Black Breastfeeding

It is a difficult time with somber and pressing challenges for communities to support families, and we may be wondering how events intersect with the protection, promotion, and support of breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is an underrepresented health equity issue, although the health inequities around breastfeeding continue to compromise the optimal growth and development of children and families. Breastfeed Durham (Breastfeeding Family Friendly Communities of Durham) is a health equity advocacy group.  Our mission is to provide breastfeeding education and resources to all families in the Durham community, as well as advocate for policies that protect nursing families’ rights. Our goal is to continue to support families in our community during this unprecedented and stressful time and support organizations that are working with families of color to aid in minimizing the financial barriers to provide educational resources and services to them.

Plan of Action

To support Black Maternal Health and eliminate disparities within our communities, we are helping every family in Durham understands the benefits of breastfeeding. We hope that parents make educated and informed decisions that are right for each family. With the help of the community, we want to listen, learn, and collaborate.

Black mothers die at a rate that’s 3.3 times greater than whites, and Native American or Alaskan Native women die at a rate 2.5 times greater than whites, according to a report out this week from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Yet, the report concluded, roughly 3 in 5 pregnancy-related deaths are preventable. Follow the link in order to under stand why racial gaps in martial mortally persist. We know that health inequities affect many aspects of North Carolina. That 22% of North Carolina population is self identify as black, yet 33% of black people in North Carolina have died from COVID. These inequities in black health continue to affect our black population and we are here to support our community by advocating for respectful health care, strategic partnerships with healthcare systems that serve our black and underserved populations through policies and change.

How do we best support other organizations and families?

  • Continue to advocate for the implementation of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative and the implementation of Breastfeeding Friendly Awards to create standardized assessments for mothers and infants.
  • Identify barriers to accessing maternal health and breastfeeding services and Respectful Maternity Care (RMC), for example socioeconomic factors, and social-detriments. We are working to compile a survey for Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) to fill-out during or after the hospital stay, an at will survey.  Respectful Maternity Care is highlighted in the World Health Organization (WHO) framework for improving quality of care for pregnant women during childbirth. Experience of care is as important as clinical care provision in achieving the desired person centered outcomes.
  • Improve access to critical services, especially breastfeeding related services. List of the black maternal health organizations.
  • Improve the quality of care provided to pregnant women and prenatal breastfeeding information. Read more about the On Demand Webinar: The Story of Trauma and Resilience. Train providers to address racism and build a more diverse health care workforce that is based on Respectful Maternity Care. 
  • Strengthen existing programs and support Black Maternal health and breastfeeding in our communities. Enhance supports for breastfeeding families before and after birth.
  • Offer Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) tools to navigate the health care system.

Breastfeeding Family Friendly Communities are passionate about illuminating racial disparities associated with black maternal health. With your help, Breastfeeding Family Friendly Communities of Durham and your organization can make changes to support black Maternal health in Durham and surrounding counties.