"African-American women have the lowest breastfeeding rate in the country" says Kiddada Green, president of the Black Mothers' Breastfeeding Association (BMBFA). Her Detroit-based organization is trying to change that.
Green founded BMBFA in 2007 to help Black mothers understand the importance of breastfeeding, which can prevent many future health issues like obesity and create a stronger bond between mother and child.
Another goal of the association is to debunk misconceptions. "A lot of people think it hurts," says Green. "If it hurts, then the baby is not latched on properly."
BMBFA supports expectant and current mothers who choose to breastfeed. The third Tuesday of each month, the group meets at Detroit's Lipke Recreation Center where they have dinner and discuss different breastfeeding topics.
Green and her colleagues also occasionally team up with the Skillman Foundation and Henry Ford Hospital to give seminars on breastfeeding. "We try to make it family oriented," says Green, indicating that fathers are also welcome.
With a long-term goal of going national, BMBFA has already made headway by working with the Centers for Disease Control to promote breastfeeding among African Americans. The group also plans to increase the number of meetings per month to four, in various locations across metro Detroit.
According to Green, "Funding is our number one obstacle." Private donations and corporate funding goes toward purchasing breastfeeding kits for new members and expanding the club's reach. BMBFA also accepts donations of new breast pumps.
For more information, visit BlackMothersBreastFeeding.org or call 313-366-5996.