From your grandmother to your girlfriends, everyone has an opinion about breastfeeding. Do it (to bond with your baby), don’t do it (nursing is painful). It’s easy. It’s hard. Where will you breastfeed—in public or in private?
Despite the proven health benefits for both mother and baby, less than 2/3 of all African-American babies are ever breastfed, compared to more than 3/4 of all babies at the national level, accordingly to newly released data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Breastfeeding is beneficial for both baby and mother; it reduces the risk of several diseases and illnesses, lowers health care costs, and benefits the environment.
The reality is it’s up to each mother to make the decision to start breastfeeding, but it’s up to all of us to find ways to encourage women to breastfeed and support their efforts even through the rough patches.
- Who’s in? Your breastfeeding support network. It really does take a village to raise a child but family members aren’t the only ones who can support a new mom—rely on coworkers, WIC offices, peer counselors, child care providers, and new mom groups to help meet your breastfeeding goals. Dr. Sahira Long gives her firsthand experience.
- How to work through new-to-breastfeeding jitters. Watch Michelle’s story.
- Breastfeeding as a single mom. Hear how Patrice and Letisha used their support network.