It is Week 4 of National Breastfeeding Month 2020 in the US, a month-long breastfeeding awareness event. And the month culminates in Black Breastfeeding Week 2020. Revive. Restore. Reclaim! For eight years now, during the final seven days of National Breastfeeding Month, Black Breastfeeding Week has been celebrating Black breastfeeding families and bringing focused awareness to the disparities in breastfeeding rates for Black families.
As Kimberly Seals Allers wrote in Top Five Reasons We Need A Black Breastfeeding Week, “Black Breastfeeding Week was created because for over 40 years there has been a gaping racial disparity in breastfeeding rates…The fact that racial disparity in initiation and even bigger one for duration has lingered for so long is reason enough to take 7 days to focus on the issue…“ Disparities continue to exist. The CDC reports that “fewer non-Hispanic Black infants (73.7%) are ever breastfed compared with non-Hispanic White infants (86.7%) and Hispanic infants (84.1%).” Black Breastfeeding Week is vital to maintaining awareness about the disparities that surround breastfeeding for Black families.
The disparities, though, are not the whole story. This week also celebrates and lifts up the Black breastfeeding journey! Black families breastfeed. Looking only at the disparities can overshadow the joys and triumphs of Black breastfeeding families! This week has amplified the voices and increased the visibility of Black breastfeeding parents. We are reminded of its impact in a recent blog post, The Importance of Black Breastfeeding Week.
Each year Black Breastfeeding Week celebrations have continued to grow. This year is no exception. Although the events have moved to online platforms, the energy and scope of the events are exciting. Check out the calendar of events on the Black Breastfeeding Week website or Black Breastfeeding Week Facebook page.