It is understood around the world that women of color, specifically black women, face the most complex challenges in maternal, birth, and breastfeeding support. Maternal death, black infant mortality, and black breastfeeding rates at their peak, are still considerably low regarding initiation and continuation, although these rates have improved in comparison to numbers from the past. Black women in the United States are plagued with obstacles every day that help them to decide to quit breastfeeding and prevent them from continuing to nourish and nurture their children – our children. The obstacles are plenty, however the ones that stick out like a sore thumb are breastfeeding in slavery and the ignorance about it among the privileged, the way these horrific images of human bondage still affect the community of black breastfeeding mothers, and the evidence that the black breastfeeding mother has yet to be incorporated into modern breastfeeding literature in the form of positive breastfeeding media and imagery, which in turn alienates black women at the time of birth discouraging them from pursuing breastfeeding because they may be the only one in their family to ever do so.
Hi there! I'm Erika Davis and I'm a doula working in the Seattle and South Puget Sound area.