Midwifery and Racial Oppression, #BlkBFing Chat Highlights, Black Women and Medicaid Podcast and More!


I’m going to try my best to post weekly/bi-weekly links to articles I come across. I forget that not everyone uses Facebook and Twitter, and that’s where I post most of the things I come across.

Anti-Racism and Anti- Oppression Work In Midwifery – Letter To Midwifery Today: Real Talk About Midwifery and Racial Oppression.
This powerful letter was collaboratively drafted by 97 BirthWorkers from around the globe.

While the article is gone from the Midwifery Today site, the discussion it has engendered is too important to disappear without a trace. It is important to us that your readers understand why the comparison between the anti-slavery struggle and the midwifery movement is wrong and profoundly hurtful. Even more than this, however, we hope to show that the struggle to provide a full range of birthing options must address our history of racial oppression if we really want to change birth in this country.

ChildBirth Connection Transforming Maternity Care – Urge Women To Question Elective Deliveries.

Don’t schedule elective, non-medically indicated inductions of labor or cesarean deliveries before 39 weeks 0 days gestational age.

MomsRising Blog – Breastfeeding: Obesity, Diabetes and Asthma Prevention.

Breastfeeding decreases the risks for obesity, diabetes and asthma. As a nephrology social worker, I see firsthand the consequences of obesity that can lead to diabetes and ultimately chronic kidney disease.

Healthy Black Women – Podcast on Why Black Women Should Care About Medicaid and It’s Expansion.

Twitter – #BlkBFing Twitter Chat Highlights.

Every Mother Counts via Jennie Joseph – Black History Month: Midwifery Matters.

As a Black midwife, newly arrived in 1989, I had no understanding of the history or legacy of midwifery in the USA, let alone the foundational role that African-American midwives played in the provision of maternity care for both Black and White women from slavery on upwards.

Reports Say Black Women Don’t Breastfeed… #BlkBfing

My Son - Samuel. Breastfeeding at 21 months old.

My Son – Samuel. Breastfeeding at 21 months old.

I am so happy to share with you this list of black women who breastfeed! If you check the current data on black women and breastfeeding you’ll most likely find reports saying that we do not breastfeed, we have the lowest rates, we only breastfeed for 3-6 months, etc.

I would like to know where are the studies talking about the black women that do breastfeed?

There are websites, Facebook pages, Twitter Accounts and Blogs dedicated to Black Women Breastfeeding. I’m not saying the data is wrong, but I don’t believe it’s as dire as they claim it to be either.

I know that black women breastfeed, and the evidence is right here on this website.

Some women chose to list how many children and for how long they breastfed. Some chose not to, and that’s ok. It doesn’t mean they didn’t breastfeed for a certain amount of time, they simply chose not to include that information. This list includes black women from all walks of life. Mama’s to one child, some to three, and six children. Married mama’s, single mama’s…some work, others stay home. Some nursed for 6 months – while others tandem nursed for years. Some used donor milk – others induced lactation.

Lets get started…





Jatika – and her cousin Shanetra.

@lawgurl both children

Dee 4 children: Last one currently nursing now over 2 yrs old.

Melek: Battled through biting issues and low supply from 9 months until he weaned at 12 months.

Dianthe: Breastfeeding for 4 years…on 2nd baby and tandem nursed for a year.

Monique: 13 months and counting! her mom, cousins and aunts also breastfed their children.

Angela: Breastfed all four of her children.

Natasha: 29 months and counting!

Sylvia: Tandem nursed 2.5 yr old and 3.5 yr old until she was 7 months pregnant. She weaned them at that time and is now nursing her 3rd baby.

Tiffony: Breasted my two for 2.5 years each. Was breast fed by my mom until age 3.

Jamita: nursing for almost 6 yrs. 2 yrs w/Myles, 2.5 yrs w/Myla and currently nursing Mylex 14 months.

Tamika: Breastfed for 27 months until she had to have oral surgery and was placed on medications for it.

Tiffany: Breastfed both of her older children, and planning to breastfeed her newest arrival as well.

Kimberly: Breastfed her first until he was 27 months, and currently nursing her 19 month old.

