In spite of the given benefits of breastfeeding, such as antibodies to help your baby combat illnesses and reduced risk of chronic diseases and certain types of cancer, Black women still nurse at a lower rate than White women (69 percent vs. 85 percent). Breastfeeding for Black women has many layers, from being enslaved and used as wet nurses for their captor’s children to the current combination of policy and structural factors that lead to disproportionate and higher rates of formula use.

Phoebe Wescott, a birth equity analyst for the National Birth Equity Collaborative, focuses on improving health outcomes for Black mothers and babies.

In the video below, she shares her own breastfeeding journey.

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