Breast Feeding – Defying the odds

black-woman-breastfeeding

If you judge people, you have no time to love them.’ Mother Teresa

Since Egyptian and Roman empires women breast fed. Then came historically defining moments such as women entering the work force, the Great Depression and World Wars. The popularity of breast feeding ebbed and waned. Interlaced in these milestones was the commercialization of infant milk formula which had its hey day in the 1980’s. Today, baby formula is still very popular but its numerous benefits have never matched up to breast milk. Is everyone taking full advantage of breast feeding? No. Figures reveal that when it comes to breastfeeding there is a racial disparity. In 2010, 62% of American black babies were breastfed at birth, compared to 79% of white babies. The reason given is that certain hospitals that serve black communities are failing to fully support breastfeeding.

History has revealed on numerous occasions, the resilience and resourcefulness of black women. When male brawn was needed during slavery and world wars, women came together and held the fort. They raised children, worked and maintained the home single handedly. So today if it is the case that black women aren’t being supported enough in hospitals, there is no doubt that they can rise to the occasion, like they have done time and time again in history. How? Through each other’s support. Encouraging other women by exchanging breastfeeding success stories, tips, hacks and tools (breast pumps, nipple shields, creams, unused breast pads…).

Someone once said, change is hard at the beginning, messy in the middle and gorgeous at the end. For those who choose to breastfeed and have no conditions that prevent them from doing so, this is the perfect analogy for one of the most rewarding experiences a mother will have.

 

(Photo credits – Fabwoman & Scary Mommy)