Stacy Davis, a lifelong resident of Detroit, Michigan, USA, has had a passion for improving the health of her community since childhood. As many of the memorable journeys that have happened in her life, Stacy’s IBCLC journey has been one of the greatest. Stacy does admit, however, that this career path was not her chosen path, but rather a path that had been divinely chosen for her. To date, the state of Michigan has just 10 African American IBCLCs. Never in her wildest dreams had she imagined that she would be in that number.
Stacy, like many African American women in her Detroit community, desired and was determined to breastfeed, but lacked adequate resources and support to successfully do so with her first two sons. After the birth of her third son, Stacy faced many of the same challenges she had with her previous children– lack of familial and community support, along with latching issues. With the help of a spirited Women, Infant, Children’s breastfeeding peer counsellor and an introduction to a breastfeeding club for African Americans, Stacy was equipped with the tools to successfully breastfeed her son for 11 months. In 2013, Stacy received her calling and began her journey toward the IBCLC credential.
Since becoming an IBCLC in 2014, Stacy has used her personal and professional experiences and expertise by working tirelessly, in an effort to reduce infant mortality rates. She has done so by creating equitable access to care in the Maternal Infant Health field both locally and nationally. Stacy’s passion continues to be driven by the value she sees in community-based lactation and birth support. Stacy believes that community-based programmes provide an invaluable service that bridges gaps between the health care provider and the community, as continuity of care, offering women of colour the socio-cultural support to birth, nourish, and nurture healthy children.
Currently, Stacy is the Executive Director of the National Association of Professional and Peer Lactation Supporters of Color (NAPPLSC), Board Member of the Lactation Education Accreditation and Approval Review Committee (LEAARC), Secretary and LEAARC Equity Ambassador for Lactation Equity Action Committee, and member of the Center for Social Inclusion’s First Food Racial Equity Cohort. She is also employed with Ascension Health System, where she assisted two hospitals in the health system achieve Baby-Friendly designation and mentored aspiring IBCLCs of colour.
Stacy attributes her success while on this sometimes challenging journey, to the love and support of her four sons, family and friends.