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African American Breastfeeding Network, Inc.

2016 Report to WALC


Background: In September 2015 AABN received a $1,000 grant from WALC. Initially

WALC asked AABN to use the funding for food; because food was already covered by

two other grants we received (United Way and the Wisconsin Partnership Program-
Lifecourse Initiative for Healthy Families) we got permission to use the funding to cover

costs to provide transportation to families wishing to attend our monthly Community

Breastfeeding Gatherings (CBGs) held at the Northside YMCA.

AABN has created the only breastfeeding support model that is culturally specific and

community-centered. The majority of participants are African Americans whose

financial resources are below the federal poverty limit. Unfortunately, for many

transportation is a luxury that is unattainable. AABN recognized this gap and has

offered transportation since 2010; however with recent funding cuts we were unable to

offer this important service.

Funding: AABN contracted services with IServe Transportation Company. Costs for

transportation for 12 months for one CBG site–we have two sites—is $3,600. It cost

$300 per event to transport 14 people. With WALC funding we were able to secure

transportation for 3 months (October, November and December). We added the

additional $100 to help offset transportation costs, and through donations were able to

secure an additional $1,800 to cover the remaining 6 months (January 2016 –June 2016).

Outcomes: During the 3 months in which we used WALC funding we had a total of 42

families use transportation services, which helped to double our attendance. By June

2016 we estimate 120 pregnant mothers will attend the CBGs. Our data indicates that

when women use our services initiation rates are 90% and exclusivity rates at 3 months

is 60%, higher than Wisconsin and the Country rates! Our data show also that pregnant

mothers attend at least 2 CBGs and attend one time during early postpartum, which

allows them one-on-one consultation with an IBCLC. Thus a great majority of the

pregnant moms attended multiple CBG to help build their breastfeeding confidence.

They are encouraged to bring a support person to the CBG. Families together build

natural supports (family, friends, peers) and leverage their support network. Mother

define breastfeeding success for themselves and AABN Peer counselors and Father Peer

Advocate help mothers achieve breastfeeding confidence and eventually reach her

breastfeeding goal.


Dalvery Blackwell, Co-Founder, Executive Director