Why are you breastfeeding that baby?
Ewww that’s nasty!
Put that titty back up!
Don’t you have enough money to buy formula?
Girl, we(black women) don’t do that!
These are just a few of the comments I heard when I began my breastfeeding journey. Honestly, this is why my first attempt at breastfeeding Noah did not go so well! I listened to every single comment and took it to heart.
The worst comment had to have been, “He’s crying because he isn’t eating enough, and you don’t have enough milk for him! Give him formula!” & once I gave him that bottle of formula he went right to sleep. That comment in itself made me feel less than for wanting to feed my baby from my body; my breast. I felt like a complete failure as clearly my breast did not provide him with the milk I so desperately wanted him to have.
My own lack of knowledge and resources about breastfeeding led to a very short breastfeeding journey, but I knew that if I ever had another kid that I would educate myself and breastfeed him until he self-weaned.
& HE DID JUST THAT! I breastfed Jo until he was 3.5 years old! The World Health Organization even recommends continued breastfeeding up to 2 years of age or beyond!
Because my journey to breastfeed my second child went so well, I decided to educate myself even further. So, I became a Certified Lactation Consultant in 2018. I wanted to be able to give, particularly black women, the resources and the help they needed to make it to their breastfeeding goals. & also because Representation Matters! There was and still is a huge lack of representation in the breastfeeding field, and I never once saw a lactation professional that looked like me!
I will be sharing more about my breastfeeding professional journey soon, but for now I am going to share 5 reasons why Black Breastfeeding Week exists!
1. Lack of Diversity in the Lactation Field
2. High Black Infant Mortality Rate
3. High Rates of Diet-related disease
4. Desert-like conditions in Our Communities
5. Unique Cultural Barriers among Black Women
For more information about Black Breastfeeding Week and why it exists and it is NEEDED go to https://blackbreastfeedingweek.org.
Happy Black Breastfeeding Week 2020!
REVIVE. RESTORE. RECLAIM.