Black mothers have the lowest rates of breastfeeding. Women of color, particularly black women, face steep challenges in many areas of life, including breastfeeding. Many women cite lack of education, high cost of nursing support personnel, minimal peer support, and community pressure to stop.
Though breastfeeding can be a challenge for many women, we need to work to make support and education available to all.
To celebrate black mothers breastfeeding, every day this week we will be featuring one of our members, to honor them and their breastfeeding relationship.
This is Charity. Here is what Charity has to say about her breastfeeding relationship:
Breastfeeding means so much to me because I am the first woman to breastfeed in my family. I am honored to pick up the torch for my family and to reteach the generations new and old that breastfeeding is necessary and can be done.
I take tremendous pride in the breastfeeding relationship I have established with my twins. When I was pregnant with them many women in my family did not think I would make enough milk to feed them without supplementing. We have done that now for 20 months and they thrived on my milk exclusively for 8.5 months. The beginning of my breastfeeding journey was filled with distrust for my breast. I was not helped very much for the 2 days that I was in the hospital and it was a struggle to get my oldest twin to latch. All those negative things I was told about breastfeeding came in like a flood and I began to panic. Thankfully God helped me by putting determination in my heart and I knew my boys would receive breastmilk by any means necessary. I pumped almost exclusively for 5 weeks. After getting so frustrated with pumping every 2 hours I contacted a lactation consultant who helped me to wean my babies from the bottle and to feed them from my breast at every feeding. This transition was so successful that both of my boys refused bottles when I was not with them. I was able to donate thousands of ounces of frozen breastmilk for that reason.
In 20 months we have dealt with an oversupply of milk, allergies (dairy, soy, eggs), excessive spitting up, and a tight frenulum. We will continue our breastfeeding relationship until my boys are ready to self wean as it has been a privilege to give them my milk. Our breastfeeding journey hasn't always been easy but it has been worth it.
We at Crunchy Mamas Worldwide are proud of Charity for continuing to breastfeed her twins into the natural term of nursing and for her donations of breastmilk to those in need of it.
Help us raise the statistics! Visit www.normalizebreastfeeding.org and www.blackbreastfeedingweek.org.