We continue our celebration of Black Breastfeeding Week today, with a guest post from Emerald Doulas client, Joy Long-Vidal de Oliveira about some of her motivation for choosing to breastfeed. You also might recognize Joy, and her sweet daughter, from images on our website!
I believe it is my duty to honor my ancestors and to boldly nourish my baby's development through breastfeeding.
I often reflect on the history of wet nursing and how Black women and their bodies have historically been objectified and denied their humanity & womanhood.
This historical trauma largely contributes to racial disparities where Black women breastfeed at significantly lower rates than White women. Though I believe things are changing, there is much work ahead to bridge the gap.
This is why it is very important to have Black Breastfeeding Week, as it celebrates and empowers Black women to be free in breastfeeding.
Black Breastfeeding Week reminds us representation matters, building community matters, and that our voices matter.
I honor Black breastfeeding mamas during this week, and each day of the year! My baby and I are going 5 months strong on our journey, and it is my goal to go as long as she wants. I love the bonding experience between my baby & I, and there is nothing healthier & more natural than the act of breastfeeding.
Yes, I have experienced ignorance and shaming from others even from within my family, but I have learned to focus on what breastfeeding provides to guide and liberate me.
I have learned breastfeeding is not always easy. It can be stressful, and can even seem hopeless at times, but I encourage us Black mamas to fight through & to trust the power of breastfeeding.