Bre’Jaynae Joiner is a breastfeeding mother of two who works full-time as a social worker in the Oakland area.
The 2019 graduate of CSU East Bay is a passionate advocate for California families, working as a peer counselor at the West Oakland and East Health Center to make sure women have information and support they need to achieve their breastfeeding goals. Her actions have earned her the California Breastfeeding Coalitions 2020 Changemaker Award.
Joiner was one of five Changemakers honored at January’s California Breastfeeding Summit in Sacramento.
“Serving my community and others has become my passion in life,” she said.
Though Joiner has nursed both of her children, she didn’t achieve her goal of exclusively breastfeeding her first child for 12 months. Her milk supply was interrupted by birth control prescribed by her doctor when her baby was 3 months old.
She didn’t make the connection between the two occurrences until she became the co-investigator of the Young Mother Breastfeeding Research Project, a collaborative project of The California Adolescent Health Collaborative of the Public Health Institute in Oakland and Brighter Beginnings of Oakland. Armed with new information, Joiner felt compelled to help other moms avoid a similar outcome.
“I wanted to help other mothers become knowledgeable about breastfeeding and supportive birth control methods,” she said.”
Joiner’s work on the Young Mother Breastfeeding Research Project was published in the Sage Journal.
As a Changemaker, Joiner’s participation in the Summit was fully funded by the California Healthcare Foundation. Her goal in attending the Summit was to learn information and best practices that she could apply to her own breastfeeding experience and also share with the families she serves.
“The Summit was nothing short of an amazing experience for me,” she said. “I enjoyed every moment. All of the presentations connected to me and my work in one way or another.”