breastfeeding; infant mortality; racism; equity; lactation


Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Maternal and Child Health | Public Health | Women's Health


Human milk is the optimal source of nutrition for infants, but few are able to provide their milk to their babies for the minimum twelve months recommended by health experts. This is especially true for Black women. Due to structural racism embedded in medical care, implicit bias of healthcare providers and generational traumas that began during American chattel slavery, Black women are less likely than every other ethnic group to initiate breastfeeding. Those that do are often sabotaged by unsupportive systems and lack of access to clinically-skilled, culturally respectful lactation consultants. Calling out the racism that exists in Lactation Land and holding the perpetrators accountable is necessary to level the playing field for Black mothers and their babies.