By Hannah Schenker
Whenever you see a woman breastfeeding a child, it can be tempting to assume that it was always so easy, that it just comes naturally to all mothers. But breastfeeding, for many women, is rife with struggles and surprises. Learning to feed your child takes time and perseverance, and of course gleaning as much knowledge and wisdom as you can along the way. Books, articles, videos, classes…rap songs? We think it’s pretty rad that TaNefer Camara Lumukanda, an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant and breastfeeding advocate, managed to fit an entire breastfeeding class into a 3 minute rap song: Teach Me How to Breastfeed!
In a lighthearted, straight-talking kinda way, Teach Me How to Breastfeed covers everything from the different kinds of newborn poop, to dispelling breastfeeding myths. While this is great information for all mothers, TaNefer created the song with her own community in mind. Having struggled with breastfeeding her own child, TaNefer wanted to reach more women to teach them this valuable information and encourage them to breastfeed. African American women continue to have very low breastfeeding rates, and she wanted to do her bit to turn that around.
“People in my family and community had high rates of diabetes, asthma, obesity, heart disease, and infant mortality, just to name a few. When I found out that breastfeeding was a preventative and protective factor, I knew that this is what I was called to do. In my studies, I learned that Black women had low breastfeeding rates. I set a goal to change that, to impact my community and the world. Teach me how to breastfeed was my gift to the world,” TaNefer told Mothering.
With no funding and no budget, TaNefer created the video with the help of videographers Paola Laverde and Colin Franklin.
This really was a project born out of love.