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Breastfeeding "Truths"

When it comes to breastfeeding, you have likely heard it all: the good, the bad and the mistruths! In this section, we want you to learn some truths about breastfeeding, including why it is good for you and your baby.

Support

Having support is a crucial for you as a breastfeeding mom. Support can be as simple as a family member or friend supporting your decision to breastfeed or as tangible as someone assisting you throughout the process.  Support comes in many different shapes and forms and figuring out what type of support you need and what works best for you will be important during this journey.

Health and Healthcare

Breastfeeding is a rewarding experience but can have its challenges. There are many different kinds of health care professionals who can help you take care of yourself before, during and after pregnancy, to improve your pregnancy and breastfeeding outcomes as an African American mom.

Cultural Norms

In the U.S. 64% of Black infants were ever breastfed, compared to 82% of non-Hispanic White and Hispanic women. However, over 89% of Black infants born in Minnesota or Massachusetts were ever breastfed. Why is that? We think a big part of it is culture. Culture is a “way of life” or shared experience for a group of people. As African Americans, we are shaped not only by our range of brown skin colors and collective history, but also by our life experiences, based on things such as where we live, our family backgrounds, etc. No matter how your family and friends view breastfeeding, you decide how you will plan to feed your new baby.

Societal Norms

Breastfeeding has not always been as popular among women as it is today. However, we still rarely see positive images of African American women breastfeeding their babies. And almost daily, we hear about moms being shamed for breastfeeding in public or about moms breastfeeding in bathrooms because there is no private space for them to breastfeed at work or other public places.  It seems that society is sending us mixed messages! There are several public initiatives to promote breastfeeding and even support being voiced from many celebrity mothers, such as Serena Williams and Beyoncé. We still have much work to do in order to “normalize breastfeeding,” in our society, but we can do it one mama at a time!