Cover Photo Credit: Bold As A Lion
August 25-31 is Black Breastfeeding Week, a time meant to not only advocate for breastfeeding in the Black community, but also celebrate Black life.
Chocolate Milk Mommies, a nonprofit organization whose goal is to decrease the stigma surrounding breastfeeding in Black communities, has a host of events planned for this special week. Those events include a virtual yoga session, a live discussion on Black maternal and infant mortality in Alabama, and more.
Why do we need Black Breastfeeding Week?
Chocolate Milk Mommies sites many reasons why Black Breastfeeding Week is necessary.
There is a racial gap in breastfeeding rates. While 75 percent of white women have breastfed, less than 60 percent of Black women have breastfed, the group reports.
The CDC and other health organizations agree that breast milk is best for a child’s development and overall health. So, increasing breastfeeding in the Black community is crucial especially considering that African Americans have 2.3 times the infant mortality rate as non-Hispanic whites.
Chocolate Milk Mommies believe that, along with increased awareness and education, more diversity in the lactation field could also encourage more Black mothers to breastfeed.
Chocolate Milk Mommies
For Chocolate Milk Mommies, advocating for breastfeeding in the Black community is a year-round charge. The group offers education and resources to help reduce health disparities, specifically reaching out to as many women as possible in low-income areas.
In 2019, the group was awarded $20,000 as part of the Community Health Innovation Awards. One goal of the group was to use the funds to provide hospital grade breast pump rentals to families. In September, the group will begin to do just that with its new Pump It Up program. Interested moms can apply here.
The funds were also to help the group provide peer-led home visits to teach and support mothers and their family members about breastfeeding. Chocolate Milk Mommies is leading a Parent Outreach Program for mothers of children 18 months and younger who live in low-income households. Those interested can apply here.
The group is also offering a Teen Outreach Program for young mothers ages 13-19. Teen moms interested in this program can apply here.
To learn more about Chocolate Milk Mommies, visit the group’s Facebook page.