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Mama's Milk: A Lesson in Breastfeeding

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I'm trying to figure out why black women aren't breastfeeding.

mother breastfeeding

Kimberly Seals Allers: I love to talk about breastfeeding. It was a great experience for me, and I felt empowered and made beautiful by it all. The slightly sagging breasts are not so empowering, but hey, it was worth it.

Sometimes when my children don't eat properly, I threaten to put them back on the breast so I can make sure they get their proper nutrition. LOL! I tell my 9-year-old I will have to come to her lunchroom, whip it out, and feed her. You should see the look on their faces. It is so funny!

But the low breastfeeding rates in the black community are no joke. We've discussed this here at momlogic. And as much as I respect a mothers' right to choose what feeding method works best for her lifestyle, I think there are some strong cultural forces at play that often cloud the issue. I also think that with so many dire statistics on the infant mortality rates among African-American babies, we have a deeper responsibility to give our babies every possible advantage for a healthier start in life.

That's why I'm so honored to be an advisory board member of the Bravado Breastfeeding Information Council, which is dedicated to getting a full and diverse sampling of breastfeeding views for their research of the emerging trends, obstacles, and challenges faced by nursing women at home, in the office, and other aspects of her life.

I'm asking all women of color to please take this brief survey to add our perspectives to the research on breastfeeding attitudes and behaviors. You will be entered to win one of five $100 Target or Sephora gift cards. Whoo hoo!!

As you know, my life's work involves making sure women of color are included in any and all research on the motherhood experience. Well, here is an important opportunity. Please share your voice.


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2 comments so far | Post a comment now
Lauren November 4, 2009, 9:18 AM

This may have started as a cultural thing but I think it has now shifted to a general lack of education on the subject and not having anyone around us that has successfully done it.

I 100% believe that the more knowledgeable your partner/family/friends are about breastfeeding, the more likely you will succeed. They are the people that will push you when you want to quit. Your own motivation and determination will own take you so far.

Lauren November 4, 2009, 9:19 AM

This may have started as a cultural thing but I think it has now shifted to a general lack of education on the subject and not having anyone around us that has successfully done it.

I 100% believe that the more knowledgeable your partner/family/friends are about breastfeeding, the more likely you will succeed. They are the people that will push you when you want to quit. Your own motivation and determination will own take you so far.


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