Breastfeeding Taboo in Black Community


It appears that I am among a small statistic. When I got pregnant with my daughter, it was without a doubt that I would nurse her.  Granted I was interested because I was born lactose intolerant and my mother tried every formula alive to provide me some with sustenance to no avail. I researched the topic and the benefits made sense to me: it’s cheap, creates an unbreakable bond and offered my daughter more nutritional value than formula ever could.  To be honest, the benefits are limitless.

And yet, only 19% of African American mothers continue to nurse their babies after six months.

I couldn’t help but wonder why, It seems that many women, both young and old believe that breastfeeding isn’t normal and that it will take too much time out of their schedules.  I remember a few women noted that I wouldn’t be able to do anything because I had the baby “latched to me.” While I can’t dispute the time factor, I will say that like anything else, nursing requires a strong commitment from the Mom and baby.  If you really want it, you will do what it takes to make it work.

That means:

Breastfeeding has benefits for the entire family

Seeking the Proper Help

There are so many organizations and nurses out there that will offer their help. While I was in the hospital, the lactation specialist visited our room twice and once we got home, I used the Lansinoh helpline quite a few times before I got the hang of things. Other resources include the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,Office on Women’s Health , which can also be reached at 1-800-994-9662. 

Purchasing the Equipment

Before you have your baby, decide what type of pump you are going to use. Whatever brand you use, I recommend purchasing the dual breast pump.  That way, you can eliminate the amount of time you need to pump. I have heard that Medela is the best.

Setting a Schedule

I have blogged about this before, but it s really necessary to make a pumping/nursing schedule so that eliminate the opportunity for mastitis to develop and plain ole leakage.

Remembering the Point of It All and Stick with It

I know that it will cause/force you to be more organized, but just focused Mamas!  The benefits are limitless and you will be thankful that you took the time now to get your little one on the right path of wellness.

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