Monday, August 13, 2012

August 2012 Breastfeeding Mother of Color of the Month: Nzinga Speller

August is designated Breastfeeding awareness month.  So, we thought it would be appropriate to have someone we know who is on the path of working with Mothers and Children and promotes Breastfeeding all of the time.  Nzinga Speller a.k.a. Mama Nzinga is someone who Vanessa and I look up to even though *ahem* she is younger than us.  She has more passion about maternal-child health than most well-knowledgeable professionals we know.  Her path is made of gold with her Zen energy and vibrant spirit.  It is our pleasure to introduce to you...

Nzinga Speller

Academic Director & Breastfeeding Peer Counselor

Child & Age
Sundiata Muhammad age 5

How long did you breastfeed?
We breastfed until he was a month or two past 2yrs old.

How did you know to breastfeed?
That’s what my mother did and what nature provided me.

Please explain to us your overall breastfeeding experience. 
My breastfeeding experience was awesome!

How were you inspired by your breastfeeding experience? 
It really showed me that we have all that we need to be excellent. I truly respect and honor my body more and its ability to do some amazing things.

Were there any obstacles you had to overcome during your breastfeeding experience? 
Just the initial adjustment to nursing. The slight discomfort of not being used to having my nipples sucked for sustenance. Oooh, and clogged milk ducts……not cool at all! But nothing that was not to be expected and easily overcome.

How do you think being a Mother of Color effects your breastfeeding experience? 
It has a huge impact on my experience, mainly because it is resurfacing within my communities, that it is okay to bond with and nurse your child from your very own breast. Every time another woman or young girl saw me breastfeeding my son, if they had not seen it before, they had now been exposed to a new reality, a new possibility. It was my chance to affect change in the mindsets of sooo many women of color that we do breastfeed our children and with absolutely no shame.

What are some of the ways you inspire other mothers to breastfeed and get the word of encouragement out in the community? 
I love to share information! I am always speaking with women about pregnancy, birth, and child rearing. Also, sharing the benefits of breastfeeding and the stories of myself and other women of color’s successes. I strongly believe that we have to begin to encourage and inspire our communities long before the women and girls become pregnant. That way, when the wonderful journey of bringing forth and raising a life begins, whether or not she will breastfeed is not even a question.

Nzinga Speller is a twenty-nine year young mother of one spectacular 5 yrs young son who lives in Chicago!  She is an educator and is forever a student.  She believes in the genius of every child and works to bring as much of it forth as possible.  Nzinga is a breastfeeding peer counselor whose mission is to get that mom to, “Put that baby on the breast and let nature do the rest (with a little help from me if needed)!”  Her journey is to become a Doula, Birth Educator, and a Certified Professional Midwife.  Nzinga is also a dancer, martial artist, art lover, bookworm, dreamer, natural hair enthusiast and stylist, motivator, science geek, and lover of life.  

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