Saving A Life One Percent At A Time

Have you ever wondered how you could help save a life? Well, we are here to tell you that you can save a life by simply spreading awareness. We are Sierra G and Alexis M. Two biomedical students working to increase acceptance rates for African-American breast milk. Imagine how much of a difference can be made if  the rates for all qualifying women who wish to be donors increased significantly. Our team name Silex, comes from a combination of our names, which represents coming together to make an important change. As two African American biomedical students we felt compelled to help make a change in the African American acceptance rate for breast milk, being that this issue directly impacts our community. We are qualified for this project not only because of our personal connection to the issue but our biomedical student backgrounds.

We will be working with the Mothers Milk Bank for the duration of our project. The goal of this organization is to make sure that babies that are born earlier than they were expected to be are provided with the proper nutrition that comes in the form of human breast milk. This organization also is a healing process for grieving mothers who have lost their babies and are still producing breast milk and want to donate their milk. Many donor mothers share their experiences with the Milk bank on their website and the impact is very positive and therapeutic for the mothers.

Baby Camilla being held by her mother Jill

Camilla is one of the very fortunate babies that have been provided with breast milk from donors and her mother tells her heart warming story  on why she needed the breast milk, how she got the breast milk, and how it really helped get her baby from being 3 pounds at 29 weeks to 15 pounds at 8 months.

Currently, the acceptance rate for African American Breast milk is very low. Increasing the acceptance rate for African American Breast milk donors can really help considering the fact that 20% of neonatal deaths could have been prevented by breastfeeding in the first hour of the baby’s life. If we are able to develop a successful system that increases African American breast milk acceptance, more babies in need will receive breast milk as well as grieving African American mothers can have an easier path to healing.

Baby receiving breast milk from donor

As previously stated in our introduction, we personally connect to this campaign because of our ethnicity and its direct impact on our community. By increasing advocacy we can also help to improve our future as potential mothers. Improving African breast milk acceptance is important because it will result in equal benefits for under represented communities. We believe that everyone should be aware of this problem since babies are dying as a result. Babies grow up and end up being the future of our communities, so why shouldn’t we all spread awareness on the importance of increasing the acceptance rate of women who wish to donate milk? Especially women of the African-American community.

We want to thank you for reading our blog post and leave you with one last thing. Only you can help save a life one percent at a time.


3 thoughts on “Saving A Life One Percent At A Time

Add yours

  1. I really appreciated the story about Camilla, who was impacted by Mothers Milk Bank. I didn’t realize the racial disparities present in the Mothers Milk Bank system, so it’s great that you will try to help. Your post was well-written, however I would have appreciated some more statistics on the racial disparities of MMB. What other races show a lower acceptance rate? Overall, I enjoyed your blog post, and I can’t wait to see your solution to this problem.
    -Izzy V.

  2. Sierra and Alexis,
    what a nice blogpost! It’s cool to be working with the same company, though having different goals, mine being making the work flow of breast milk more efficient. I was never aware that the African community had a lower rate of breast milk accepted! It is nice to know that knowing the fact that we are with the same company and can hopefully pitch in with your issue! Do you possibly know why the african community acceptance is so low (apart than just awareness)? How do you plan on changing that? Statistics?

    pattie a

  3. Wow Alexis and Sierra! This blog post was beautifully written and really delivered your message. I think that what you are trying to do is amazing. I think you are writing about a topic close too your hearts which makes this a passionate blog post. Do you know why the acceptance rate for the breast milk of African american mothers is so low? Really great post, I am looking forward to seeing you progress and how two young women leaders can change the world, one step at a time. -Celeste O.

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