Black Breastfeeding

Black mothers die at a rate that’s 3.3 times greater than whites according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Yet, the report concluded, roughly 3 in 5 pregnancy-related deaths are preventable. We know that health inequities affect many aspects of North Carolina. These inequities in Black health continue to affect our community and we are here to advocate for respectful health care and strategic partnerships with healthcare systems through policies and change.

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 Black 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.

Our goal is to continue to advocate for families in our community during this unprecedented and stressful time and support organizations that are working with historically marginalized communities, especially Black Breastfeeding families, to aid in minimizing the financial barriers to provide educational resources and services to them. Parent advocates who are committed to eliminating disparities within our communities should email Breastfeed Durham to help.

Plan of Action

  • Identify barriers for Black families to accessing prenatal care, postpartum care, breastfeeding services, and Respectful Maternity Care (RMC). Respectful Maternity Care is highlighted in the World Health Organization (WHO) framework for improving the quality of care for pregnant women during childbirth. Experience of care is as important as clinical care providers in achieving the desired person-centered outcomes.
  • 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.
  • 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, training for 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 families tools to navigate the health care system.

Breastfeed Durham is passionate about illuminating racial disparities associated with Black Maternal Health and advocating for the needs of Black breastfeeding family.