What is it?
As you may know, August is World Breastfeeding Awareness Month but what you may not know, is as of 8 years ago- the last week has been coined Black Breastfeeding Week.
Like most celebratory dates in our year, it was created to support, raise awareness and build a sense of community amongst black women and breastfeeding. In a year where racial tensions have been high, and health disparities amongst different ethnicities has never been so apparent- this week we are encouraging everyone to take notice and pay attention.
When is it
The 2020 dates are from Tuesday August 25th – Monday August 31st
This year the theme is REVIVE RESTORE & RECLAIM
Why do we have it?
Unfortunately more reasons are being unearthed year on year- below are just a few..
- In 2019, the National Immunization Survey-Child found that in 2015 83% of U.S. mothers breastfed their babies at birth, and of that amount, 85% of white mothers breastfed compared to 69% of Black mothers.
- There is a higher infant mortality rate among Black babies, dying at least twice the rate of white babies. Breastfeeding strongly prevents against SIDS so the benefits speak for themselves.
- Breastfeeding prevents a large number of adult diet-related diseases like diabetes and obesity. Some of these diseases occur at higher rates in black children.
- In both the US and UK maternal mortality rates are 3-4x higher in black women compared to white women, even when equalizing for education and income levels.
- Compounding the fact that there are a reduced number of black health care professionals, doulas, lactation consultants and support groups- we must try to offset the effects of the pandemic will have on these pre-existing barriers to ensure that future generations are not further adversely affected.
How can you get involved?
- Black Breastfeeding Week have a week of virtual events that everyone over the world can be involved in – you can find this here: https://blackbreastfeedingweek.org/#schedule
- This amazing day has a stream of black female figureheads involved in celebrating, educating and empowering black moms on their breastfeeding journey- take a look here:
- I’m looking forward to watching this documentary ‘exploring how the socioeconomic factors of race and sex influence breastfeeding rates for Black mothers in America through the stories of three women.’ Register for a link here:
Peace and Love x