15 quotes from Black Breastfeeding Week 2022 to reflect pride and joy

“When Black women breastfeed, they are inverting narratives, reclaiming traditions that were taken from them, countering stereotypes, and reestablishing the norm of infant feeding in our communities,” is a quote from Kimberly Seals Allers, co-founder of Black Breastfeeding Week. She not only sums up the depth of what it means to breastfeed in Black communities, but also the impact Black Breastfeeding Week, August 25-31, can create for future generations.

There was a time when our ancestors had no say in whether or not they would breastfeed their babies. Instead, they had to nurse the babies of their enslavers while some of their own starved.

Because of this, the history of breastfeeding in black culture is riddled with trauma and miseducation that has led generations to pass down an inherent resistance to breastfeeding. In many black households, breastfeeding was not normalized and we lacked adequate education from lactation consultants who looked like us and shared or understood the bias that exists in maternal health care. Black Breastfeeding Week, created in 2013, is on a mission to close the racial disparity gap in breastfeeding and inspire greater diversity in lactation consulting.

During this time, not only are Black moms encouraged to breastfeed and educated about the benefits, but we celebrate the right to have the choice to do so openly and freely.

The act of feeding our black babies from our black bodies it is Black joy and something to revel in.

Here are some other quotes, like Allers’s, from other Black breastfeeding advocates that represent the challenges, joy, and pride of the Black breastfeeding journey.

Police/E+/Getty Images

Quotes for Black Breastfeeding Week

  • “For black women, breastfeeding is an act of revolution.” — Black Tzedek
  • “Cuddling with your baby and playing soothing music can significantly reduce stress levels, creating a greater chance of increasing milk volume.” — Black moms who breastfeed
  • “I think a lot of people think you’re supposed to have this natural instinct that’s supposed to come out of nowhere. There’s a technique to learn and if you don’t know it, it’s not your fault.” – Alicia Keys
  • “One of the most effective preventive measures a mother can take to protect her child and her own health is to breastfeed.” — Regina M. Benjamin
  • “As natural and wonderful as breastfeeding is, it’s not that easy… Every woman needs support in making the decision to breastfeed.” — Tonya Lewis Lee
  • “I can’t control what’s in the formula, but I can control what goes into my body. I have never been so health conscious in my life! It all started with breastfeeding and making sure that what I was putting into my body didn’t seep into my milk.” —Tamera Mowry-Housely
  • “I wasn’t sure how I would feel about breastfeeding, but I quickly realized her brilliance.” — Kelis
  • “Breastfeeding is an act of resistance, a balm for generational trauma.” — State of the Mother
  • “Chocolate milk for chocolate babies!” — Brittany Fadiora, Certified Lactation Consultant and Doula
  • “Black Breastfeeding Week is not about separation or segregation. It is about supporting, highlighting and magnifying the voices of Black mothers and their children. As well as generations of people who have been and are negatively affected by systemic lack of support, provider bias and other cultural barriers.” — A town of mothers
  • Milk is good for the body, and if you can prepare it yourself, why not? — Phaedra Parks
  • “You can breastfeed even if your mother, your sister, your aunt and your friends couldn’t.” — Dr. San, OB/GYN
  • “I imagine that my ancestors, who had their babies ripped from their arms, who were forced to raise the babies of their kidnappers, would be very proud to see me breastfeed my children today.” — State of the Mother
  • “Breastfeeding gives me back my power and autonomy over my body as a black woman. A power and autonomy that was stolen from my ancestors.” — Caroline J. Sumlin
  • “For Black women, breastfeeding creates sisterhood and community as we develop models of peer support where larger systems have failed us.” — Kimberly Seals Allers
See also  Darden College's Brett Cook-Snell Named John R. Broderick Diversity Champion of Champions « News @ODU

Breastfeeding can be difficult, especially with some of the barriers we face. But you got this and you are not alone, especially during Black Breastfeeding Week.