Black Breastfeeding Week: Resources For Children And Families
By AJ Cecil-Starlin, Sioux City, Iowa.
This year marks the 7thannual Black Breastfeeding Week, celebrated August 25-31. The 2019 theme is “The World is Yours: Imagine. Innovate. Liberate!”
LLL USA wants to help highlight the importance of diversity in resources and lactation support. Positive representation of Black people in books, media, and lactation support impacts experiences and outcomes. “Research suggests that exposure to books and other resources about people who look like them, and stories that reflect their world, may contribute to an infant and toddler of color’s developing appreciation of self.” (Sandra Hughes-Hassell and Ernie J. Cox)
Recent studies* have also shown that positive outcomes increase when Black families receive care and support from providers of color. Access to Black lactation support and exposure to positive representation in books and media can help more Black families reach their human milk feeding goals.
It is imperative for people of all races, genders, and abilities to read stories about people who look like them. Never seeing someone who shares similar physical characteristics, experiences, or abilities can make both children and adults feel that they do not matter and negatively impact self-esteem and pride in who they are. Books about breastfeeding need to be diverse in their representation of people and experiences. “When you have generations of women who haven’t breastfed, it’s important for them to see images of themselves breastfed to say, ‘okay, this actually does happen,'” says author and national breastfeeding advocate Katherine Barber.
Below is a list of books about breastfeeding/lactation written for Black families or by Black authors to help you get started. The list includes books for children, parents, and lactation professionals. La Leche League USA is committed to supporting Black families in reaching their human milk feeding goals and accrediting a diverse body of La Leche League Leaders in the United States.
Books for Children
- Best Milk by Kate Carothers
- I will Breastfeed Anywhere by Jennifer Saleem
- Milkies in the Morning by Jennifer Saleem
- Noey Loves Nursing by Monica Haywood
- This Milk Tastes Good by Chenniah Patrick
Books for Parents and Lactation Support Professionals
- The Big Letdown by Kimberly Seals Allers
- The Black Woman’s Guide to Breastfeeding: The Definitive Guide to Nursing for African American Mothers by Katherine Barber
- Free to Breastfeed: Voices of Black Mothers by Anayah Sangodele-Ayoka and Jeanine Valrie Logan
- Lactation Management: Strategies for Working with African-American Moms by Katherine Barber
- Little Black Breastfeeding Book by Jacqueline Lois
- Melanoid Breastmilk: The First Building Blocks to a Strong Family Foundation & Community by Ariane La’nea Randolph
Please send your story ideas to Amy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Supporting Breastfeeding Families–Today, Tomorrow, Always
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