World Breastfeeding Awareness Month is coming to a close, but Black Breastfeeding Week is just getting started. Running from August 25 to 31 this year, it's a special time specifically dedicated to a group of mothers who don't always get the support or attention they need. To that end, there are several Instagram accounts that offer support, community, and reassurance for every mom, and following them during Black Breastfeeding Week is a great idea.
Created years ago by
Kimberly Seals Allers, Kiddada Green, and Anayah Sangodele-Ayoka, Black Breastfeeding Week was designed to bring attention to the critical factors surrounding Black lactation, from cultural barriers to food deserts to a lack of diversity in lactation experts.
"Black Breastfeeding Week was created because for over 40 years there has been a gaping racial disparity in breastfeeding rates," according to the official Black Breastfeeding Week website. "The most recent CDC data show that 75% of white women have ever breastfed versus 58.9% of black women... The fact that racial disparity in initiation and even bigger one for duration has lingered for so long is reason enough to take 7 days to focus on the issue," the site continued.
To that end, each of these Instagram accounts brings a unique perspective to the struggles and beauty of breastfeeding for Black moms. Some are designed to be informative, others inspirational, and still others are just a series of incredible photos to contemplate as you walk your own breastfeeding journey. But even with their different approaches, the underlying theme remains the same: Black breastfeeding moms need our support.
1 Black Breastfeeding Week
The official account of the movement, those who wish to get involved in Black Breastfeeding Week can find updates and events here.
2 Black Girls Breastfeeding Club
Black Girls Breastfeeding Club was started by an Atlanta-based mom and public health scientist dedicated to advocating and sharing stories and support for Black breastfeeding. The account offers information and events to learn more.
3 La Leche League
La Leche League is an international breastfeeding advocacy group. It works to support nursing moms as well as lobby for pro-breastfeeding efforts around the world.
4 Black Moms Breastfeed
Black Moms Breastfeed was started by Tae McGee, a registered nurse, clinical nurse educator, content curator, natural hair enthusiast, and lifestyle blogger who wanted to normalize breastfeeding in the Black community. To that end, the account is filled with images of Black mothers feeding their children and taking care of their families.
5 Breastfeeding World
Breastfeeding world began as a photography project and has since expanded into a global effort to create beautiful, empowering images of breastfeeding. Now a global movement, it includes images that cross borders around the world.
6 Breastfeeding USA
Breastfeeding USA believes every mother deserves evidence-based breastfeeding information and support. To that end, this account uplifts mothers in the thick of their nursing journey while providing them with important information to help them see it through.
7 Breastfeeding Twins & Triplets UK
Moms that commit to nursing twins or triplets are the real superheroes and this Instagram account celebrates their hard work by information and support for those feeding multiples.
8 Chocolate Milk Mommies
Created to “empower breastfeeding mothers, and the urban communities in which they live, with the services and skills they need to be productive," this Instagram account is a positive space to seek inspiration and support.
9 Moon and Cheeze
Moon and Cheeze is an account that documents the experiences of photographer
Brie McDaniel who lives in the Pacific Northwest. Her account includes many beautiful nursing images and highlights Black Breastfeeding Week. 10 Candice Brathwaite
British author of "I Am Not Your Baby Mother" and founder of of Make Motherhood Diverse, Candice Brathwaite writes about motherhood, racial bias, and white privilege. In this post she posits:
"But why must it be black breastfeeding week?"
"Because black women are given the least help when it comes to breastfeeding support. Because in the UK black babies are 50% more likely to die in their first 28days than a baby from any other race. Because before we were wet nurses, we fed our babies well and we need the space and time to be able to remember that."
11 Chaneen Saliee
Chaneen Saliee, voted "Mum Influencer 2020," uses her platform to promote self-love and empowerment. To that end, images of her breastfeeding are a part of her commitment to showing her authentic self to her followers.
12 African Bohome
Sunshine Abou Bakar is the woman behind Black travel blog
African Boheme and one of the most beautifully monochromatic Instagram feeds out there. She often posts about breastfeeding, as in this post that puts it simply:
“The humans I sustained in my body and with my body. Also known as the tiny tyrants who I diligently serve.”
13 Kimberly Seals Allers
Journalist Kimberly Seals Allers is one of the three founders of Black Breastfeeding Week and on her
Instagram account she covers all kinds of breastfeeding topics. You can also hear her discuss racism and breastfeeding on the Badass Breastfeeding Podcast. 14 _therenee
Committed to redesigning Black and Brown maternal experiences, Whitney Robinson is the founder of non-profit The Renee. The organization is a resource for maternal health that hosts jam sessions for women of color to challenge and change "the narrative around our bodies and children, one idea at a time."
15 Dem Black Mamas Podcast
The Instagram arm of podcast "Dem Black Mamas," this account is a sponsor of Black Breastfeeding Week and a space to learn about how to "raise free Black kids in an unfree world." Tune in
here. 16 Black Breastfeeding Mamas Circle
An account dedicated to "providing Black Women access to evidence based information, resources, and the support necessary to handle breastfeeding and motherhood successfully," you'll find posts to make you laugh, think, and learn (and for more, check out the
Black Breastfeeding Mamas Circle on Facebook).