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Despite its benefits, Black mothers still have to overcome a lot of barriers to breastfeed.

According to the CDC, an increase in breastfeeding among Black women could decrease infant mortality rates by as much as 50%. Human milk has been proven to reduce the risks of upper respiratory infections, type 2 diabetes, asthma, sudden infant death syndrome and childhood obesity — health conditions Black children experience more than others.

Unfortunately, despite all the benefits that breastfeeding offers, there are still many systemic barriers that stand in the way and prevent Black mothers from breastfeeding, including poverty, early return to work, and access to breastfeeding information and support.

Add to that the inability to find a private place outside the home to pump breastmilk. And the stigma that still surrounds this beautiful bonding between mother and baby in public and you can understand why breastfeeding is such a difficult decision for many mothers to make.

At CGE, Our Early Relational Health Specialists talk with our moms-to-be about everything they can expect if they decide to breastfeed. We don’t try to persuade a mom to choose one way or the other. We provide education so they can decide for themselves if it’s the best choice for them and their babies.

And once they decide, we do everything we can to support their decision. In fact, recently one of our ERH Specialists assisted a mom-to-be who wanted to breastfeed with securing a free breast pump through her insurance.

Offering moms choice and voice, particularly at a time when it seems like doctors and professionals are in control, is critical. Mom knows her body best. Empowering her matters.

This educational part of our services continues throughout our moms’ birthing journeys.

Our ERH Specialists work with each mom to create a birth plan. They explain to our moms what they can expect when they get to the hospital — they explore how it will feel to have their body be the subject of the many doctors, nurses and technicians involved in their child’s birth. And they’ll sit with them and discuss their options, from choosing the hospital, to her strategies for labor, to how she wants to connect with her baby after the birth.

As specially trained doulas, the role of our ERH Specialists is to always be there to support the moms. To make sure their voices are heard. And their concerns are addressed. They even have a hospital-go-bag packed so they’re ready to be with the mom during her entire time in the hospital — if the mom wishes.

Breastfeeding Resources:
New Jersey Breastfeeding Coalition
Chocolate Milk Cafe of Northern New Jersey Milk Mixer.