This post is a little different then my usual post. I want to have a conversation with you during this black history month. Call me stupid or call me a out of touch mom, but I’m just now finding out about something know as “wet nursing ” which has been going on since slavery days over 100 years ago. Black slaved women were forced to raise and breastfeed there owners children. Now being that I am a breast feeding mom I want to focus on the fact that these women were forced to feed others children. I have just started my breast feeding journey 6 months ago after the birth of my son. Never did it cross my mind ever that if was born back in the day my choice to breastfeed could have have been token from me and I could have been forced to do it unwillingly. I’m livid at the idea of slavery of any kind no matter what race altogether. But I feel even more sadden that something so special as breastfeeding your child sometimes was not a choice back then. As if being raped and tormented wasn’t enough in the slave times. Breastfeeding is a full time job. Its not all cakes and pies. You have to be dedicated to the process of taking on the responsibility of providing nutrition for your child. Its also an emotionally bond that is between mother and child. Me personally I cant imagine having to share my breast/feeding with another child that was not my own unless I wanted to.
As I celebrate black history month ,I’m here as a witness that the views on black women breastfeeding have soften in my opinion. I do not want to take away the beauty of breastfeeding by something so tainted as what happened to us over 150 years ago. I feel like more black women in the year 2017 are excited about breastfeeding then we have ever been. More support groups are being made to help educate all races on this topic. However Some of my peers have chosen to not breastfeed( its always your choice I’m not shamming anyone who chooses not to). Now that I am privy to this information on our history with breastfeeding , I cant help but wonder was certain stigmas passed down from generations. I remember my mother clearly nursing my younger brother in the early 2000’s and yes I giggled and turned my head as any child would. She didn’t have a cover over him and was openly feeding. Of course I would chalk my non -understanding to me being a child myself. Now that I’am older and nursing Titan , I’am happy to be following in her foot steps. Still in saying this according to a article on the ” National institute on minorities health and health disparities” website
The statics say that from 2011 to 2015, the percentage of women who initiated breastfeeding was 64.3 percent for African Americans, 81.5 percent for Whites, and 81.9 percent for Hispanics. African american women breastfeeding is lower then any race.
Why? That’s what I want to ask my fellow sisters. When I have had conversations with some of my friends, its seems that in the past they just didn’t have the proper resources to support them in making the decision. Could the blame be on the lack of push in the hospital after delivering your child ? Or is this something our grandmothers and mothers could have helped us with. Whatever the reason I want to let everyone know that its so many benefits in breastfeeding. Higher iq’s in your little one, great nutrition for there little tummy’s, helps with antibodies to help fight off colds along with other amazing things. As my rant comes to a close I want you to take a second and look at the photos I have included of those black women. I want to lose that stigma surrounding black women and breastfeeding, we will not be held back any more. Happy black history month to all, and to my breastfeeding mommas out there fed on momma you , ROCK !!
* I do not own copy rights to the photos shown*
There are resources for anyone that’s interested in learning more about breastfeeding I will provide below. I hope I didn’t rub anyone the wrong way , but if I did leave a comment lets talk about it.