Welcome to the Black Women Do Breastfeed blog.

Our breastfeeding stories and images are not easy to find online. In fact, it would seem as if the story of modern black American women breastfeeding is limited. This blog seeks to highlight the many black mothers in the United States (and beyond) who do indeed breastfeed their children. Despite the statistics that show a despairing picture of breastfeeding among black mothers in the United States, there are many of us who have breastfed, are breastfeeding, and will breastfeed our children.

We invite all mothers who identify racially as black to share your breastfeeding stories here. It does not matter how long you breastfed or even if you used alternative feeding methods at some point, your story is welcome. This is a judgment-free zone.

***Even though this blog exists primarily to highlight the stories of black mothers we welcome all mothers to this space.

Anonymous’s Story – Black Breastfeeding is not a Monolith

Happy Black Breastfeeding Week! I felt like there are too few stories about Black Queer and Trans/Non gender conforming people who parent and even less about those who breastfeed. It’s a whole different ballgame for us. I want to share my story, but I need to be as anonymous as possible in efforts to not kick up dust with the family I am still associated with. 

I am a young, Black gender non conformist – I don’t adhere exclusively to either the male or female binary… Androgynous. I have been this way my whole life, and have outwardly expressed it since I was ten or eleven. 

When I was barely seventeen, I was raped and conceived a child. My family refused to believe me and insisted that they “knew this ‘gay thing’ was just a phase”, and “it was just my teenage hormones letting me know that I was becoming a woman”, amongst many other nasty things. 

I had to hide my pregnancy as much as I could. I wore larger and more layered clothes. After the baby was born, I had to go all day with full and leaking breasts – yet I still went [to school] and did more than well. That child died later that year, and I was forced to keep attending school through the whole ordeal like nothing happened, otherwise “I might bring more shame to the family”. My milk drying up was all the grieving I got to have, and though I loved breastfeeding when I first had the chance despite my body image issues, the experience left some ugly scars. 

The pain and anxiety stemming self-consciousness [left me] worried about a visible leak, and having to go eight hours or more a day without feeding or pumping literally fucked me up. To this day, I barely even look at my breasts, I avoid touching them as much as possible, let alone have them touched by anyone…I’ve considered a double mastectomy, but elected to look into a reduction instead. I’ve done some reading about breastfeeding after reduction, and it seems promising…but I’m afraid for future children and what that means for our breastfeeding experience. 

This isn’t shared to be sad or for sympathy, but it’s being shared to stand and say that Black people, Black parenting, and Black breastfeeding is not a monolith. I just want to say QTIPOC [Queer, Tran, Intersex People of Color] do conceive, we do parent, we do breast and chestfeed, and we want to be heard too.

Dawn’s Story — Breastfeeding with confidence

Dawn is a mother of four daughters — a 9 year old who breastfed for 26 months, a 7 year old who breastfed for 17 months, a 5 year old who breastfed for 28 months, and an 8 month old who is currently exclusively breastfed. Dawn is also a Certified Lactation Educator who enjoys sharing her knowledge and passion for breastfeeding. You can read more of Dawn’s thoughts at the blog she shares with her husband at Offdachainandouttadabox.
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Be a part of the updated Breastfeeding Guide

I recently received this email request to pass along to all of you:

The Office on Women’s Health of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is developing a breastfeeding guide and would like to include personal stories from real women. We are looking for stories that describe how women have overcome challenges, such as a lack of support or mastitis, to successfully breastfeed. If you would like your story to be considered for the guide, please email it to us at 4.woman@mail.ps.net with “Breastfeeding Guide 2” in the subject line. Stories should be 300 words or less.

We are also in need of high-resolution, discreet photos for the guide. Please let us know in your email if you have any photos that you would like to share.

The present breastfeeding guides can be found here.