Today at The Clinton: Thursday, Nov 21

10:00am Video Shoot

Northwest Mothers Milk Bank presents CHOCOLATE MILK

Northwest Mothers Milk Bank presents CHOCOLATE MILK



Chocolate Milk examines how the socioeconomic factors of race and sex influence breastfeeding rates for black mothers in America through the stories of three women.

Northwest Mothers Milk Bank (NWMMB) is the only not-for-profit milk bank in the Pacific Northwest!

168x168-logo-for-websiteNWMMB envisions a Northwest region where every baby has access to the human milk they need. Breastmilk (including donor milk) increases the health and survival of babies. Research shows that for premature, ill, and vulnerable infants, breastmilk shortens hospital stays and can prevent serious complications. When a mother’s own milk is not available, donor milk plays a vital role. 

bpi-logo-overlayThe Black Parent Initiative (BPI) was established in 2006 to help families achieve financial, educational and spiritual success. BPI unique approach is to improve the lives of Portland’s Black and multi-ethnic children by focusing on optimal health, cultural identity development, parent education, and ensuring parents and caregivers have the resources to ensure children succeed. They provide a range of services including doula services, parent coaching, parent training, and education. The Sacred Roots Doula program provides mothers and families with consistent, continuous reassurance, comfort, encouragement, and respect. The Doulas provide culturally specific care for mothers based on their circumstances and preferences.

Please RSVP via our facebook event,

chocolate milk documentary poster

From sexual objectification of women’s breasts to insufficient maternity leave, there are many reasons why mothers in the U.S. struggle with the decision to breastfeed. Yet advocates argue the long-term health benefits to infants - reduced risk of chronic disease, cancer, asthma and obesity - far outweigh the challenges. Add to this the racial, economic and social disparities that plague the African American community, and it’s no wonder African American women breastfeed at significantly lower rates. Chocolate Milk examines how the socioeconomic factors of race and sex influence breastfeeding rates for black mothers in America through the stories of three women.

TAMI is a first time mother who wants to breastfeed. We follow Tami during her prenatal visits with an obstetrician as she makes plans for a hospital delivery. She has no family history of breastfeeding and only a basic knowledge of what to expect with giving birth and initiating breastfeeding. She develops pre-eclampsia a few weeks before her due date, forcing her to undergo an emergency cesarean section. The surgery increases the risk that Tami will have difficulty initiating breastfeeding. We witness the challenges she faces, from weaning her child off infant formula and postpartum depression to establishing a bond before returning to work. Chocolate Milk shows how Tami navigates the health system, single motherhood, and inadequate maternity leave to reach her breastfeeding goals.

RACHA is a third generation midwife. She supports breastfeeding and natural birth, encouraging women to trust their bodies and themselves. A divorcee with three children, Racha started The Community Birthing Center with a sliding scale for low income families. Racha recalls the derogatory names people gave the first black birthing center in Los Angeles, with many calling it the “hood” birthing center. Racial discrimination, grueling hours and client abuse of the sliding scale put Racha out of business. We meet Racha as she faces the decision on whether to rebuild her midwifery practice. Chocolate Milk follows Racha to show how closely breastfeeding success is linked to a woman’s birthing experience and to illustrate the importance of self-care in a country where burn out is all too common for health providers.

LYDIA is a lactation educator. She provides breastfeeding support as an employee at the WIC (Women Infant and Children) center in Watts, a federally-funded program that ensures proper nutrition for low-income mothers and their children. Inspired by her own challenges with nursing her son and the misinformation she received after giving birth, Lydia dreams of becoming an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). But without a college education the road to certification is long and expensive. New exam prerequisites make access to the profession difficult, leaving many African American women unable to provide the advanced levels of lactation counseling and care so desperately needed by their communities. Chocolate Milk follows Lydia as she balances her clients at work and college courses at night to achieve her dream of becoming an IBCLC.

Chocolate Milk examines the influence of race and sex on breastfeeding rates for African American mothers through these women’s stories to explore breastfeeding’s decline, the undue health burden this places on black infants, and the struggle to bring it back as a cultural norm.

Special Admission

Free Admission; taking donations at the door for the Sacred Roots Doula program.

Please RSVP via our facebook event,