Many American women are blind to the fact that baby formula and breast feeding have many different effects on a childs health. There are manifold health reasons why mothers should breast feed, for instance, breast milk contains certain anti-bodies that fight off viruses that babies can obtain. Statistics show that women living in low income areas, young, and is a women of minority, are less likely to breast feed their children (Breastfeeding Medicine), so I believe educating them on how to live a healthy life style before the baby is born and the pros of breast feeding, can slowly eliminate this problem.
To execute this issue, I will start off trying to eliminate it in my own community. There is a community center a couple of blocks from my house called the Robinson’s Community Center. At the center they offer a variety of classes throughout the day that people can take, like colleges readiness and single parenting. Because the community center is in somewhat of rural area, they have classes that teach and prepare people for certain situations. I would like the young women in my community to be educated about how to promote a healthy baby. I will be contacting the centers activites coordinator and asking about how to get a class started at the center. The class will be a two part series surrounding the ideas of how to have a healthy pregnancy and the long term effects of feeding a baby breast milk. I would not be teaching the classes myself, instead I will ask my church community for help and support. A women by the name of Paula Birdsong is the head coordinator of Precious Ones Infant and Mortality Ministry at my church Center of Praise , and their mission is to help young women and women of color get through their pregnancies healthy and stand side by side with the women even after the babies are born. I am going to ask her is she knows any women who can educate others about this topic if she can not herself. To get the word out, I will ask my church to post the class in the weekly bulletain and on their website. Also, I would like to put fylers up in the local schools and grocery stores promoting the class.
A potential problem that I can run into is if no one is intrested and does not showing up to the class. I have noticed that many people aroung this particular community do not even know about all the helpful classes the center has to offer, therefore they do not attend. My solution would be to better advertise the events and reach out to the community a little more. If reaching out does not work, I would try and find a way to bring the topic to them, to somehow incorporate it into the schools health curiculum.
This proposal is viable because many women especially living in more rural areas are not educated on how breastfeeding is cheaper in the long run. When a baby is breast fed it lowers the obesity rate of that child, therefore, when the child grows older, he or she has less of a chance being overweight compared to a child that is fed formula. Since the child will substain a normal weight, that cuts down the cost of any medical problems the child could have had. Not only does it lower the medical bill, but also takes stress of parents because they do not have to worry about how they are going to pay for their childs eight hundred dollar surgery. Everyone could be healthier in the long run, if mothers could take six to twelve months out their lives to breastfeed their children.
I hope these classes will inform and encourage these women to be aware of what the future holds concerning their babies health, also I would like to see that statistic change in my community and potentionally in others.
The conversation women have with eachother about breastfeeding should not be that one asks the question, “are you going to breastfeed?” and the other answers with a simple “yes” or “no”. Instead the women should go into depth about the pros and cons of breastfeeding because one never knows what someone else does not know.
Knowledge is the one thing that will make the classes successful. Once I reach out to a stable and well educated person for this job, the classes will take off regaurding information. Money will not be an issue because the only things involving buying stuff is if there is any sort of demonstration where I will have to go out and buy the items. I will be asking the community center to use the space they have available to hold the class. I have looked into it and it is a free space for the community to use as long as it is booked ahead of time.
The women attending these classes will gain awareness, health tips, and save money in the future. The community they will be coming from is one that does not get the benefits and educational resources they need to live a long healthy life, but by bringing in the class, it will be informing them that there are other ways to be the best mother you can be at a lower cost.