Black Mothers and Breastfeeding

Why fewer Black mothers breastfeed

Andrea Freeman, PhD, the author of “Skimmed: Breastfeeding, Race, and Injustice,” says there are many reasons — historical, cultural, and practical — that Black women opt not to breastfeed or that they do so for a shorter period of time than their white counterparts.

“It is not always an individual choice,” Freeman says.

Freeman suggests that doctors and their nursing staff make assumptions about Black women’s interest in breastfeeding their babies. “They are not offered the same kind of assistance after giving birth,” she says.

“In fact, many Black women are offered infant formula to feed their babies, without discussing the health benefits of breastfeeding.”

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