This Black Breastfeeding Week, AAHP celebrates breastfeeding among Black women. Black breastfeeding rates are rising! According to the CDC, the 2004 National Immunization Survey reports 50% of Black children were breastfed, and the 2011-2015 Survey reports 64% of children were breastfed. Higher breastfeeding rates mean healthier babies, healthier mothers, and a healthier Black community.
Breastfeeding is recognized as the best source of nutrition for infants, providing protection against common diseases and conditions such as ear infections, diarrhea, and asthma. Breastfed babies are also less likely to die from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and are less likely to become obese or develop diabetes, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure later in life. For mothers, breastfeeding reduces the risk for breast cancer and diabetes. Unfortunately, many Black women have been unable to reap those benefits due to challenges that have made it harder to breastfeed, including lack of support from health care professionals and the need to return to work soon after giving birth. Because Black women need more targeted support for breastfeeding, AAHP’s S.M.I.L.E. Program provides invaluable education and guidance for pregnant and breastfeeding Black women in Montgomery County.
AAHP observes Breastfeeding Awareness Month and Black Breastfeeding Week (August 25-31) by sharing information about breastfeeding and AAHP’s work in maternal and child health through the S.M.I.L.E. program. We invite you to follow our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts and contribute to the conversation by sharing your own stories about breastfeeding. Together, we can build a brighter, healthier future for our children.