Have you heard the term “food desert?” It means a place where people have poor access to stores selling healthy food. As a result, residents of these communities are hard pressed to eat in a way that supports their health.
Now let’s think about how that term applies to the first food, breastmilk. In order for babies to have access to this all important food, their mothers need access to support for breastfeeding – everything from breastfeeding help to employer support to supportive attitudes about nursing in public.
Kimberly Seals Allers, award winning journalist and author, set out to investigate places where breastfeeding rates are low and infant mortality is high, to see if these places are in fact “first food deserts,” where the support necessary to make breastfeeding possible is lacking.
The result is a project called “Be First Food Friendly.“ Tanya Lieberman spoke with Kimberly about her research and the advocacy work that has resulted from it.