This week (August 25th-31st) has been #blackbreastfeedingweek and I could not let it go by without sharing my own experience.⠀My journey with Benjamin was a joyful and tiring 7 months long. After going back to work, my supply gradually went down and I was sooo sad.
Breastfeeding and pumping around the clock was tough, but I could tell how much he loved it and I wanted to keep going but….
My body said otherwise and I was just grateful for the 7 month journey.
Why do we need a Black Breastfeeding Week, you might be wondering? Here are 5 important reasons:⠀
1️⃣ High Black Infant Mortality Rate.black infant mortality rate is greatly contributed to by babies being too small, too sick or born too soon. The CDC estimates that increasing the rate of breastfeeding among black women could decrease the black infant mortality rate by 50%⠀
2️⃣ High Rate Of Diet-Related Disease.Many of the health conditions that plague the black community are ones that breastfeeding has been shown to prevent; such as SIDS and childhood obesity.⠀
3️⃣ Lack of Diversity in Lactation Field.There is a lack of diversity amongst breastfeeding professionals which feeds into the incorrect idea that black women don’t breastfeed. And it also leads to a cultural divide.⠀
4️⃣ Unique Cultural Barriers Among Black Women.The history of breastfeeding in the Black community has a lot of trauma which also feeds into the culture of breastfeeding while black today. Black women who were enslaved were often forced to breastfeed their slave owners children while their own babies starved.⠀
5️⃣ Desert-like Conditions in Communities.Food deserts mean that women do not have access to healthy food that supports breastfeeding.⠀Stats and facts courtesy of www.blackbreastfeedingweek.org and the CDC.
What was your breastfeeding journey like? What resources or tips did you wish you had?