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"It's Giving...": 5 DMV (ish) Organizations to Support for #GivingTuesday

Giving Tuesday was created in 2012 as a simple idea: a day that encourages people to do good. Over the past eight years, this idea has grown into a global movement that inspires hundreds of millions of people to give, collaborate, and celebrate generosity. This year's Giving Tuesday will be December 1, 2020 ( its typically the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving). To celebrate, I decided to highlight a few local organizations that I *LOVE* (3 of which are Black woman led!!) that you should support for #GivingTuesday as they work to improve maternal/ child health disparities, and lactation, which if you haven't noticed by now is my jam. Now y'all come into this room and support these people *Tabitha Brown voice*


Mamatoto Village

Mamatoto Village is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit based in Northeast Washington DC, primarily serving birthing families in communities "East of the River" (Washington's Wards 7 and 8) which are largely Black and socioeconomically disadvantaged. Their work centers around all aspects of reproductive justice, decreasing maternal health disparities, and empowering of communities through support and career pathways. I trained with Mamatoto in October 2018 as a lactation specialist, and they are truly a community of life- bringers, doing everything with the warmth and love of female kinfolk. I was most inspired by their model of community training- mothers who have received services can go on to train with senior perinatal community health workers, opening the door to career development and investment. They were rated as one of DC's best nonprofits in 2018.

You can donate to Mamatoto here.

Maryland Breastfeeding Coalition

Maryland Breastfeeding Coalition (MBC) is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to advocating for the rights of breast/ chestfeeding families in Maryland. I may be more than a little biased with this pick, but their IBCLC of Color Scholarship deserves recognition. The scholarship is awarded to 2 aspiring lactation professionals of color, who are currently advocating for change in their respective communities. The scholarship will cover the last phase of certification- either a 95 hour lactation/ communication education course OR an internship and the testing fees associated with the International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) exam. MBC is committed to reducing the barriers to equitable lactation care and ensuring that families of color have access to providers that look like and understand them.

You can donate to MBC here.

Family Connects- Prince Georges Child Resource Center

Family Connects is an internationally recognized program created by Duke University that offers home visiting based services to support newborns and their caregivers. Prince George's Child Resource Center (PGCRC) will be the home base for the new Family Connects Maryland program. Family Connects ensures vulnerable babies and their families are connected to resources to help them thrive- which may include postpartum care and lactation support, social services, Head Start, WIC and others.

You can read more about the Family Connects model here.

You can donate to PGCRC here.

The Bloom Collective Baltimore

The Bloom Collective was the collaborative brainchild of Tanay Harris of MommyUp, Desiree Israel of Motherland Co., and Stephanie Etienne of Bridge Midwifery. Founded in 2018, Bloom Collective supports birthing and postpartum families in Baltimore, and addresses the multifaceted issues around Black maternal mortality and reproductive justice. Their informative panels and webinars bring many key stakeholders to the table. Key partnerships include the Black Mamas Matter Alliance and Black Breastfeeding Week, which spurred the Bloom Collective Certified Breastfeeding Specialist Cohort- a group of 15 Black women trained to be professional lactation supporters. Current offerings include virtual parenting, postpartum, and lactation support groups; as well as a childbirth education class led by their resident midwife Ms. Etienne.

You can learn more about Bloom via their Facebook.

Contact them for donation opportunities here.


Honorable Mention:

They aren't solely based in the DMV/ MD , but I support the work they do 110%.

Perinatal Mental Health Alliance for People of Color

Co- founded again by Bloom/ Motherland Co.'s Desiree Israel and Philadelphia based Jabina Coleman of The Lactation Therapist/ Life House Lactation, PMHA- POC aims to bring support and awareness to perinatal mood and anxiety disorders for families and providers of color. PMHA- POC is a subsidiary of Postpartum Support International (PSI). Donations help go towards trainings and scholarships for perinatal mental health providers of color.

Donate to them here.


Help grow The Mama's Dula!

I'm not big on making personal asks, but my dream is to relaunch The Mama's Dula as a lifestyle brand focusing on postpartum support- focusing on my skills in lactation and postpartum care. This is something that's been on my heart for a long time, and I'm working to not make perfection the enemy of good. Donations to the blog will help with startup costs and overhead fees, and cover potential services for Medicaid and WIC- eligible clients. This is a special population I have come to love dearly through my work with the Babies Born Healthy Program, and I want to ensure that ability to pay is never a barrier to receiving care.

Find me here:

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!!


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