health status, birth experience, maternal and infant perinatal outcomes, health care, employment, education, housing, and access to effective breastfeeding support and information that result from individual, institutional, and systemic racism, 2) helps participants understand how white privilege and power create racial inequities in breastfeeding support, and 3) invites participants to recognize and embrace their individual and collective responsibility to help dismantle institutional racism in the field of breastfeeding support.

Learning Objectives:

Objective 1: List four types of racism.
Objective 2: Explain why learning how to recognize and undo racism is a fundamental part of developing cultural competence for lactation specialists.
Objective 3: List 3 examples of institutional racism in the field of breastfeeding support.
Objective 4: Describe 3 steps that white lactation specialists can take to help reduce institutional racism in breastfeeding support.