Kimberley: Induced lactation and breastfed two adopted daughters. Her oldest breastfed for 13 months but continued to receive breastmilk until she was 28mos. Her youngest breastfed for 10 mos but continues to receive breastmilk and she is 14 mos. They both come off the breast when they were teething, milk not coming fast enough and constant biting. Side note: They both received donor milk PAID FOR by Medicaid.

Pamela: Breastfeeding her son at 14 months. She plans to continue until he is 18 months.

Michelle: Currently breastfeeding her three-month old.

Tiffany C.: Breastfed her first till she was 14 months old; her second till she was 21 months old; and plans to breastfeed her new baby as long as we can!

Chalis: Breast fed her 1st for almost a year (14 years ago) & currently breastfeeding her 4 month old!

Kimberly D.: Breastfed her first until she was 3 yrs, her second until he was 3 yrs, her third until she was 3 yrs, her fourth until she was 4 yrs, her fifth until he was 4.5 yrs, and currently bf her 6th who is almost 6 months old♥

Courtney: Nursed her son until about age 25 mo, planning to let the baby still in the oven self wean.

Kornika: 10 months and counting!

Bianca: Breastfed for 6 months.

Rashanna: Breast fed all three of hers; 8 months was the longest.

Sheril: Breastfed five for a year each!

Kristal: Not only was she a breastfeeding peer helper for the WIC office, she also nursed her FAB 5…. One for 3 years… Breast ONLY!

Adiaha: breastfed two daughters. One for 2.5 yrs and the other up until one week before her third birthday.

Kanyla: happily breastfeeding for 7 months and plans to continue until her baby girl is ready to stop

I also breastfed all three of my children. My first for 10 months, my 2nd for 29 months and my 3rd 21 months and counting! At the time of this post 2/27/13 I have been breastfeeding for 34 months AND we made the cover of the 2013 breastfeeding calendar from Birth Routes.

Black Women Do Breastfeed is a Blog/Facebook page is about making the community of black breastfeeding moms visible. If you’re on Twitter follow along @BlkWmnDoBF.

Black Mothers Breastfeeding Association is a non-profit organization increasing awareness of the benefits of breastfeeding throughout the African-American community. Follow them on Twitter @BMBFA.

Blacktating features Breastfeeding news and views from a mom of color. Elita’s blog was talked about on TMZ! Check out the post here. Follow her on Twitter @Blacktating.

Did you know that Michelle Obama breastfed her daughters? Erykah Badu has breastfed all of her children and is seen breastfeeding her daughter in one of her music videos.

Then, there is this video on Black Women Breastfeeding: A Multi-generational Story.

As you can see, there are plenty of black women breastfeeding. Thousands even! We have since the beginning of time, and will continue to do so.

When I put the call out for women to have their name included I wasn’t shocked by the response, but very happy and excited that so many of you responded. Thank you so much to all who shared with us!

If you breastfed your child would you please leave a comment for others to see that black women do indeed breastfeed.

This post originally appeared as a guest post on Free To Breastfeed: Voices From Black Mothers on 2/29/12


I am happy to join ROSE(Reaching Our Sisters Everywhere) and Moms Rising in getting the word out on Black Women Breastfeeding for Black History Month. Read the other Making HERstory blog posts!

On Wednesday, February 27th, the “Blk BFing: Making HERstory” Twitter chat will take place with the hashtag #BlkBfing. To participate, search for #BlkBfing and join in the tweeting!

Thirty Three Months of Breastfeeding



I love this photo. I’ve looked at it every day since I took it. Doesn’t he look like an angel!? I really don’t understand how someone can think toddlers breastfeeding is disgusting.

This is the longest amount of time I’ve breastfed. Some days I’m ready to wean and other times it’s hard to imagine not nursing. I’m still undecided on weaning him myself or doing child-led weaning. I can say that he’s not ready. at. all. A few days ago he fell asleep while nursing and bit down. If you’re nursing a child with teeth, you know the pain that comes with that. I yelled ouch while pulling him off, of course he woke up, but settled right back down in my arms. My nipple was bleeding and throbbing. In that moment, I was done. I was pissed and in pain. I put some cream on my wounded nipple and he nursed on my right side exclusively for the next several days.

