This post was sponsored by Regain.us, however, as always, all opinions expressed are entirely my own.
After delivering my son I started on my journey to breastfeed. As a black mom who wanted to breastfeed I didn’t realize realize that I was not in the norm. I will admit I thought it would be natural and didn’t do a ton of research or ask questions- also because I’m apparently a know it all. I struggled to find the right position, I struggled to get my son to latch comfortably on both sides. Then, around month 6 my supply started to decrease and to this day I still don’t know why because I didn’t even know what to try to increase it. I was at a complete loss of how to keep it going. So, my son started fighting back. He didn’t get enough milk, fast enough and didn’t even breastfeed as much as he used to.
Once I got back to work I started pumping, but still my supply got less and less each week – and he wasn’t interested in night feeding – especially when the bottle was right there, ready to flow out to his heart’s content!
Thanks to a jump in awareness, transparency, and education we know how beneficial breastfeeding can be – which is why I wanted to do it in the first place. Of course, fed is best and everyone has the opportunity to choose how they want to feed their children. Breastfeeding can help to boost the immune system of your child, help you recover from pregnancy and delivery, prevent health problems like infections, diabetes and obesity.
However, the rate of black moms who breastfeed is not as high as other races and causes like Black Breastfeeding Week are shedding light on the matter.
CDC data how shown that only 63% of black women have every breastfed versus 75% of white women.
Oftentimes new moms may not know where to turn when they are having trouble breastfeeding – it’s not as simple as placing your child in the right position – which is what I thought.
Being a new mom and dealing with the loneliness of motherhood, struggling to find ways to work and breastfeed, or get support where needed shouldn’t be a concern for you.
The big question is why are black women breastfeeding less than white women? It could be because of how the journey starts out in the hospital – we may not be getting the help we really need or the individual attention that it might take to get the right situation with your baby. The breastfeeding education has to start from the beginning. Our community and family support may not be there either. I‘ve heard plenty of women who just didn’t even think to try or didn’t have anyone around them to talk about it with or normalize it. Lastly, many black moms need to get back to work sooner and thus cannot stay on maternity leave to solidify their breastfeeding routine.
Now, I know how many resources there are – even when we can’t leave the house. We can now sit in our homes and scroll to get some personal advice from other black women who are having or have had the same struggles as we are. Here’s a list to keep handy as black moms breastfeed. If you’re not breastfeeding now, this may be good to keep for the future or a place to know where to lend your support if you’re past this stage.