Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Chocolate Milk: Black Women and Breastfeeding

Today I was asked if I still breastfed my daughter who is almost one. I answered of course I do...I was looked at with confusion and the person reacted with laughter as if I was crazy!! I was a bit offended but I am use to some of these negative responses from some people. While I was pregnant I told people I planned on breastfeeding I thought I would be met with words of encouragement and maybe some support instead people were outright negative. I heard things such as, "You say that now" "Girl please that shit hurts!" "Why do you want to breastfeed" "Breastfeeding makes your titties sag". I was surprised because I thought breastfeeding was a beautiful thing and many women did not see it the same way I saw it. I was warned by a very supportive nurse that people would be very negative and that I should stick with my plans! Thank God for her kind words because she was right!! Black women unfortunately do not breastfeed as much as Hispanic or White women which is odd because Black women tend to have less money then their counterparts. Many Black women depend on WIC to supply them with formula and baby food until their baby is one. Without WIC alot of Black babies would starve and face many health complications. Besides WIC gives the worst infant formula Nesquick...which is known to cause many skin problems and digestive problems in infants!!  I would think that Black women would be the first group of women to breastfeed their babies since the milk is free!! Besides programs like WIC does not give enough food for the entire month so the parent still has to buy formula which is usually locked behind a glass in many stores.  It's funny how many women are quick to criticize women who breastfeed but never once looked on the back of formula and read the ingredients!! I am not knocking women who don't breastfeed I just hate when non-breastfeeding mothers criticize women who choose to breastfeed their children.  Breastfeeding has many benefits that formula can never have, breastfeed babies on average get sick less, have higher IQ's, have a lower incidence of developing childhood cancers, and less allergic reactions.

Recently I read an article in the Metro that women are "embarassed" to breastfeed in the public!! I was saddened when I read this article, we live in a culture where women walk around with their cleavage, butt cracks, and everything else out and these women are never embrassed!! The same people who complain that breastfeeding in public is "nasty" are the same people who patronize magazines that exploit women!!  Negative comments like the ones I received are some of the reasons why women are embarassed to breastfeed in public! Breastfeeding is a part of nature, when a women is pregnant and post partum her breasts fill with milk to nourish her child...so why should society make her ashamed of this?? To any women who is embarassed to breastfeed in public...You shouldn't be!! You are providing nourishment to your child to help them grow and if anyone has an issue with they should just simply look the other way!! I am a huge supporter of breastfeeding and if anyone needs any help with adjusting to it please contact me!!

My opinion is that anybody offended by breastfeeding is staring too hard. ~David Allen


  1. Wow! I thought that i was the only one who received such negative criticism from others for breastfeeding. I breastfed my now 4 1/2 yr. old daughter for the first two years of life and when I told people, the reactions were of disgust and disdain. I often wondered how people, particularly black women could react in such a way because it is so natural and beautiful. It boggles my mind that people scoff @ breastfeeding but will gulp down cow's milk, go figure!But, when I have my next child, I will breastfeed again because I have a super intelligent little girl who rarely gets sick! Thanks 4 sharing! I too am a kinky hair girl who lives in Philly!

  2. Good post. I had problems breastfeeding our first child, but pumped milk 24/7 for about 9.5 months. Our second had no problem and we nursed for 2.5 years. I discreetly nursed in public and did not face disdain and did not care.

    Keep rockin' the natural. I've been natural for about 8 years. Check my blog at http://blackorganic.blogspot.com/

  3. love every last word!! well said!! although I didnt breastfeed, its something that i am totally for!! i was furtunate to be able to buy my son formula..and thank God he was a healthy baby now child. i agree breastfeeding is a beautiful thing!...nice blog tasha!!