If you’ve been following our Instagram account, then you have kept up with our posts for National Breastfeeding Month. We decided to black out the month of August and dedicate its entirety to bringing awareness to Black breastfeeding.
Why does #BlackBreastfeedingWeek exist?
According to the official Black breastfeeding week website, “Black Breastfeeding Week was created because for over 40 years there has been a gaping racial disparity in breastfeeding rates. The most recent CDC data show that 75% of white women have ever breastfed versus 58.9% of black women”. They go on to list reasons like:
- High infant mortality rate
- High rates of diet-related disease
- Lack of diversity in the lactation field
- Unique cultural barriers among Black women
- Desert-like conditions within our communities, meaning – the desert like conditions in many urban areas where women cannot access support for the best first food-breast milk.
Black Breastfeeding Week wasn’t created to exclude any other race. It was created to bring awareness to a serious problem in our community.
On August 26th, we held our Nursathon. The Nursathon was put together to bring women in one space to stand in solidarity for the purpose of encouraging Black women to continue extended breastfeeding. The more we continue to shed light on the importance of breastfeeding, the normalcy of breastfeeding will continue to become nationwide. Just recently, breastfeeding became legal in all 50 states. Don’t feel surprised. We didn’t know it was illegal either.
Many Black women feel isolated when breastfeeding. We come from a culture of wet nurses that date back to a recent 50 years ago. A wet nurse was someone who (forcibly) breastfed another woman’s child. Our ancestors suffered this as slaves and indentured servants. Due to also having to return to work sooner than other races, many Black women are left out of the breastfeeding loop as well. How do we fix this problem? By continuing to shine light on a solution. We solve this problem by educating women on the importance of pumping, donor milk, and understanding how lactation works.
Thank you to everyone who attended and supported our Nursathon! Thank you to our sponsors:
A special thanks to our wonderful photographer, Crystal Marie. Crystal Marie enjoys cultivating images that tell stories to last a lifetime. As a natural light photographer, she finds her biggest joy capturing the memories of newborns, maternity, and families. When she’s not behind the camera, she’s either assisting moms as a Certified Lactation Counselor with breastfeeding or providing therapy as a licensed clinician on women’s issues (infertility, miscarriage, and perinatal mental health issues). Let’s just say, she considers herself a life learner. You can see more of her work through her website or Instagram page.
All images copyright to Crystal Marie Photography
With warm regards,