Reproductive Health

Detroit Moms of Color Gather to Boost Breastfeeding

Thursday, May 1, 2014

A breastfeeding association has released a new video, joining several efforts over the past few years to raise the volume on the hindrances to breastfeeding in the black community nationwide.

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Breastfeeding Sign

Credit: LEOL30 on Flickr, under Creative Commons

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(WOMENSENEWS)--In Detroit, the Black Mothers' Breastfeeding Association is talking and writing and generating videos about the roadblocks to breastfeeding in communities of color.

Organizers and advocates are also talking about ways to overcome historical, societal and social barriers to breastfeeding success. To spread and promote its message it has produced a micro documentary, "."

Breastfeeding supporters are also turning to Twitter to help spark a conversation about the film and the domination of infant formula marketing.

Nationwide Efforts

These activists join several efforts over the past few years to raise the volume on the barriers to breastfeeding in the black community across the country.

The Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in 2013 that black mothers nationwide lag behind other racial and ethnic groups when it comes to breastfeeding. In a , 54 percent of black mothers initiated breastfeeding compared with 74 percent of white mothers and 80 percent of Hispanic mothers. The CDC said this gap persists regardless of income and educational attainment.

In June 2012, the Black Mothers' Breastfeeding Association was given a $100,000 grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to close the racial gap in breastfeeding rates.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women's Health the campaign "It's Only Natural" in April 2013 to educate black families about the importance of breastfeeding.

In , Praeclarus Press published the book "Free to Breastfeed: Voices of Black Women" by and Anayah Sangodele-Ayoka, co-founder of Black Breastfeeding Week and the Free to Breastfeed support website. In it, the authors relate the breastfeeding experiences of black mothers that have been largely ignored by mainstream media.

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