Black Breastfeeding Week
In case you weren't aware, Black Breastfeeding Week is THIS week. August 25th-31st.
The entire month of August is dedicated to World Breastfeeding Month. Of course, our favorite month of the year ;) This month we get to celebrate all the breastfeeding moms and their hard work.
After realizing that Breastfeeding Month didn't really touch on the specific issues that black breastfeeding moms encounter, three moms decided to take matters into their own hands and create their own week, Black Breastfeeding Week.
Co-founder Anayah Sangodele-Ayoka told The Huffington Post that she and her co-founders Kimberley Seals Allers and Kiddada Green created the week as a way to promote breastfeeding and let black moms know they’re not alone.
“World Breastfeeding Week is typically at the beginning of National Breastfeeding Month [which] had already existed for a few years to be the entirety of the month,” Sangodele-Ayoka told The Huffington Post. “So we said, ‘You know what, we don’t need anybody’s permission. We’re just going to take the final week and let everybody know now that’s Black Breastfeeding Week and go from there.’ And that’s how it happened.”
How amazing this this???
The need for Black Breastfeeding Week is real, because for years it's been shown that black women are less likely to initiate breastfeeding than other races. From 2000 to 2008, only 58.9 percent of black women initiated breastfeeding compared to the 75.2 percent of white women and 80 percent of Hispanics, according to the latest data from the CDC. As Black Breastfeeding Week notes on its site, there’s also some suggestion that increased breastfeeding could help lower infant mortality rates.
“We noticed that as breastfeeding promotion increased, the face of it was still very white and every year we’re still having more research come out showing that there’s a disparity in support for breastfeeding for black women,” Sangodele-Ayoka said. The CDC suggested in 2013 that black moms may need more targeted and direct support so that they can not only initiate but also continue breastfeeding.
“What we really found was that for black women, in particular, peer support models tend to be a lot more effective when there’s a sort of affinity culturally, racially between people there tends to be better support for breastfeeding,” explained Sangodele-Ayoka to The Huffington Post.
For those reasons, Black Breastfeeding Week is all about encouraging black women to keep breastfeeding, connect with other breastfeeding moms, post breastfeeding selfies and more.
“This is a week to discuss the lack of diversity among lactation consultants and to change our narrative,” says Seals Allers. “A time to highlight, celebrate and showcase the breastfeeding champions in our community who are often invisible. And to make sure that breastfeeding leadership also reflects the same parity we seek among women who breastfeed.”
Black Breastfeeding week is always the last week of August, and falls on August 25–31 this year. The theme for 2018 is #LoveOnTop, and you can follow the Black Breastfeeding Week Facebook page for updates on events for the week and look for #BBW178 and #BlackBreastfeedingWeek across social media platforms.