It’s Black Breastfeeding Week: Why Is That Needed?

Amy Schaeffer

Why is it necessary to have a week that’s devoted to one ethnicity and breastfeeding? Because, the women say, being a black woman who chooses to breastfeed may be more challenging than for other races. Breastfeeding is challenging enough even with support, as most women know, but adding a cultural disdain to the picture makes it nearly impossible.

“There is immense joy from the feeling of empowerment and accomplishment you get from knowing that you overcame cultural barriers, unsupportive work environments, the insidious marketing of infant formula and perhaps little or no family support along the way. Happiness is a form of resistance. It is a joy for black families to know that by breastfeeding they are helping to rewrite our cultural narrative and defying the stereotypes that say we don’t breastfeed and that we give our babies artificial, inferior food. Changing black history is a true joy.”

Understanding the reason why change is needed is paramount to any cultural shift, and it’s important to remember that change often comes slowly.

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