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  The Minority/ Black Health Blog  

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Campaign Encourages More Black Mothers to Breastfeed Their Babies

Black woman breastfeeding her baby

For a long time now, infant mortality rates among African-Americans are significantly higher against other races. Breastfeeding could have been beneficial to the baby's and the mother's health but there have been disparities surrounding it too. In the recent efforts of the City of Philadelphia to close the racial gap, they used images of Black women breastfeeding to represent the campaign.
In Philadelphia City, a campaign has been underway to get more mothers, especially women of color, to breastfeed their babies. The city particularly has a record of black infants were twice as likely to die as white infants. It isn't just a problem within the city as it is a nationwide issue.

Studies suggest that the reasons for such disparities include education levels and poverty among African-American women but it also boils down to racism that Black mothers experience.

Breastfeeding could have been the answer as it was proven to demonstrate health benefits both for the mother and the infant. It is known to be the best source of nutrition for most infants. However, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, black infants are 21 percent less likely to be breastfed than white infants.

To bridge the gap, Philadelphia's Department of Public Health launched a new campaign called Philly Loves Breastfeeding to promote breastfeeding, especially among women of color. Dr. Sara Kinsman, head of the division of Maternal Child and Family Health, said they particularly looked for positive images of Black women breastfeeding.

"Our campaign just shows real Philadelphia moms throughout the city breastfeeding their baby--just normal, not a big deal, this is how you feed a baby," Kinsman said.

Aside from the city of Philadelphia, there are a lot more organizations nationwide that strive to urge awareness about breastfeeding among women of color. They have been trying to erase the stigma surrounding it and make workplaces and schools an acceptable spot to breastfeed if necessary.
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