August 25 - 31 each year is Black Breastfeeding Week, a week designated to recognize, share, and celebrate the challenges and successes unique to Black parents who breastfeed. On top of the typical challenges all people can experience during breastfeeding, Black parents often have the odds stacked against them with serious issues that include higher mortality rates, higher rates of disease, lack of diversity in breastfeeding support professionals, a lack of peer role models and community support, and unique cultural barriers (Source: Black Breastfeeding Week).
We encourage you to celebrate and learn about Black Breastfeeding Week and the importance it represents. Here's how you can take part:
Learn: Find out more about why Black Breastfeeding Week is important. Start with this short article on Black Breastfeeding Week, then read "Why Black Breastfeeding Is So Important" by Shonitria Anthony on HuffPost, and this write up from Scary Mommy. Then, do your own research! When you know the "why" of something, it's much easier to get behind the "what."
Share: Do you part by sharing why Black Breastfeeding Week is important. Awareness is the most important first step. Visit the Black Breastfeeding Week Facebook page and share their posts. Tag Black Breastfeeding week and use hashtags #BBW19 and #BlackBreastfeedingWeek. On Instagram, share posts from #blkbfingweek. And of course, if you are a Black parent who has experience with breastfeeding (challenging or successful!), be sure to share your own story.
Attend: Find an event near you that celebrates, honors, and supports Black breastfeeding and either attend or support the event through a donation (no matter how small!). Black Breastfeeding Week lists events specific to the week in areas throughout the United States. Or, find local organizations in your area that specifically support Black families to either attend events or provide any needed support.
Support: Donations -- whether time, money, or supplies -- are almost always needed and appreciated. Find organizations in your area -- or national organizations if there isn't a local one near your -- and ask what is needed. National organizations like Black Mothers' Breastfeeding Association and Black Mamas Matter Alliance are great places to provide support.
No matter how big or small your contribution, take time to support Black Breastfeeding Week. Support improves the health and outcomes for Black families -- it's more than worth your time and efforts!
TagsBreastfeeding Black Breastfeeding Black Breastfeeding Week