Black Breastfeeding Week 2021: Quick Stats + Facts

In the United States, African American women have the lowest rates of breastfeeding initiation, as well as continuation at six months and twelve months, compared with all other racial/ethnic groups in the United States.1

At Munamommy, we are a family, and we value openness and engagement with all of our moms and moms-to-be. The month of August is National Breastfeeding Month, and the week of August 25th-31st we celebrate Black Breastfeeding Week. Black Breastfeeding Week was started in 2013 to address the woeful discrepancy between black and white breastfeeding rates.

Here are some quick statistics as to how much of a disparity exists in the breastfeeding community when broken down by race, including reflections from real black mothers on their breastfeeding journies.

Facts and Figures

  • Women of Asian descent have the highest rates of breastfeeding at 81.9%2
  • Globally, only 40% of infants under six months of age are exclusively breastfed3

Reasons Why Mothers Stop Breastfeeding According to the CDC4

  • Issues with lactation and latching.
  • Concerns about infant nutrition and weight.
  • Mother’s concern about taking medications while breastfeeding.
  • Unsupportive work policies and lack of parental leave.
  • Cultural norms and lack of family support.
  • Unsupportive hospital practices and policies.

Breastfeeding Benefits

  • Breastfed infants have reduced risk for ear, respiratory, and gastrointestinal infections and might be less likely to develop asthma, obesity, and diabetes5
  • Protection against childhood infections and possible improvement of cognitive ability6
  • Breastfeeding also protects moms from breast and ovarian cancer and heart disease7

Reflections From Real Mothers

During my research, I came across an invaluable resource that was only a text away. TyLishia Rush who is the mom of two young boys, poignantly described her breastfeeding journey with me, “My Obgyn said a fed baby is best. The practice is real big on mom being healthy and happy first. If mom isn’t good physically and mentally, then everything else won’t be ok. I was told I could do whatever I wanted to do. I wanted to try breastfeeding with my son August because I was a huge overproducer. I was embarrassed to ask for help, so I only breastfed and pumped until he was five months old. Being in quarantine allowed me to perfect my breastfeeding skills with my second son Alex. I’m a pro now! I saw lactation specialists and got help before leaving the hospital, unlike last time. I’ve gotten so good that it’s too hard for me to wean him.”

Just like TyLishia and so many moms of color, receiving lactation support can be incredibly challenging at times. With more black women wanting to receive their health care services from people of color, there is a need for the industry to do more to attract minorities into these important healthcare roles. According to a 2019 report from the Academy of Lactation Policy and Practice only 10% of Certified lactation consults are black. However, organizations are taking notice and are on the road to helping that statistic change. One Willow, a wearable breast pump brand, initiated their LC Equity program in the Spring of 2021 as an employee-driven program. Through scholarships and donations, they strive to close the racial gap with Lactation Consultants.


Here’s a look at some of the best photos on IG celebrating black breastfeeding!

No matter where you are on your breastfeeding journey, the organizations below are worth taking a look at to see the invaluable work that they are doing in their communities and how they are changing lives and attitudes all around them.

Breastfeeding Resources

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