Breastfeeding is something near and dear to my heart. I never thought I would be as passionate as I am about something so ridiculously natural, and done all over the world, but I am. I had a Mother who nursed two of her three children. She wasn't able to with me due to birth complications. I saw the nursing as something "you just did". I never even wondered about it really. I've had friends that do it, the generation before me showed examples of it, etc.
What if your culture didn't? If you rarely saw a Mother that breastfed? If you had people say that it was weird? What if the hospitals, aides, counselors, representatives of health organizations didn't encourage this in your community? Would you want to breastfeed, or be like what you saw? I'm going to bet most women, especially young women that look to others for encouragement as new Mother's, would go with what they're taught.
Black Breastfeeding Week is such an important week to bring to the forefront a need in the community. Moms in the lower income areas could then be taught how inexpensive, nurturing, and healthy it is for their babies. Black Mother's from all walks of life could get a better sense of community, and common ground.
There obviously have been numerous reports on the benefits of breastfeeding, the black communities could stand more education on the importance of it as well. The bonding with a child, the way it helps prevent disease and illness, the ways it can help prevent things to come in a person's body. There is also always in every community, the almighty dollar being put above human need. Formula is an amazing thing, and even though I nursed all three of my children, each one of them received a few bottles of the stuff to help me out here and there. I'm not bashing that, what I am saying is the fact that advertisement for it is consistent while something natural like breastfeeding is an afterthought.
Please educate your friends, be an encouragement to others, educate a younger Mother in your community or family. Breastfeeding is not simply just breastfeeding, it is bringing a community of families together. Breastfeeding shifts in an entire community, can literally change the future of the community.
*photo borrowed by blackmothersbreastfeeding.org*