Celebrating Black Breastfeeding Week with Chicago Birthworks Co: Tayo & Toni

Toni & Tayo

Mother & Daughter Doula Duo and owners of Chicago Birthworks Collective

It’s not everyday you come across a thriving business run by two people who also happen to be mother & daughter.
Enter Tayo and Toni, dynamic duo and founders of Chicago Birthworks Collective.

Learn about this entrepreneurial doula team and what they have planned for Black Breastfeeding Week.

We are Toni and Tayo, mama and daughter and the founders of Chicago Birthworks Collective, both raised in California and rooted in Chicago. We started the collective because after my (Tayo) second pregnancy and birth when we realized that Black women supporting each other through pregnancy and birth was absolutely the business we wanted to pursue. We wanted to make sure Black mamas and families could easily access all of the support services that were considered privileged or exclusive to upper class.

We knew that Black women wanted their births photographed. We knew Black women wanted to be pampered and cared for during their pregnancy and postpartum. We knew Black women and families wanted pregnancy and childbirth education that was culturally specific and intuitive. We knew Black women were building communities around pregnancy and motherhood and wanted to create space around each of those things.

Mama Toni is a mama of 4, and grandma to 2. She is the oldest of 6 sisters and comforter to many. Mama Tayo is a mama of 2, is the 3rd child of her mother’s and lives to make her families laugh. Both mamas, Toni and Tayo, are SMC Full Circle Doula Birth Companions, breastfeeding advocates, and community birth workers.

Here’s what they have planned for Black Breastfeeding Week:

On Friday August 31st Chicago Birthworks Collective is partnering with brands, groups and businesses in Chicago who are committed to creating better outcomes for Black mamas and babies.
We are hosting “Tea & Boobs” a sister circle and night out in celebration of Black Breastfeeding Week. The event will feature giveaways from some of the top mom and baby brands and a sharing circle to acknowledge and honour the Black woman’s experience related to her breasts and breastfeeding!

Tea & Boobs event at Milk Supply Chicago

CBC makes an effort to bring a cultural context to all mothering issues and provide support that is meaningful to Black mamas and families. Our hope in hosting this event, is to celebrate and honour the emotional, physical, psychological commitment that is required to breastfeed as well as address the historical narrative of Black women and their bodies in this country.

Here’s some advice they have for doulas just starting out:

We would advise every doula to identify their unique strengths as a birth keeper, and then identify the people, communities, or groups they desire to see impacted by their efforts and to build their business around specifically impacting those communities. We have learned that birthwork is so unique in that every birthworker brings different energy, abilities, knowledge, and experiences to their work which means the clients that are drawn to you, will be drawn to you. Tailoring all parts of your marketing, packages, skillset and mission to the specific community you hope to see empowered is ESSENTIAL.

Tayo & Toni will be Bebo Mia’s next guest speakers on The Doula Memoirs! Be sure to tune in here on Thursday, August 30th at 12 PM EST.

Black Breastfeeding Week is in its 6th annual year. Nourishing our families, communities and futures, and with the theme of #LoveOnTop, “Black Breastfeeding Week was created because for over 40 years there has been a gaping racial disparity in breastfeeding rates. The most recent CDC data show that 75% of white women have ever breastfed versus 58.9% of black women.” Read why we need a Black Breastfeeding Week here.

Want to help educate people prenatally and during postpartum about breastfeeding? Check out bebo mia’s Breastfeeding Educator Certification. Feel confident answering all your client’s breastfeeding questions!

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