Making Breastfeeding the “New Normal” for African American Mothers

Driving through town, we see billboards that display advertisements for business in the community. Even though it is important to promote businesses to help our economy grow, another issue of equal importance is the promotion of healthy human life… healthy human INFANT life, to be direct. For African American women, it is not the norm to see the promotion of breastfeeding on billboards in our country. Furthermore, it is not the norm for African American women to see the promotion of breastfeeding anyplace in their community.

Place a priority on helping African American families so breastfeeding in their communities has a significant impact. The key might be to use more African American women who breastfeed and let the world know how beautiful breastfeeding really is. We have to find a way to make breastfeeding the norm in our communities. It can be through promoting artwork containing African American women, which would be recognizable to them. OBGYN offices, pediatric offices, dentist’s offices, beauty salons, grocery stores, and shopping malls could be optimal places to target our audience. We can try to reach women who are of childbearing age to get the image of breastfeeding in their minds so that when they do become pregnant, it is not a completely new concept to them. Breastfeeding can be promoted in our communities if those with a burning passion like myself, can have the opportunity to educate, support, and promote to those who are in need. 

Breastfeeding is a Great Choice for Infants

Breastfeeding is such a great choice for feeding infants. It’s a choice that can be made from getting evidence-based information during the prenatal period and doing some soul searching to make sure you understand the process. Breastfeeding has many benefits for both mother and baby and is truly a gift of life. Breastmilk contains water, fat, carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins and minerals, and amino acids (just a few of the many healthy components). All of these components are beneficial to an infant and will help them develop a strong immune system. Mothers will benefit from reducing their risks of certain kinds of cancers such as breast and ovarian cancer. There is significant bonding that can take place during breastfeeding and this bonding process can help mother learn her baby and care for her baby.

Dads can play a role in the breastfeeding process by supporting mom and helping care for baby while mom is resting. Dads often question how they can support mothers during the breastfeeding period and we do want to encourage them to be a part of the process. There are many things that he can do to show how much he appreciates breastfeeding. Assisting with household chores, bathing baby, having skin-to-skin time, and even meal preparation if possible are all ways to show support.

Breastfeeding will always be the optimal choice for nutrition for baby and we as a society should work together to make sure it is acknowledged as such. We have to make sure that we are supporting policies and procedures that make our world a breastfeeding friendly place. Breastfeeding is a choice that should be allowed for all mothers, despite skin color, education, and economic and social status.