Today marks the beginning of Black Breastfeeding Week (August 25th- 31st). Now in its fifth year, Black Breastfeeding is designed to strengthen cultural pride and raise awareness of the nuanced challenges of "breastfeeding while black". Here in Charlotte, NC, Mayor Jennifer Roberts has signed a Proclamation making August 25th-31st officially Black Breastfeeding Week!
Black women face the most complex challenges in breastfeeding support. At their peak, both the initiation rate and the duration rate in black families has been lower than the rates in white families for more than four decades, although they are improving. Low birth weight, preterm deliveries and maternal complications such as preeclampsia, are all higher in black women and locally the infant mortality rate is more than twice that of white babies. Breastfeeding and the important benefits it provides can help all babies, but for the sickest and most vulnerable, breastmilk is a critical component that can mean the difference between life and death.
According to the CDC, breastfeeding could improve the infant mortality rate by up to 50% among African American babies and help prevent many common health conditions prevalent in black communities. Black mothers face additional barriers due to lack of support, awareness, role models and leadership promoting breastfeeding in their communities. Black Breastfeeding Week is a jubilant campaign to make breastfeeding in Black communities normal again.
My Darling Doula has partnered with local breastfeeding parents to celebrate and promote this critical lifesaving and loving practice, that is a cultural human right.
Queen Mother: Petrischa Mitchell
Gender expression (preferred pronouns)? Woman
Occupation: Entrepreneur\ Stay at home mom
Daughter: Makedah Shani Age: 1 Month
How long have you been breastfeeding? I exclusively breastfeed since birth
How many children have you nursed? This is my second child and I nursed both of them. I want to add that it is the best decision for any mother if they can nurse there's nothing better than breast milk for a child and nothing that can replace the value of nutrients the baby gets from it. No supplement can ever get close to the protective, nutrient and immune system boosting properties of breast milk and I would never chose to do it any different way.