Filmmaker. Elizabeth Bayne earned her MPH at Yale University and after several years of assisting on public service campaigns, returned to school to earn an MFA in film at the Art Center College of Design.
Project. Breastfeeding rates have improved among all women in the U.S., yet disparities still persist in breastfeeding among African American women.
Much of the educational material on breastfeeding targeting African American women consists of images of black women next to re-purposed content developed for a general audience. This is problematic because while African American women may face similar challenges as other women with regards to sustained breastfeeding, there are also cultural issues specific to the African American experience that must be addressed in order to develop meaningful outreach. While factors such as difficulty breastfeeding, lack of workplace accommodations, and inadequate training among health care workers play a role, another major barrier is poor community support. The African American Breastfeeding Project is an online video project designed to collect the unique stories and breastfeeding experiences of African American mothers as a resource for new mothers, their families and communities. The goal of making these stories available online is to establish breastfeeding as a social norm in the African American community.
This project will benefit others in the breastfeeding community as a case study of how digital and social media can be used to build online communities of support.