He always has to have both sides, probably because my supply isn’t what it used to be.  When he asked for the other side I told him it was broken. He seemed satisfied with that answer and even said he would fix it. I can’t stand nursing when I’m on my period….I feel annoyed and get the creepy crawlies. It reminds me of nursing my 2nd while I was pregnant with my 3rd.  And then there are times where he looks like such a sweet angel, sleeping at the breast, just like he did when he was a tiny baby. Oh, I don’t know what to do…lately I’ve felt like I won’t make it another three months. If I do, I’ll be nursing a 3yr old!  The only goal I had in mind this round was to nurse for 2years or so. That goal has been met. Now I need to figure out what I want to do.

Thirty Three Months of Breastfeeding…that’s a milestone for me.

Black Birth Carnival Call For Submissions

There are many blogs, and many bloggers out, there talking birth. Some are bloggers who blog about birth occasionally, while others talk birth regularly. Regardless of the frequency, they blog about the statistics, the interventions and the cesareans. They talk about the good births, the bad births, breastfeeding, the postpartum period and more. They discuss the how comes and the why’s, and there is no shortage of opinions on why you should and why you shouldn’t.

Amidst these many blogs are the few bloggers who might classify themselves Black, Mocha, African- American, Mahogany, Afrikan…. I call them Sista Midwives. Those few os us who in addition to blogging about birth often, and some exclusively, write posts that are written specifically for, about, and from our perspective as Black Women. One might ask…” So is birth really THAT much different for Black Women, when compared to Latina, Asian, or Caucasian?” I say yes, Yes, YES.

Sure the babies physically are born the same way. However… the joys and the pains of birth manifest differently in our lives; the spiritual, psychological, physical, emotional and cultural difference that exist are real and significant. It is just as important to note that as no two women of any ethnic group birth exactly the same, the birth stories and experiences of Black Women nationally and internationally are wide and varied.

That is why I came to Nicole, the fabulous Sista Midwife with the idea of putting together a new blog carnival. I am so excited that she jumped right on board. That being said, I am very excited to be introducing you to the The Black Birth Carnival, that we, myself….Nicole @SistaMidwife Deggins & Darcel Harmon @MahoganyWayMama, will bring to you throughout the year. You can follow both of us on Twitter and check out #BlackBirth to get continued updates about the progress and postings of The Black Birth Carnival.

In this first Carnival: Birthing While Black…A Historical Perspective, we invite you to submit an article or blog post that incorporates in some way, the history of Black Women giving birth. Write about the images that come to mind when you read the title for this first carnival. Tell us how your birth choices today are affected by your personal historical perspective. How do you think our birthing history affects the birth choices of women in our/your community? What unique bit of history can you share about the historical perspective of Birthing While Black? What gives you special pride when you look back into history and visualize Black Women giving birth? Submit an article or blog about anything you feel will highlight and incorporate our theme Birthing While Black…A Historical Perspective.

What is a Blog Carnival

A blog carnival is a collection of blog posts from a variety of bloggers on a particular subject, published on the same day. This blog carnival will be published/go live Tuesday March 27th. In addition to posting his/her article, each blogger provides links to all of the other posts submitted. Because of this, blog carnivals are a great way to learn about  other fabulous bloggers.
They give you an opportunity to connect with others and have the potential to increase traffic to your blog. If you do not have a personal blog and want to participate, please emails us ASAP at BlackBirthCarnival{at}gmail{dot}com so that we can find you a host blog for your article submission.

Guidelines and Instructions for Submissions

We are looking for posts that are well written, informative, thought-provoking, and relevant to the theme of the carnival. We prefer that you submit a new, unpublished post for the carnival however, if you feel you have the “perfect post” that has been previously published we will accept it.

Please email your posts to us at BlackBirthCarnival{at}gmail{dot}com no later than Tuesday, March 20th Wednesday March 21st at Midnight.
Be sure to put March Carnival in the subject line of the email and don’t forget to give us the title of your post. We cannot accept your submission without a title.

You will receive an HTML code with instructions via email no later than March 26th. You will need to place this code in your blog post so that you will link up with all of the other blogs participating in the carnival. For the success of the carnival, it’s important that you add this code. Please do not publish your post until after midnight on the 27th. We are excited about this new Blog carnival and we look forward to receiving your submissions.

In Birth and Love
Darcel @MahoganyWayMama & Nicole @SistaMidwife
Let’s Celebrate #BlackBirth