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, here are 20
Instagram accounts to follow for Black Breastfeeding Week and beyond.
Created eight 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Jenne Clairborne is a vegan personal chef in New York City who's also a vocal advocate for breastfeeding awareness, having experienced difficulty herself. In this candid post from last year, she explains her own nursing struggles and how with help, she overcame them.
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."
In an effort to normalize breastfeeding, OB-GYN Dr. R. Clarke uses her
16.9k follower platform to speak about motherhood and medicine. In this post from last April, she writes:
"Cultural and societal expectation means women feel demonised for not feeding, and then again when they feed for too long. Outside of our Western bubble, weaning often occurs once kids are at school. That's not for me, but I'm not judging either. And yes, Black women do breastfeed despite the lack our visibility. My son is almost 2 and a half for those wondering."
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.
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 discusses what its like to breastfeed a toddler:
"Breastfeeding a Toddler Is pretty cool. It’s watching a tiny human navigate the world with all the sass and know it all of a teenager, then saunter over to you curl themselves up in a ball and find your lap home."
Brooke Angelique is a motherhood blogger and breastfeeding advocate. Her message goes beyond beautiful nursing imagery. On her website she shares a comprehensive
post about her breastfeeding journey and tips for moms in the midst of lactation themselves.
Atlanta's Trinity Sierra is a YouTube star who discusses motherhood, beauty, and faith. In this post, she kept it real for moms writing,
I know you are looking around feeling like you are overlooked this week because you chose to not feed your baby at the breast. I know that you had to make a hard choice to formula feed or bottle feed because of what others didn’t see. They may not see that your baby won’t stay latched, you have an underlying condition that is preventing you or it’s too painful sometimes. I know that you are tired and sleep deprived and want to just do the best you can and make sure they are eating even if you’re not. It doesn’t matter if the doctors pressure you, it doesn’t matter if your insta mom’s encourage you and it doesn’t even matter if your mom or partner “voices” what you should do. What matters is you doing the BEST YOU can with what you have. When your child grows up, they won’t be mad that you
#breastfed or bottle fed, they may not even remember or care. Don’t let society pressure you into being any less than you already feel because of how challenging motherhood really is. While I know this is #worldbreastfeedingweek I want you to know that if you’re a mom, still celebrate and pat yourself on the back because you FED your baby and you keep on feeding them the best way you know how. Don’t let what others do impact what you do as a mom.
Love, Another Mama Just Trying To Survive"
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.
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."
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
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).
The Instagram account of an "experienced breastfeeding mother & mental health advocate using her gifts to... inspire, beautify, encourage & support," you can show your support in return by checking out the
Beauty.N.Breast shop and picking up a cute tee with a saying like "I'm not spoiling, I'm nursing" on the front.