Dr. Michal Young Wants You to Breastfeed

January 11, 2012  |  

Breastfeeding in America seems to be a dying art compared to other nations and expert recommendations. But when it comes to black women, our numbers are even lower than the national average.

According to a recent study from the Center for Disease Control, 54 percent of black women breastfeed their children. It doesn’t sound so bad; but number are significantly higher for women of other races.  Around 80 percent for Asians and Hispanics and 74 percent for whites.

Health experts have been touting the benefits of breastfeeding, like increased nutrient and protection against diseases for years but for several reasons, black mothers haven’t heeded the call.

Dr. Michal Young believes this is because

Dr. Michal Young M.D., FAAP is an associate professor and interim chairman of the Department of Pediatrics and Child Health at Howard University’s College of Medicine.

Dr. Young is also the director of the  B.L.E.S.S. (Breastfeeding Lactation Education Support Services) Initiative. The goal of this program is to provide education, support and resources for mothers who are currently or are considering breastfeeding their children.

Over at BlackAmericaWeb.com, Dr. Young answers some of the more perplexing questions about the whole process.

Why do so few black women breastfeed?

Many need more information about breastfeeding.  Too many think formula and breastmilk are equal and do not realize that breastfeeding decreases risk for SIDS, respiratory infections and ear infections. They also need more support when they return to work.

I breastfed my first child, and now my breasts look like prunes. How can I prevent further damage when I breastfeed my next child?

Pregnancy is what changes the breasts usually, not breastfeeding. Sometimes the breast will involute after pregnancy, but it is uncommon. One thing for sure: They will enlarge with the next pregnancy.

I am feeling pressured to stop nursing. Is there a recommended age that a baby should use the bottle exclusively?

If the baby is over six months old, take him/her to a cup. You can put your milk in the cup.  Babies do not have to go to a bottle at all. Don’t give in to the pressure! Breastfeed until you and/or the baby are ready to wean.

Dr. Young answers a host of other questions, check out the rest of them at BlackAmericaWeb.com.

Did you breastfeed your child? What were some of the benefits you noticed?

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