Breastfeeding Disparities In The African American Community

Breastfeeding disparities in the African American community relate to historical, psychological, and cultural factors, as well as structural racism. Coinciding with Black History Month, a special issue on “Breastfeeding and the Black/African American Experience: Cultural, Sociological, and Health Dimensions Through an Equity Lens” is published in the peer-reviewed journal Breastfeeding Medicine. Click here to read the issue now.

In the Guest Editorial entitled, “The Peculiar Indifference to Breastfeeding Disparities in the African American Community,” Sahira Long, MD, Guest Editor of the special issue and a pediatrician and lactation consultant, states, “race is a social construct with no biological or genetic basis. To me, this means that any disparities we have identified are, at least in part, socially mediated. Following that logic, the solutions for such disparities, including those in breastfeeding, can also be socially mediated.”

Arthur I. Eidelman, MD, Editor-in-Chief of Breastfeeding Medicine, states: “Breastfeeding Medicine is grateful to serve as the forum for highlighting the reality of the continuing disparities in breastfeeding rates in the African American community that are a reflection of the persistent structural racism and legacy of slavery that afflicts our society.” 

Original research articles published in the special issue include the following: 

  • Infant Feeding Exposure and Personal Experiences of African American Mothers
  • #EveryGenerationMatters: Intergenerational Perceptions of Infant Feeding Information and Communication among African-American Women
  • Disparities in Breastfeeding among US Black Mothers: Identification of Mechanisms
  • Racial Disparities in Sustaining Breastfeeding in a Baby-Friendly Designated Southeastern United States Hospital: An Opportunity to Investigate Systemic Racism

Read the press release and contact the authors.


Kindred’s Equity-Diversity-Inclusion Resources

Kindred’s Black Mothers and Fathers Resources

Saving Tomorrow Today: An African American Breastfeeding Blueprint

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