Celebrating African-American Moms and Breastfeeding
This year, black women have more reasons to celebrate World Breastfeeding Week than ever before. First of all, African American leadership and celebrities are stepping up to the plate:
- In January, Surgeon General Regina Benjamin released the first ever Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding, a historic moment for the breastfeeding movement and a beacon of hope for the millions of moms who are being sabotaged by the "Booby Traps" -- the many cultural and institutional barriers that keep women from achieving their personal breastfeeding goals, whether that's 2 days, 2 months, or 2 years.
- Michelle Obama spoke out quite clearly that breastfeeding is important in the fight against childhood obesity.
- Laila Ali, the Dancing with the Stars alum and former boxer (and daughter of boxing legend Muhammed Ali) shared her very personal struggles with breastfeeding her first child with Best for Babes, and what made the difference in breastfeeding the second time around. These three women are powerful spokespersons and role models, and can do much to inspire, prepare and empower black women, and all women, to initiate and continue breastfeeding.
- Black women have some powerful advocates in the blogger world too. Two of our favorites are Elita Kalma from Blacktating and Kimberly Seals Allers from Mocha Manual.If you're on Facebook, check out Black Women DO Breastfeed and the page for the wonderful non-profit, The Black Mothers Breastfeeding Alliance. Sign up at their website to be notified of updates and to attend their conference.
Breastfeeding rates are still lowest in the African-American community. But the tide is turning, and black babes are starting to beat the Booby Traps that stand in their way. Join Best for Babes' Buck-a-boob campaign http://www.bestforbabes.org/wbw-2011-a-buck-a-boob to help moms find breastfeeding-friendly physicians and hospitals! And the news yesterday that the Department of Health and Human Services will require insurance companies to provide lactation support and pump rentals free of charge or co-pay, is a huge boost. Things can only get better for babes everywhere!