Black Breastfeeding Week 2021

Published: 23 August 2021 to 31 December 2098

Black Breastfeeding Week occurs on 23rd August this year and the theme is ‘The Big Pause: Collective Rest for Collective Power’.

The Black Breastfeeding Week campaign has been running for nine years in the USA, and is being celebrated for the fourth time in the UK this year.

Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust proudly supports Black Breastfeeding Week, which aims to highlight the unique challenges and triumphs that are often overlooked in the general conversation surrounding breastfeeding support.

The topic of black breastfeeding is exceptionally important as rates of maternal and infant mortality are higher in black women and their babies and reflect the wider health inequalities seen in the UK today. Black women also have more than five times the risk of dying in pregnancy or up to six weeks after giving birth compared to white women.

This shows a disparity in care during the prenatal and postnatal period between white and black and brown women[1].

Breastfeeding information and support needs to be culturally appropriate, to help black women overcome barriers to breastfeeding. We also need to ensure there are more positive images of black breastfeeding mothers and their families.

Our local services are Unicef Baby Friendly Initiative[2] accredited to the highest standard ‘Gold’ and we offer all mothers and their families infant feeding support, including breastfeeding and promote positive parent-infant relationships.

The many months of lockdown and restrictions during Covid-19 have increased isolation from family and friends, financial stress, loneliness and many other things. This year’s campaign theme ‘The Big Pause’ encourages all women to take time to rest, reflect and seek support when they need it.

For babies, breastfeeding can help reduce risk of:

  • infections, with fewer visits to hospital as a result
  • diarrhoea and vomiting, with fewer visits to hospital as a result
  • sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
  • obesity
  • cardiovascular disease in adulthood

For mothers, breastfeeding can help reduce the risk of:

During the week, Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust’s ISPHN service will be sharing these important messages and we encourage you to get involved and spread the word.

[1] Finally! The 2019 MBRRACE Report is published | All4Maternity

[2] About Baby Friendly - Unicef UK

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