A new report by the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program puts African American women at 25 percent of the nationwide average of women who breastfeed. About 40 percent under the national average which stands at 63 percent. In a recent post over at The Guardian, Kimberly Seals Allers, creator of The Mocha Manual, an online website for “motherhood in color,” notes that breastfeeding has been taboo for various reasons,
“People see feeding as indecent. It is perfectly OK to use breasts to sell chicken wings and beer but not to be used to feed a child. We have to take back our breasts and stop women feeling like they’re in some sort of fringe culture for breastfeeding.”
But not only is there a cultural difference, but using formula to feed babies is more of a profitable business.
“I feel like a lot of women think that they’re choosing to breastfeed or formula-feed, but they’re actually responding to messages that we receive from marketing, and that we pass down culturally. There is no money to be made in breastfeeding. The infant formula industry is run by the pharmaceutical companies, and there’s a huge profit motive.”
Breastfeeding can be beneficial to both you and your baby. It aids in warding off diseases such as obesity, respiratory illnesses, and boosting babies immune systems. Here are a few other reasons:
- Nutrients – Breastfeeding is the best way to get your baby the nutrients that he or she needs. Overtime the composition of breast milk changes to provide the best supplements for your baby as he or she grows.
- Fast and Free – If you’re a new mom, there will be many late nights and early mornings. Breastfeeding is a quick and efficient way to tend to your baby for late night feedings when he or she gets fussy. It’s also the most cost effective way to give your baby what he or she needs without any confusion.
- Weight Loss – Breastfeeding burns an additional 500 calories each day! So while you’re running around after your growing baby AND breastfeeding, your body will bounce back into shape, in no time.
Did you breastfeed your baby? Why or why not?