Why Black Women Are Statistically Less Likely To Breastfeed

Why Black Women Are Statistically Less Likely To Breastfeed

New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show there is a racial divide surrounding breastfeeding.

In the U.S. in 2010, 62 percent of African American babies began breastfeeding at birth, compared to 79 percent of white newborns, according to the CDC. Six months later, only 36 percent of the black infants were still breastfeeding, which fell significantly short of the 52 percent of white children who still breastfed.

HuffPost Live's Nancy Redd hosted a panel on Tuesday with several black women who weighed in on why this specific part of motherhood has such a conflicted presence in the African American community. Author and advocate Kimberly Seals Allers suggested that part of the problem is a perceived class issue that surrounds breastfeeding.

"The comments that I heard when I said that I wanted to breastfeed, such as, 'Breastfeeding is for poor people,' [or] 'Oh, why don't you give that baby a bottle?' -- [it was] lots of questioning of whether my baby was having enough, even though she was fat and my second child was fat and chubby," Allers said.

Check out more reasons for the breastfeeding disparity in the clip above, and click here to see the full HuffPost Live conversation.

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