August 25th through August 31st Black Breastfeeding Week!
The month of August is National and World Breastfeeding Awareness Month, but the last week of August is the one that bears the most significance to me as a Black woman who breastfed her daughter. Every year people ask me, “Why does there need to be a week to celebrate Black people breastfeeding?” Simply put, the answer is the same as the reason for every other nationally recognized Black associated event: because there is not enough information about it and the national recognition aims to rectify that!
My daughter is almost 5 years old now, but I breastfed her until she was 3 and a half years old and I got some of the most appalling comments and questions before, during, and after our journey. I am always willing to answer these questions and educate others because education is key. What is it that the old folks say? If you know better, do better. Alright now!
Here are 4 reasons for why Black Breastfeeding Week exists:
- Black women disproportionately breastfeed less than women of other ethnic backgrounds.
- There are systemically placed barriers to education and resources in Black communities.
- Lack of Representation in the Maternity & Lactation Fields
- Lack of Support from the Community
Systemic racism is to blame for the great divide because education, resources, and assistance are much harder to obtain for Women of Color. The maternal experience in total is more of a danger for Black women; here is an article by Carrie Kerpen that highlights those disturbing statistics. Because of these things and so many others, something that is so beautiful, free, and healthy, is scrutinized unnecessarily. A few years ago, I wrote another blog post about why I think some women don’t breastfeed.
This week, I hope that your feeds are inundated with beautiful images of Black women providing life-sustaining liquid gold to the future of tomorrow!
Black women, we are magic: we are powerful. Black women, we are capable: we are beautiful. We are priceless. I take my title of a Black Breastfeeding Mother very seriously. While I am not currently nursing, I do hope to nurse more babies in the future and I hope that by being an outlet of support for other Black women, that they feel more supported in their decision to do the same.
Please enjoy and share these beautiful images of me breastfeeding my Black princess. It is the most beautiful labor of love I have ever participated in and I do desperately hope that other Black women can experience the pure, unmatched joy of the breastfeeding experience as I once did.
Mamas, you got this!