MILWAUKEE — Low rates for breast-feeding may contribute to health gaps facing U.S. blacks, but in several cities grassroots groups are aiming to change that.
The Milwaukee-based African American Breastfeeding Network is one, and it recently got recognition from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The group’s monthly gatherings encourage mothers to breast-feed while sharing tips and learning strategies for beating barriers that keep them from nursing. That includes sometimes absent partners and employers who don’t allow breast-feeding in the workplace.
Benefits include less infant mortality, asthma, Type 2 diabetes and obesity, which all disproportionately affect black children. Breast-feeding also been linked with lower rates for some cancers and heart disease, which disproportionately affects black women.
The breast-feeding groups also meet in Detroit and Atlanta.