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Breastfeeding benefits Black parents and babies


Black Breastfeeding Week
 began in 2013 to encourage more Black parents to breastfeed. This week celebrate breastfeeding in the Black community and raise awareness of challenges Black parents can face.

Less than 74% of Black babies are breastfed—while more than 86% of white babies are. Fewer Black parents breastfeed because they experience:

  • Less access to breastfeeding resources.
  • Disparities in healthcare access and treatment.
  • Workplaces that don’t support breastfeeding.

Black parents who choose to breastfeed deserve support and education from health professionals, friends, family, and the community.

Breastfeeding means healthier parents and babies

Breastfeeding improves bonding and child development. Black parents should choose breastfeeding when possible because:

  • Fewer Black infants will die. Breastfed children receive immunity and nutrition. This helps babies create a stronger defense against communicable and chronic diseases.
  • Babies digest breastmilk easier than formula.
  • Breastfed babies are at lower risk of SIDS.
  • Breastfeeding parents find it easier to lose pregnancy weight.
  • Exclusively breastfeeding provides natural birth control for 6 months.
  • It’s free!

Help us raise awareness 

This week—and always—we must raise awareness for and support Black breastfeeding!

On Saturday, Aug. 26, at Alma Tacoma, we celebrated Black Breastfeeding Week with others in our community. We provided resources and consultations, gave away prizes and more. Events like these – together with Black Breastfeeding Week – offer us a great opportunity to highlight the importance of breastfeeding. You can help us continue this work all year round!  

When Black parents advocate for breastfeeding, more professionals can provide culturally responsive breast-feeding support specific to the needs of the Black community. This can help remove the stigma and increase knowledge and peer and social support around Black breastfeeding.

Learn how Black Infant Health supports Pierce County parents on their breastfeeding journey at tpchd.org/bih.

A black woman breastfeeds an infant