From August 25 to August 31 is Black Breastfeeding Week.
Created by nurse-midwife Anayah Sangodele-Ayoka, founding executive director of Black Mothers’ Breastfeeding Association Kiddada Green, and author and journalist Kimberly Seals Allers, this celebration of black mothers and families was started in 2013. The hope was to bring attention to the racial disparities in breastfeeding rates that can play a major part in the infant mortality rate. Black infants are already more than twice as likely to die when compared to white newborns so anything that can keep them healthy and happy matters. Seeking to normalize breastfeeding, BBW advocates for support of Black families and has events across the country to make that happen. This year’s chosen theme is “Love on top,” in reference to the Beyoncé song.
“Love is at the core of mothering, it permeates everything we do from making a commitment to breastfeed to how we cope with parenting challenges, even loss. In motherhood, in breastfeeding, and in life, anything can be overcome when we put love on top,” says Seals Allers. “Given the social and cultural barriers to breastfeeding, particularly for black families, it takes more commitment, more support, and more love from others to breastfeed successfully. We want black mothers and families to know they are surrounded by loving support in a growing community of folks who are also committed to making sure more black babies receive the optimal nutrition from the start of their lives.”
And plenty of moms are putting love on top in celebration of BBW. From Tatyana Ali to everyday moms around the country, a number of women have taken to social media to share images of themselves breastfeeding their children, along with stories about the importance doing so holds for them. Check out all of the women looking to support fellow mothers in the hopes of saving our children, and if you want more info on the events and what BBW entails, check out the Black Breastfeeding Week website.