Why We Should Celebrate Black Breastfeeding Week

The month of August is National Breastfeeding Month. Each year women across the United States and the world celebrate and share their journey of breastfeeding their babies.

Breastfeeding advocacy groups, lactation consultants, peer coaches, and other breastfeeding supporters plan many events to raise awareness and support to educate women and the public about the importance of breastfeeding babies.

Women also join in the celebration by taking to various social media platforms to share their stories of breastfeeding and encourage other mothers and pregnant women to breastfeed their babies, too.

“In recognition of National Breastfeeding Month (NBM), each year the USBC hosts a social media advocacy and/or outreach campaign inviting breastfeeding coalitions, member/partner organizations, and individual supporters to join online actions and conversations to build support for the policy and practice changes needed to build a ‘landscape of breastfeeding support.'”

United States Breastfeeding Committee

Black Breastfeeding Week 2016

August 25th through the 31st is the 4th Annual Black Breastfeeding Week (BBW). This year’s theme is “Oh What a Joy!”

BBW is a week-long celebration of African American mothers who breastfeed their babies. It is a national event that was created by three women who strongly believe in encouraging and supporting Black mothers who breastfeed.

Visit the official Black Breastfeeding Week website at for more information. | Photo courtesy Black Breastfeeding Week


The Creation of Black Breastfeeding Week

According to Green, the three women were together at a conference and discussed starting a week-long celebration to recognize Black mothers who breastfeed. Black Breastfeeding Week was created and is now a nationally recognized awareness week during National Breastfeeding Month. Many cities across the U.S. celebrate Black Breastfeeding Week!

I know for me personally, it is very uplifting to know that there are organizations like the Black Mothers’ Breastfeeding Association (BMBA) who are very willing to help me on my breastfeeding journey.

Black Mothers’ Breast Feeding Association

When I moved to Detroit in March 2015, I was 8 months pregnant with Zechariah (my 4th baby). I had planned on exclusively breastfeeding him, but unfortunately, he was not able to latch.

Instead, I exclusively pumped my breastmilk for him. I pumped for nine months and eventually, my milk supply was very low and I had to start supplementing my milk supply.

At the time I was breastfeeding Zechariah, I did not know about the Black Mothers Breastfeeding Association. I really wish I would have known so I could have reached out to get more support for breastfeeding my son.

But now that I know about BMBA, I want to share this wonderful organization with all mothers who are currently breastfeeding or who may be pregnant and are thinking about breastfeeding.

Photo from when we first moved to Michigan and I was eight months pregnant with our fourth baby Zechariah.
Zechariah, 14 months


Black Mothers’ Breastfeeding Summit

On Saturday, August 27, 2016, Travis and I had the amazing opportunity to attend the Black Mothers’ Breastfeeding Summit at the Charles H. Wright African American Museum in Detroit.

I had the wonderful privilege of meeting with Kiddada Green, one of the co-creators of Black Breastfeeding Week. She was very gracious in answering a few questions for me about Black Breastfeeding Week and the Black Mothers’ Breastfeeding Association.

Green believes it is important to recognize Black mothers and fathers and “uplift and recognize their worth.” With so many negative depictions in the media of African American people, it is important to show the world the positives of Black people, especially in parenting.

Kiddada Green speaks to the parents attending the Black Breastfeeding Summit event in Detroit (8/27/16). She is the co-creator of Black Breastfeeding Week and founding executive director of Black Mothers’ Breastfeeding Association.

GLD: Why do you feel it’s important to inform Black mothers, and Black parents in general, about breastfeeding?

KG: This particular event (Black Breastfeeding Week) is really about celebrating those who do breastfeed, and really making them feel like you’re not breastfeeding in isolation. Black women do breastfeed their children and let’s come together as a community. I always look at food as communal. We want women to know that feeding is social. Food is communal and let’s do this together.

GLD: After Black Breastfeeding Week is over, what can we do as a community to support Black mothers who breastfeed?

KG: We definitely use this week as an opportunity for recognition and bringing light to that. Black Mothers’ Breastfeeding Association we do work all year round. We have community-based Doulas and community-based peer counselors that are free. We have our signature work Black Mothers’ Breastfeeding Club which is here in Detroit and it’s really a gathering again of sisterhood, a communal feeding women coming together to celebrate life and enjoy parenting so we have our Black Mothers’ Breastfeeding Club here in Detroit, and it’s also been replicated in Shreveport, Louisiana and in Gaithersburg, Maryland. We invite people who want to continue the celebration to join us on our social network for Black Mothers’ Breastfeeding Association.

“Oh, What a Joy!” annual Baby Lift at the Black Breastfeeding Summit in Detroit (8/27/16).

Oh, What a Joy!

Last year’s Baby Lift was called “Lift Every Baby”. In conjunction with Black Breastfeeding Week’s theme, this year’s Baby Lift is called “Oh, What a Joy!”

Green explained to the parents attending the Black Breastfeeding Summit, “it’s our way of showing our babies matter. It’s an opportunity for us to celebrate our family and the way we nurture our children.”

She went on to explain the Baby Lift is a way for parents to come together in unison to uplift our children and recognize their worth.

There are 40 locations signed up for events for Black Breastfeeding Week. If you would like to find out if there are any events in your local area, you can see the cities and organizations who have registered their events on the official Black Breastfeeding Week website and Facebook page.

Special thanks to Kiddada Green for taking the time to answer my questions about Black Breastfeeding Week and the annual Baby Lift celebration! I am very grateful for the opportunity to attend the Black Breastfeeding Summit in Detroit.

*9/2/2016: An earlier version of my post had incorrect titles of Kiddada Green, Kimberly Seals Allers, and Anayah Sangodele-Ayoka. This post has been updated with the correct titles.


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Unless otherwise stated, all photographs are courtesy of Jennifer Hamra for Good Life Detroit. Post updated 10/17/2020.

12 thoughts on “Why We Should Celebrate Black Breastfeeding Week

  1. I have breastfed my six babies, and am still nursing my littlest. It is such a jy and so important to know that we are not alone in our journey. Community and support is key to being able to do it successfully.

    1. Thank you, Terryn! I agree with you: it is very important to support and uplift our community. This was such a great celebration and I was very happy to learn the month of August was a celebration for all breastfeeding mothers. How amazing that you are still nursing your little one! My son is 14 months now and we breastfed for 9 months. Best wishes on your breastfeeding journey!

    1. It was my first time hearing of it, too! It was a very inspiring event and I am happy the month of August celebrates all mothers who breastfeed! 🙂

    1. You’re welcome, Shahla! I had learned about BBW for the first time last week, too. It is such a great celebration of women. I am so happy to see more people supporting all mothers who breastfeed!

  2. Yes yes yes! This is such an important movement that should be supported by every person that calls themselves a breastfeeding advocate. Community is so important. Thank you for this interview, it’s great to hear what one of the founders of BBW want supporters to do once it ends.

    1. Thank you, Naya! Attending the Black Breastfeeding Summit was a great learning experience for me. I agree with you! Before last week, I hadn’t know about Black Breastfeeding Week. I am really happy to see more organizations and women support breastfeeding moms across the world!

  3. I didn’t even know of the movement. I am HUGE believer in breastfeeding. Thanks for sharing. Looking forward to connecting with you on Twitter. xo

    1. Hi, Siedah! I didn’t know about the BBW, either. I found out on Wednesday, I believe, and I was really excited to learn there’s a BBW for Black women. It’s such an important movement to have for women of color. Happy to connect with you on Twitter, too! 🙂

What are your thoughts?