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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