Minority Health Archive

African American Women and Breastfeeding

Philipp, Barbara L. and Jean-Marie, Sheina (2007) African American Women and Breastfeeding. Project Report. Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, Washington, D.C..

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The United States of America suffers from the breastfeeding blues. During the 20th century, slowly—decade by decade— this great country became a formula-feeding nation. The events that followed Hurricane Katrina’s devastating path through the Gulf Coast in September 2005 exposed the enormous public health implications of being a formulafeeding nation. As flood waters rose, families sat on bridges and stood outside convention centers in hundred-degree heat pleading for clean water, food, and help. Instead of receiving clean, healthy food from their mothers’ breasts, babies sucked on dirty bottles of unknown liquids. We watched in horror as our tiniest citizens, so many of them black, grew sicker and drier right before our eyes. Then, in an effort to help, citizens responded by sending money and truckloads and cargo planes full of supplies, including boxes and boxes of infant formula. Kim Durdin-James, national president of the African-American Breastfeeding Alliance (AABA), summed it up well in saying, “In the best of times, breastfeeding is the optimal feeding choice for young children because it provides babies with all vital nutrients for growth and development, but in times of disaster, breastfeeding can mean the difference between life and death.”

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Item Type: Report Document or other Monograph (Project Report)
Additional Information: Access to full text is subject to the publisher's access restrictions.
Uncontrolled Keywords: breastfeeding; formula-feeding; nutrition; infant and maternal health; public health; maternal self-esteem; maternal/infant bonding; corporate influence in health care; infant mortality; Black babies
Subjects: Health > Nutrition
Health > Prenatal & Pediatric Health
Health > Public Health
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    Depositing User: Users 141 not found.
    Date Deposited: 05 Dec 2008
    Last Modified: 19 May 2011 09:41
    Link to this item (URI): http://health-equity.lib.umd.edu/id/eprint/1168

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