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Adams Continues Black Maternal Health Advocacy with Black Breastfeeding Week Resolution

Sep 3, 2020
Press Release
"if mothers could meet current medical recommendations for breastfeeding, it would save the United States economy nearly $13 billion per year in pediatric health costs"

WASHINGTON, DC – This week, Congresswoman Alma Adams (NC-12), introduced a resolution, H. Res. 1096, "expressing support for the designation of the week of August 25 through August 31, 2020, as 'Black Breastfeeding Week' to bring national attention to the United States maternal child health crisis in the Black community and the important role that breastfeeding plays in improving maternal and infant health outcomes."

“One of the ways we can fight back against the Black maternal health crisis and the tragic, unnecessary loss of too many mothers and children, is by celebrating and uplifting Black Breastfeeding Week. This important week centers the voices of Black mothers and families, encourages the reclamation of our breastfeeding tradition, and advocates for policies to make lactation support more equitable and accessible,” said Adams, co-chair of the Black Maternal Health Caucus. “If every baby were exclusively breastfed for 6 months and then on through the first year, we could prevent 2,268 maternal deaths and 626 infant deaths annually across the United States. That is one of the many reasons I am proud to introduce this resolution designating the week of August 25 through August 31 as “Black Breastfeeding Week.’’ Let’s work together to bring national attention to the crucial role that breastfeeding plays in improving maternal and infant health outcomes and the importance of instituting policies that expand access to culturally-competent lactation support.”

"Since 2013, Black Breastfeeding Week has been a beacon for our community, inspiring and encouraging Black families to breastfeed, not just for improved infant and maternal health outcomes, but as a way to right centuries of injustice to the Black motherhood experience," said Black Breastfeeding Week co-founders Kiddada Green, Anayah Sangodele-Ayoka and Kimberly Seals Allers. "That history cannot be reconciled without truth--and this resolution serves as an important step in the reconciliation and reparation that the Black maternal-infant dyad deserves. This year’s theme to 'Revive, Restore and Reclaim' speaks directly to the twin pandemics of Covid-19 and the ongoing pandemic of systemic racism that continue to disproportionately harm Black communities. We stand in solidarity with Black-led organizations, policymakers and allies who listen to and support Black mothers to create a level-playing field in decision-making about infant feeding and beyond and to reclaim our breastfeeding tradition. We await more courageous conversations, public proclamations as well as policy and social support such that all Black mothers have the support to optimally feed their infants, maternal and infant health disparities are eradicated and all Black communities thrive."

The resolution states that "if mothers could meet current medical recommendations for breastfeeding, it would save the United States economy nearly $13 billion per year in pediatric health costs" and countless lives. 

A copy of the resolution can be found here.

Congresswoman Alma Adams represents North Carolina’s 12th Congressional District (Charlotte) and serves as Vice Chair of the House Committee on Agriculture. Additionally, she serves on the House Financial Services Committee and the House Education & Labor Committee, where she serves as Chair of the Workforce Protections Subcommittee. In 2019, Rep. Adams co-founded the Black Maternal Health Caucus with Rep. Lauren Underwood.

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