A video campaign sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) breaks down breastfeeding myths in an effort to bust misconceptions. The “It’s Only Natural” campaign aims to raise awareness among African American women on the importance of and benefits associated with breastfeeding while providing helpful tips.
“One of the most highly effective preventive measures a mother can take to protect the health of her infant and herself is to breastfeed,” said Surgeon General Benjamin. “By raising awareness, the success rate among mothers who want to breastfeed can be greatly improved through active support from their families, their friends and the community.”
In the three-minute video, Dr. Sahira Long, pediatrician and breastfeeding advocate, says dispelling the myths of why women don’t breastfeed is a great place to start the conversation.
“There are myths that have been passed out through their generations and upbringing and trying to dispel some of those myths is the first step,” Long says in the video.
Jamilah Ellis, breastfeeding educator is featured sharing perpetuated myths like how breastfeeding affects the size and shape of the breast and how partners don’t want mother’s breastfeeding because they want their breast back.
"One thing that I heard a lot from a lot of moms in the community is that their partner did not want them to breastfeed because they wanted the breast back, and it kind of has to do with the over sexualization of the breast in the American culture," Ellis says.
According to the HHS, breastfeeding among African-American women remains lower than the rates of other ethnicities in the country. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported nearly 80 percent of all women in the U.S., regardless of status, race or income start out breastfeeding. Among African- American women, that rate is almost 55 percent, the number has increased 20 percent since the 1970s.
While the rates are improving, the breastfeeding rates among black women remain lower than any other ethnicities in the country, particularly among those living in the south.
on and fill the gap that indicates black women face barriers when it comes to breastfeeding.