Presentation Information

Brandi Gates

The Power of Mentorship

  • Speaker: Brandi Gates , IBCLC
  • Presentation Type:
  • Duration: 60 Mins
  • Credits: 1 CERP, 1 Nursing CEU, 1 CME, 0.1 Midwifery CEU, 1 Dietetic CEU

In Alameda County, Black women are initiating exclusive breastfeeding, but only ~15% remain breastfeeding by 3 months. For impoverished Black women, especially those in their teen years or who may have less than high school education, these numbers are even lower (9-12%). There is minimum breastfeeding support for black families.
When Black mothers in West Oakland who received peer and professional breastfeeding support through Breast Friends, exclusive breastfeeding at 3 months rose to 63%. This project expanded the Breast Friends model to East Oakland while also training 12 new peer counselors (including 1 father), 24 new group facilitators, and enhancing breastfeeding messaging in the California Black Infant Health program. The project surpassed our expectations. 5 out of the 12 trained peer counselors are now working in other community organizations as Community health outreach worker, peer counselors, doulas and WIC staff.