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From The Grio / By Christopher Nelson — New parents are faced with an almost insurmountable number of decisions as they prepare for a new phase in their lives. Perhaps one of the most important considerations for a family, even before a baby arrives, is whether or not the new baby will be breast-fed.

That was the case for Jennifer Borget and her husband. She began breast-feeding three months ago after the birth of the couple’s daughter. While she is part an increasing number of African-American women who are breast-feeding, a recent study says that as a black woman, Borget is still the exception and not the norm.

Research conducted by doctors at Cooper University Hospital looked at the “barriers to breast-feeding” and was presented at the American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference. Researchers focused their attention on formula feeding mothers who had never breast-fed. The data shows that those surveyed chose not to breast-feed because there was a “lack of desire.” Many of the mothers also cited “misinformation” they received about breast-feeding as a deterrent.

According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention around 73% of American women start out breast-feeding, that number drops to around 54% when you look exclusively at African-American women, and African-American women are also less likely to still be breast-feeding as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics at six months and one year.

Borget, who has never used formulas, says she talked to a variety of people when making her decision. That group includes those who are part of her extended online community who are mom bloggers and mom tweeters, who she says were very supportive.

Still, she says she heard others complain about breast-feeding. The common refrains, she says: “It hurts really bad and they [the babies] want to eat all the time.”

She adds, “I didn’t hear negative things about it from my African-American peers, but I didn’t hear any advocates for it.”

Collinus Newsome-Hutt, a mom of three, says she didn’t breast-feed with her first child, but later made the decision to nurse during her second pregnancy.

“I was very intentional with making sure I understood nursing and what it meant for me, and what it meant for the baby,” she says.

(Continue Reading @ The Grio…)

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  • Alexandra

    They’re always studying Black people….I think if they combined all their other black stats maybe they could conclude a possible reason why.

    I somewhat agree with the 5th comment. Breastfeeding is cheaper and its the natural way. But there are consequences sometimes. My 2nd cousin who had sickle cell died after breastfeeding her newborn in the hospital. She was told she wouldn’t be able to breastfeed, but they allowed her too anyway. The baby took all her nutrients, and considering all the other health issues with sickle cell, she went into a coma. She died some days later.

  • AGirlNamedGoys

    @ Sickle cell, thats obviously different.

    people don’t think. WHAT THE FUCK IS IN FORMULA and WHAT THE FUCK makes you think thats what your baby should be eating???? People don’t even ask themselves these questions, this is a common sense situation.

    All that I dont have time bullshit,

    If you dont have time to give your child the BEST care, you shouldn’t have had a child. PERIOD. (for those who made a choice.)

    You feeding your baby BS, now chances are youll continue feeding you baby BS later i.e fastfood, GMOs…

    WE ARE HUMAN and the shit that’s on these shelves is NOT human food, its robot food. No wonder human potential is on the DECLINE.

    Peace and Abundance

  • To me breastfeeding was actually more convenient, cheaper, and less trouble than bottle feeding. Formula is crazy expensive and tastes awful. No bottles to wash, no need to heat milk. Breast milk is always at the proper temperature and ready to go. The ultimate fast food. Breast fed babies want to eat all the time because breast milk is so easy to digest, after all it’s made to feed baby people. Cow’s milk is harder to digest because it’s made for baby cows. Keep in mind that the purpose of cow’s milk is to put weight on a baby cow. Human milk is designed for brain development, which is much more crucial for humans. Sure they fill it full of chemicals to try to mimic breast milk, but why pay a fortune for a poor imitation when you can have the real thing for free?

    More importantly, it’s full of antibiotics and CUSTOMIZED to your baby. My son is six years old and never had an ear infection or even a cold until he started school. There’s nothing like that look they give you when they’re nice and full and content, there’s such adoration in that look. I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.

  • Dorsette

    Black women don’t receive much support by their mothers or the baby’s father to breastfeed. There is a whole immaturity angle on it as well, like it’s primitive and that breasts are only there for the man to play with. It takes a mature mindset to realize that breast feeding is best for their baby. It also takes a mature mindset to rear successful children, and we all know how black children are faring on THAT end too. smh. If single, lower-income women are the ones having all the babies, what we think we gonna get? Fetuses growed by Ramen noodles and $1 chicken sandwiches, babies chemically affected infant formula, and children growing up on steriod laden fast food.

  • “My 2nd cousin who had sickle cell died after breastfeeding her newborn in the hospital.”

    I find this rather hard to believe. I doubt very seriously that your cousin’s milk had even come in. The only thing that baby could’ve gotten that early is colostrum which is designed to clear out the baby’s digestive system. He couldn’t have taken all her nutrients because there was no milk yet for him to take. It takes several days for a woman’s milk to come in, especially for a first-time mother.