Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute (CGBI)

CGBI: Breastfeeding Exclusive June 2018- Colleague Corner

Ifeyinwa Asiodu, PhD, RN, IBCLC

Dr. Asiodu is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Family Health Care Nursing at the University of California, San Francisco School of Nursing. As a researcher, registered nurse, and IBCLC, her research is focused on the intersection of race, family and community dynamics, life course perspective, and breastfeeding. Dr. Asiodu’s work aims to reduce infant feeding disparities in Black communities and increase workforce diversity in the field of breastfeeding and lactation. The long term goal of her program of research is to identify and address the impact of social and structural determinants of health disparities during the reproductive life course on breastfeeding behavior, disparities, and maternal and infant health outcomes in Black communities.

Based on her NINR-funded Predoctoral and Postdoctoral research, Ifeyinwa has identified the need for culturally appropriate breastfeeding support, resources and interventions in the community and NICU settings, specifically as it pertains to the use of social media platforms. Her current research interests include examining the relationship between human milk composition, maternal and environmental stressors and perinatal and infant health outcomes. Ifeyinwa lends her expertise to research proposals in breastfeeding, public health nursing, community-based participatory research, and qualitative research methods, bringing her experience working in marginalized communities to projects.

In addition to her academic work, Ifeyinwa is actively engaged in local, state and national breastfeeding and birth organizations. She is the current Chair of the California Breastfeeding Coalition and Co-Chair of the 2017 & 2018 United States Breastfeeding Committee (USBC) National Breastfeeding Coalitions Conference (NBCC) Conference Program Committee. She is also a member of the 2016 Inaugural Race Forward/Center for Social Inclusion First Food Racial Equity Cohort and serves on the HealthConnect One Associate Board. Dr. Asiodu has over 15 years of Nursing experience. Her clinical expertise is in Public Health, specifically Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health (MCAH) programs. She worked as a Public Health Nurse (PHN) with the Black Infant Health Program for over six years and was the MCAH Coordinator/Sr. PHN in San Mateo County for three years. She has strong existing ties with the Black Infant Health Program, local breastfeeding coalitions and other Maternal and Child Health programs in California that continue to inform her work.


CGBI: Ifeyinwa, when did first realize you wanted to focus your career on breastfeeding in the African American community?

Ifeyinwa: My interest in the infant feeding disparities developed out my clinical, graduate school and personal experiences. Majority of my clients in the Black Infant Health Program wanted to breastfeed; however many encountered a number of social and structural barriers which impacted their abilities to achieve their breastfeeding goals. Thus, I realized very early on during my public health career that I wanted to focus on breastfeeding in Black communities. I am very thankful for the support I received from the Black Infant Health Program Coordinator, Bernestine Benton and WIC Breastfeeding Coordinator, the late, Anne Garrett. With their support, I was able to become an IBCLC and better support our clients and their families.

CGBI: Tell our readers something about yourself they wouldn’t otherwise know.

Ifeyinwa: I love classical music and FaceTime with my nephews and Goddaughter.