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Here's a fundamental truth:  As rising moms, we must never leave other mothers behind.  My sheer commitment to make sure no mother lacked the support she needed if she chose to breastfeed led me to find my life's purpose.

In 2007, I created a non-profit organization, Black Mothers’ Breastfeeding Association (BMBFA). BMBFA is a grassroots organization that works hand-in-hand with families and public health professionals to provide them with the education, support, resources and information needed to increase breastfeeding rates.

BMBFA has been my platform to act as a servant to my community and after years of working as a volunteer, BMBFA just recently received a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.  This support and recognition means that we’ll be able to increase BMBFA’s capacity to reach more mothers, which is desperately needed.

So, what’s the big deal?  Why is breast milk so important to the lives of black babies?

According to the Centers for Disease Control, only 54.4% of black babies in the U.S. have ever been breastfed.  And by age 6 months, only 26.6% continue to receive breast milk.  By comparison, 74.3% of white/Caucasian babies have ever been breastfed and 43.2% are continuing to receive breast milk at 6 months.

These low breastfeeding rates have serious consequences for our health. The infant mortality rate for black babies is two times higher than that of white babies.  Breastfeeding can cut that rate in half.

I am on a mission to reduce this disparity gap by reclaiming an African tradition of breastfeeding.  And while I throttle forward in full force, babies’ lives are saved, childhood obesity rates are lowered and a host of other health concerns/disparities are lifted including; diabetes, RSV, heart disease, asthma, allergies, the common cold, ear infections and introductions to other unsafe chemical agents related to the production of infant formula. (Read more about those benefits here).

Our value proposition is simple: “Breastfeeding is a small price to pay for a lifetime of wellness.”

Join me in making this a reality for thousands of moms across the country by voting for me as the 2012 Healthy Child Healthy World “Mom on a Mission” today – voting ends October 15th!  http://www.healthychild.org/mom-on-a-mission/finalists/.

Kiddada Green is the Founding Director of the Black Mothers' Breastfeeding Association.


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