I hope this post finds you well. I wanted to let you know about an exciting opportunity to increase positive coverage of breastfeeding within the African American community. Although breastfeeding often gets media and social media coverage, it’s not always positive content and often does not reflect the diversity of American mothers. With last year’s reactionary, negative coverage from TIME and The View, our “low bar” for coverage sunk far below what we could have imagined.
We know that most new mothers (60%) fail to reach their own breastfeeding goals, and the racial/ethnic, socioeconomic, and geographic disparities in breastfeeding have remained relatively unchanged in recent years. The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding has brought an unprecedented level of national attention and new commitments and investments in making breastfeeding accessible to all families. Policy and systems changes are transforming the landscape, especially in the areas of health care and employment.
But there’s a critical component still missing from the equation, and it’s one that’s much harder to impact: the social, cultural, and environmental factors that surround a new mom. Social norms, cultural beliefs and practices, lack of family or community support remain barriers to breastfeeding. It’s not enough to know these barriers exist—action is needed to address them.
That’s where YOU come in! This month, ROSE (Reaching Our Sisters Everywhere), MomsRising and the U.S. Breastfeeding Committee (USBC) are working together to publish “Blk BFing: Making HERstory”, a blog carnival focusing on breastfeeding and African American mothers in honor of Black History Month. We will publish a wide variety of blogs to inform, inspire, and demonstrate the active African American breastfeeding community that is often invisible.
We invite you to submit original content or a re-post of a previously published post. Blog posts can be just a few paragraphs or longer, but we recommend about 500 – 800 words. Full instructions about how to submit a post, along with the deadline are below.
Possible relevant topics might include (but are not limited to) the following:
• Ways to engage fathers and partners
• Tips for securing commitment of grandmothers, other family members, and important support persons
• Top breastfeeding resources for African American mothers
• Engaging women in the pre-conception phase
• Creating a faith community supportive of breastfeeding
• History and legacy of breastfeeding among African American women
• Common breastfeeding myths among African American women
• Link between breastfeeding & obesity prevention, diabetes, and asthma
HOW TO SUBMIT A POST: Please email the following to Jane@momsrising.org by Friday, February 22nd and copy Anita@momsrising.org.
• Your name and email address
• Your headshot
• Your Twitter handle if you have one
• The title of your post
• The text of your post
• If possible, consider adding a photo or image to accompany your text with the photo’s credit. We find that photos and images help blog posts get shared around the Internet.
• If your blog post has been published previously, please include the URL to receive credit. Also please include a few sentences about why you want to share this post for this particular blog carnival.
The more blog posts, the merrier (and the bigger the impact we’ll have overall). So in addition to submitting your own blog post, if you know anyone else who may like to participate, feel free to share this invitation with them.
TIMELINE: The blog carnival will be published on Tuesday, February 26th. We are accepting blog posts starting now – the earlier the better.
The deadline for submitting your blog post is Friday, February 22nd at 5:00 p.m. PST. Blog posts submitted after the February 22nd deadline may be added to the blog carnival slightly later. We are happy to tweet a link to your post anytime!
MomsRising will promote your blog post, as part of our blog carnival, via Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. In addition, numerous other partners will be tweeting and re-posting on their respective organizations’ blogs or social media pages/accounts. We estimate that our blog and social media reach alone extends to more than 3.5 million readers. If you can't participate at this time, feel free to forward this post to friends you think might be interested.