This week, we are celebrating the 10th year anniversary of Black Breastfeeding Week! Black Breastfeeding Week was created 10 years ago by activists in the Black community who wanted to shine the spotlight on the racial disparity in breastfeeding rates, infant mortality rate, and overall health of Black babies and Black birthing persons. This week, you can join virtual webinars, donate funds to the work of Black Breastfeeding Week, and even submit an event idea to recognize this important celebration.
This year's Black Breastfeeding Month brought much needed good news. For one, Chicago held its first “Latch and Stroll” event to “highlight the disparities of breastfeeding rates in Black communities and uplift the people and organizations providing resources and support to families wanting to provide their little ones with human milk.” The event also served as a fundraiser for funds to help Black breastfeeders in their important journey of breastfeeding. Many members of the South Side community attended the event to show their support. Hopefully, this will start to become a long-standing tradition.
To understand the issue at large, comparing the statistics of breastfeeders across racial groups is important. According to the National Library of Medicine, 77.8% white breastfeeders participate in breastfeeding their children in general, compared to 59.7% of Black breastfeeders. Comparatively, 80.6% of Hispanic breastfeeders and 83% of Asian breastfeeders participate in breastfeeding. Clearly, there is a large gap between Black breastfeeders and other racial groups in breastfeeding. The issue at large here is that Black breastfeeders are not participating in breastfeeding as much as they should be, but that can be applied to all racial groups after 6 months. Raising awareness and support for breastfeeders will help in lessening these disparities.
In other news, there has been development in the research done on the subject of racial disparities in breastfeeding. Mocha Mammas Milk is a study conducted by the University of South Corolina to study Black breastfeeding persons in their journey. The goal of the study is to promote breastfeeding in the Black community. Representation is key in achieving that goal, so the study enrolls breastfeeding persons in an effort to create a community for them. Similarly, Chocolate MIlk Club is celebrated the Saturday of Black Breastfeeding Week in Minneapolis to highlight the importance of breastfeeding for Black birthing persons. These small studies and clubs occur all across the country and are examples of how communal support can make a real change in addressing racial maternal issues. As Black Breastfeeding Week passes its 10th year anniversary, we can only hope for these smaller, communal efforts to be more widespread.
We hope this story inspires you to demand more. Your journey to FEEL well with Bloomwell starts today.
The Bloomwell Team