Breastfeeding image

When you think of breastfeeding what picture pops into your head?

Are the pictures of the woman and baby that you see of women who are Caucasian?

If you answered yes, it’s ok you are not alone. Those are the same pictures I see also. As a matter of fact besides my mom and sister I have never seen a picture of a minority breastfeeding.

All of the pamphlets I received in the hospital are pictures of Caucasian women breastfeeding. Do you know how discouraging that can be as a new mom of color? As a matter of fact if I didn’t do my own research I wouldn’t know the wonders of breastfeeding and just how great breast milk is for babies.
(DO NOT GET ME WRONG HERE! How ever you get food to your baby is a wonderful thing. And a decision YOU must decide for yourself. So I’m not here trying to bash nor start a formula verse breastfeeding war. I understand both sides of the coin a believe you have to do what your have to do. Happy mommy, fed baby, all is well in the world)

Coming from my background it was never pushed to breastfeed. My earliest memory of breastfeeding is of my mom feeding my little sister, and that didn’t last long. As soon as she could my sister was switched to formula. (I think she was 4 months? Maybe younger) I don’t think my mother was educated enough to know to know the benefits of breastfeeding.

My next memory would be of my older sister breastfeeding. And bless her heart, she tried to make it to a year, but with the demands if her job and pumping and breastfeeding laws up in the air, I think she made it to 9 months, which is still a great thing.

So when I had my first, I was determined to make if to a year, yet with me being sick right after we left the hospital, a baby with jaundice, and him also having reflux, formula was being pushed on us left and right. We used formula with him several times. Lucky for me I had a baby who didn’t do so great on formula, and really didn’t like it. So when he could he went straight back to breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding saved my life. It is what helped me get through PPD. At the time I thought I was doing EVERYTHING WRONG as a mommy. Those were the thoughts that went through my head thanks to evil PPD.

The thoughts would tell me that I’m a horrible mom, that I shouldn’t be a mom, that I was stupid, failing and my child was better off with a different mother. That’s what PPD can do to a person. Lie.

The one thing, the only thing that I knew/felt I was doing right was feeding my baby. When ever I would feed him those thoughts would dissipate. This gave us a bond that I couldn’t get with him at the time. I am very thankful for those moments.
I made it to 13 months breastfeeding my first. With knee surgery and the meds I was on, we ended up stopping, and I morn that still to this day.

This baby was different. With more knowledge, the support of my hubs, and a wonderful doula, Sharon Goulay , I got to watch the miracle of nature happen. They put my baby boy on my chest, and I got to watch him instinctually crawl to my breast and naturally latch on. With no help or intervention from me or anyone else. What a beautiful thing to see. We have been feeding ever since.

I am more confident in breastfeeding this time around. I don’t hide it anymore. I breastfeed anywhere and everywhere we are, and I’m not ashamed of it. I’m gonna feed him until we both are ready to be done, not forced by any medical reasons. I have even educated my big 3 year old that breast are for feeding babies. That babies need mamas milk. So that when he sees other breastfeeding moms it’s just as natural to him as a baby being fed a bottle. So that he can grow up and be a supportive partner/friend/family member.

I found out about a project being held here in my town. A group of wonderful women are trying to promote breastfeeding in the minority community. They are taking pictures of minorities in their homes breastfeeding their babies. To show that hey it’s just as natural for us as our Caucasian counterpart. I got to be a participant. They came to my home and took beautiful pictures of baby and me. The pictures are then going to be used in an exhibit to raise awareness in the minority community during breastfeeding awareness month. (August)

So please check out their site, and enjoy pictures of me and my baby and another mommy with her baby.

They are looking for more mommies. So if you are a breastfeeding minority who lives in the Columbus, Ohio area please feel free to contact them if your spirit moves you.


6 thoughts on “Breastfeeding image

  1. Great piece! I think showing the images is key. I’m really into that now. Let’s show pictures of women of color doing things like breastfeeding, reading, playing an instrument, jogging, swimming, etc. The visual piece really matters. Also, what I hear (or hear suggested) is that Caucasian women don’t have to work, so they can breast feed. So many things wrong with that sentiment that it’s not even worth addressing, except that there are benefits from breastfeeding even if you only do it for a few weeks while on maternity leave (if you get maternity leave). Anyway, what we see is so important, so thank you for participating. Funny story. A nursing student once asked if she could give my middle kids a developmental test for her class work. They were toddlers at the time. I said sure. One of the tests involved giving my kids dolls and fake baby bottles — I guess to check their motor skills in holding and feeding the dolls. My girls threw the bottles across the room. The nursing student said that they tested very well except with the baby bottles, that they seemed to struggle with holding the bottles. Of course I was convinced my children were geniuses so this didn’t sit well with me. Then it hit me. Not only did my girls not play with dolls, but their little sisters were being breastfed, exclusively, as were they. The only way they had seen a baby being fed was on the breast. They didn’t know what to do with baby bottles. They didn’t know what these strange plastic things were, so they threw them like a ball! It’s all what you’ve seen, what you’re used to. My girls had never been “taught” to feed a baby with a bottle, so how could they be tested on their ability to do so? The student adjusted her findings accordingly, thank you very much.

    • Thank you thank you for your words!!! I totally agree with what you are saying. We aren’t out there enough, we are just as “normal” as our Caucasian counterpart, yet that’s not what is put out there. I think my son would son would throw a bottle too, he will have NOTHING to do with a bottle. Which is fine with me.

      Thank you again for reading and your words, they mean lots coming from another mom of color.

  2. I forgot to say, I think that breastfeeding helped me with my PPD as well, even with all the kids. I was overwhelmed and people would tell me that I don’t have to breastfeed, but the nursing made me sit down. It was something people couldn’t take from me. It was quiet, it helped me to calm down and appreciate the babies. If I had stopped earlier I think I would have just cleaned constantly while other people tended to the cute babies and that wouldn’t have been fair, or fun. Even when feeling depressed and worn out, the happiest times were when I was feeding my babies.

    Cheaper, too.

  3. Nursing was the only thing that calmed me down and gave me a chance to be still and quiet with my littlest. My anxiety was soothed by nursing. I am so glad that you are having such a better time nursing your littlest.

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