Presenter: Kenyetta Jackson, MPH
Description: Given the continued disparities in breastfeeding rates for Black and Indigenous families, this presentation will provide a historical overview of breastfeeding as a racial equity issue. Black and Indigenous families face the largest social barriers and experience the greatest health disparities when it comes to breastfeeding. Inequities result in policies, practices, and social norms that influence a person’s individual choices about breastfeeding and affect long-term health outcomes. These structural barriers exist during pregnancy, at the hospital, and in the first weeks and months at home after the baby is born—including access to Baby-Friendly hospitals and certified lactation consultants, which are often lacking in neighborhoods of color. This presentation outlines the unique challenges Black and Indigenous families face and how breastfeeding supporters can take action to ensure that all families have the choice to breastfeed.