Announcing Our Allyship with The Melanated Mammary Atlas

April 10, 2023

The Melanated Mammary Atlas Ally badgeThe California Breastfeeding Coalition (CBC) is proud to be an ally of The Melanated Mammary Atlas®.

The Atlas is a portal to a world of images displaying breast-related conditions on Asian, Indigenous, Black and Brown skin. It’s the first and only repository of such images available for healthcare officials and providers to use in support of patient care.

“Brown skin is the global norm and yet we live in a world where a majority of medical texts still feature anatomical images of white-skinned individuals with pink undertones,” said Gaby Cavins, CBC interim executive director and board chair. “Though we can’t control what textbook publishers are doing, we have an obligation to normalize brown breasts and to support proper care of breast-related conditions.”

Atlas founder Nekisha Killings of both Lioness Lactation and Nikki & Nikki: Lactation and Career Consultants, has experienced the problems caused by health professionals not knowing how differently some conditions present on brown skin.

At the 2023 California Breastfeeding Summit, Nekisha shared case studies of patients whose serious health conditions were ignored by providers looking for redness as a sign of infection or inflammation. Supporting efforts to increase the size and scope of images in the Atlas aligns with the CBC’s vision of amplifying the experiences and voices of those who have been historically ignored.

Profile of a dark-skinned woman with infant latched on her breast

The Melanated Mammary Atlas normalizes brown breasts by featuring clinical images of breast conditions on varying shades of brown skin.

With California’s rich cultural diversity, we believe you can make a major impact in bolstering the Atlas as a resource in the healthcare community. Though access to the Atlas is limited to healthcare professionals and students, members of the public are encouraged to submit images of their own.

“We all have a hand in creating a solution to this issue,” Nekisha said. “Whether by capturing images of ourselves or our patients, sharing them for provider education expands healthcare’s frame of reference. This expansion leads to better decisions and better support for folks of color.”

You can join us in support of the Atlas by submitting images of your own. Mammary-related conditions on varying shades of brown skin are desperately needed. There is also educational benefit to submitting images of normal brown breasts with large nipples, flat nipples, areola differences, etc.

You’ll start to see evidence of our work together this week across our social media channels. Please join us by sharing posts throughout your own networks as well. If you have any questions about the Atlas or are interested in partnering with the Atlas yourself, respond to this email or visit