In the United States, Black/African American women have the lowest breastfeeding initiation rate of any racial group and Black infants are the least likely to be exclusively breastfed at 6 months of age. This disparity amounts to more than whether or not a woman chooses to breastfeed her child. The many barriers to breastfeeding faced by Black mothers exist because of diverse cultural, health, and societal issues. Support at multiple levels is needed to help families overcome breastfeeding challenges and bridge the racial gap in U.S. breastfeeding. The greatest health benefits for parent and child are associated with exclusive breastfeeding.
Many parent-organized groups have arisen to help Black/African American families support each other before, during, and after birth to improve health outcomes for parent and baby. Culturally specific support is available both online and in-person. The resources listed here are not exhaustive and we welcome readers to suggest additional high-quality, non-commercial resources for our local community.
Parent Resources (digital)
Black Breastfeeding Mamas – Facebook group
Breastfeeding ROSE (Reaching our Sisters Everywhere)
Irth app – reviews of care from Black and brown women and birthing people
Achieving Breastfeeding Equity in California – Report on hospital breastfeeding rates and disparities, by California WIC Association
Black/African American Breastfeeding Experience: Cultural, Sociological, and Health Dimensions Through an Equity Lens - Peer-reviewed article in Breastfeeding Medicine:
It Takes an E-Village: Supporting African American Mothers in Sustaining Breastfeeding Through Facebook Communities – Peer-reviewed article in Human Lactation
“...[T]his is What we are Missing”: The Value of Communicating Infant Feeding Information Across Three Generations of African American Women” – Peer-reviewed article in Human Lactation