Breastfeeding Is Not a Black Thing?

Breastfeeding is supposed to be a natural next step after a child comes into the world.  It’s natural right?  Well, black women are and have been getting major heat over this decision for years.  It appears that within the last 30 years, black women have not been representing well in this area.  And not only is there immense criticism, but some of the questions being, insensitively, asked are:  “Are they putting their careers before the baby thing?” “Are they not physically able to produce the milk that breastfeeding requires?”

Recently, an article in The Urban Shopper, a Shopping Lifestyle and Values web magazine, targeted to Black and Latino females suggested that black women aren’t breastfeeding because they go back to work faster than everyone else and the promise of convenience from the formula given at the hospital in gift bags is too much to resist.

But, the fascinating part of the article is that the statistics they are using to support the lack of breastfeeding amongst black women is “Only about 58% of Black mothers ever breast- feed compared to 81% of Latino and 76% of white mothers. After a year, almost half of Latino and white moms are still at it while only 13% of Black moms continue to breast-feed.”  That seems a bit high doesn’t it?  More than half of black women breastfeed.  Personally, I don’t know any black women that have not breastfed.  And the main reason stems from the biggest perk of breastfeeding…the 500 calorie loss per day.

The soul purpose of the Urban Shopper  is to show the inexpensive side to everything and breastfeeding is one of those things.  It also appears to be a strange thing to fathom that black women aren’t looking for a deal.  The entire attack on black women that choose not to breastfeed is ridiculous.  Maybe black women have been subconsciously turned off toward the idea of breastfeeding after historically having the role of  “wet nurse” to white families during slavery and even afterwards.  The black woman should have no judge after playing the role of mother to generations of every type of family throughout the diaspora.

Read the article here and tell us what side of this discussion you fall on.

-J.C. Brooks

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