New Campaign Designed to Encourage African-American Moms to Breastfeed

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    The U.S. Surgeon General has announced a public education campaign that will focus on raising awareness among African-American moms on the significance of breastfeeding.

    “One of the most highly effective preventive measures a mother can take to protect the health of her infant and herself is to breastfeed,” said Dr. Regina M. Benjamin, surgeon general. “By raising awareness, the success rate among mothers who want to breastfeed can be greatly improved through active support from their families, their friends and the community.”

    The “It’s Only Natural” campaign was designed to provide material that reveals the experience of African American moms said Benjamin, who noted breastfeeding gives mothers and their babies a healthy start.

    Additionally, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention determined nearly 80 percent of all U.S. women, in spite of status, race or income, start out breastfeeding

    Statistically, the African American women breastfeeding rate was almost 55 percent, which is up 35 percent since the 1970s.

    Although these rates have improved, African-American women are still the lowest of all ethnicities living in the U.S., especially within those living in the South.

    This difference in the rates may show that African-American moms face issues meeting breastfeeding objectives and may need additional assistance to start and continue breastfeeding.

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