Disrupting the Black Breastfeeding Narrative

Black parents who want to breastfeed need providers who understand its cultural and historical significance in the Black community. For hundreds of years, Black women were forced to breastfeed the children of people who enslaved them. Now, providers can help empower families with culturally sensitive support, explains Pacify provider and IBCLC Tonya Daniel. 

Watch her conversation with Chief Clinical Officer Melanie Silverman about disrupting a painful narrative.

"Understand the historical and cultural ramifications of the whole breastfeeding experience.  Families of color are coming from a long line of the history of wet nursing, not being able to feed their own babies because they have to feed the slaveowners' babies....Even some of my family members said 'Well why would you want to do that?'. But it wasn't about me breastfeeding because somebody else told me to, it was breastfeeding because I felt like this was the best thing for my baby.

A lot of Providers don't understand how that oral history has been passed down....We have to disrupt that narrative."

Tonya Daniel, IBCLC, LCCE, CD/BDT (DONA)


It's the 9th year of Black Breastfeeding Week. This year, the theme is The Big Pause: Collective Rest For Collective Power.

For more information check out the top five reasons we need a Black Breastfeeding Week.

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