black breastfeeding week

Black Advocates Address Stigma, Discrimination Around Breastfeeding and Black Motherhood

Black Advocates Address Stigma, Discrimination Around Breastfeeding and Black Motherhood

feature image via a katz /

This past week marked Black Breastfeeding Week, an initiative that began last year in response to the gaping racial disparity in breastfeeding rates. Recent data from the CDC revealed that 59% of black mothers have breastfed, as opposed to 79% of Latina/Hispanic mothers, 75% of white mothers and 67% of Native American mothers.

Given that breastfeeding…

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moments in motherhood: my breastfeeding journey, so far

I’ve mentioned before that the beginning was some of the most painful experiences I’ve ever had living. After a while (but what can honestly feel like eternity. Imagine this happening all day and night because it must) it got super easy, but I had to get there first.

Then there’s the hurdle of learning how to nurse in public. Or feeling comfortable and confident to do it in public. Because no one preps you for that part. You just confront it when your little bean looks at you with big hungry eyes. I never had a problem with public nursing personally and thankfully absolutely no one has communicated anything verbal or nonverbal to me all this time. I love getting knowing smiles from other mothers and giving them right back.

Only once in the beginning did I feel super unsure of what to do. I still couldn’t handle holding him for long periods and Dennis was wearing him exclusively in public. We were close to the Apple Store and he was crying. We stopped in because we were certain there was a family bathroom, but we were wrong. Instead, I found myself hunched up in the ladies room using the handicap stall and hating every second of it. I vowed to never hide away again after that experience. Now I carry a sarong that a friend gave me and I slip him under it so we can stare at each other while he nurses and has a ball. Seriously, he makes all kinds of sounds and flings his arms and legs the entire time usually. It’s hilarious.

I duck into any store or restaurant and nurse him without hesitancy. I do it at the table with friends when we’re eating or having drinks. I do it in the park. The only place I haven’t done it, but I’ve been tempted to, is public transportation. That’s only because our rides to anywhere are so short we just wait to get off. Not that he’s a screamer for food or anything. I can explain to him that it will be a tiny while and he usually calms down once I sing to him or something.

Recently, we’ve entered the world of teeth. That has its own set of new hurdles, like somehow teaching a baby not to use those little sharp things to tear open such a sensitive mound of flesh. He’s become much more of a man handler with me, which I’m fine with. I just cannot handle being bitten. We are still working on it since he hasn’t done it often and teeth are new to us both. He got 2 in the span of a week which was relatively painless I think, but now he’s on again/off again feeling pain because a third tooth is on the way. That’s increased his need for feedings and I’m such a tired mama as a result.

Black Breastfeeding Week 2014

Black #Breastfeeding Week 2014: #BBW14

Black Breastfeeding Week works to increase the number of Black breastfeeding mothers.

Today kicks off Black Breastfeeding Week. This second annual event falls during Breastfeeding Awareness Month, but specifically addresses the need for Black women to increase their breastfeeding numbers. I’ve previously discussed my breastfeeding journey on Women Making Moves. As an experienced breastfeeding…

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