Good news arrived earlier this month in a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on breastfeeding rates. The CDC found that from 2000 to 2008, the percentage of women overall who initiated breastfeeding increased from 70.3 percent to 74.6 percent. During the same time period, breastfeeding rates at six months and 12 months increased significantly – for whites, Hispanics and African Americans.
Just in time for Black History Month, we learned that we are reducing disparity, the gap between African American and white breastfeeding initiation rates narrowed from 24 percentage points to 16 percentage points.
And yet a gap remains.
As Kimberly Seals Allers eloquently describes in her post for Women’s eNews, this gap represents a complex reality. Over time, our health care system, our workplaces and our communities failed to support African American women in breastfeeding.
Black History Month is an ideal time to reflect on this past and move to a stronger future.
The CDC report highlights how far we’ve come. On behalf of the Kellogg Foundation, I’d like to take a moment to salute all of you who are working to bring us closer to the day when every woman has the support she needs to make an informed choice for her and her baby about breastfeeding, allowing even more babies to benefit from breast milk as their first food experience.
Today’s blog carnival in support of the African American breastfeeding community is an encouraging manifestation of what we call the first food movement. It is of vital importance that all of us come together to increase breastfeeding rates across the board and to eliminate this disparity. I’m honored to join the conversation and heartened by the good work that I know will grow out of it.
Thank you MomsRising, Reaching our Sisters Everywhere (ROSE) and United States Breastfeeding Committee (USBC) for bringing so many together to support breastfeeding in the African American community.
Alicia Barnes, the fanciful follies of a mississippi missus
The Little Boobs That Could
Anayah Sangodele-Ayoka, Fellow, MomsRising & Free to Breastfeed
Beyond Controversy: Black Breastfeeding & Social Media
Anjanette Davenport Hatter, Black Mothers' Breastfeeding Association
Breastfeeding: Obesity, Diabetes and Asthma Prevention
April Walter Brown
Engaging Fathers and Partners and Garnering Their Support of Breastfeeding
Bernetta Knighten, Bernetta Style
Breastfeed or Bottle
Best for Babes Foundation
Racial Breastfeeding Disparity Disappears at Baby Friendly Hospitals
Cathy Carothers, Chair, United States Breastfeeding Committee
Progress, Momentum, and Social Media
Charee Hall, Charee Lenee Styles
Breast Milk, The Best Milk
Fighting Sickle Cell with Breastfeeding
Christina Caldwell, Independent Journalist
Black Moms Are Raising Volume on Breastfeeding
Darcel, The Mahogany Way Birth Cafe
Reports Say Black Women Don't Breastfeed...
Debi Ferrarello, volunteer Board of Directors of the U.S. Lactation Consultant Association
Promoting Good Health Begins With Breastfeeding
Diana Limongi, LadydeeLG
My 15 Month Journey
Dr. Melinda Harper
The Touch for Life
Ebeth Johnson, Breastfeeding Chef
Does Diet Impact Breast Milk?
Ericka Abrams, Public Health Practitioner & Doctoral student
How to Beat Barriers to Breastfeeding in Labor and Delivery
What did you think they were for?
As Goddesses Do…
Jeanine K. Valrie, It's a Better Home
Creating a Legacy
Breastfeeding and all that jazz
Jessica Fedenia, Our Milky Way
Social Profit Works to Normal Birth and Breastfeeding
Kimberly Seals Allers, Mocha Manual
Saving Ourselves: Increasing Representation and Changing the Black Breastfeeding Narrative
Latham Thomas, Author, Founder of Mama Glow
Weapons of Mass Production…Breastfeeding
Phoebe Farag Mikhail, Listen, Learn, Act and Reflect
Perspective, and some chocolate chips in my oatmeal
RoiAnn Phillips, Communications Manager, HealthConnect One
Growing Strong: A Story About Quenesha and Her Son, Amor
Sahira Long, President, DC Breastfeeding Coalition
Against All Odds
Shannon Shelton Miller, Freelance Writer
Breastfeeding One, Nourishing Many
Sojourner Marable Grimmett, Author
Support Establishing Lactation Rooms in Public Places: Would You Eat in the Bathroom?
Tangela Boyd, Mommy, Milk & Me
Making Breastfeeding the “New Normal” for African American Mothers
Tanya Kalehia Workman, The Subject Matter is Love
Breastfeeding while lost in the woods
A Breastfeeding Business Woman
Tennille Patterson, Television Producer
Young, Black and Full of Milk
Tokunbo Koiki, Social Worker
Memories of Breastfeeding
Fired up? Join MomsRising today -- it's free!