“It’s just for white people…” is one of the many myths that Kimberly Seals Allers has heard in her time as a breastfeeding proponent. The award-winning journalist and former senior editor at Essence magazine, is a trusted authority and consultant on the African-American motherhood experience. Not only that, she is the founder of a top-rated parenting website, MochaManual.com, and the author of The Mocha Manual to a Fabulous Pregnancy, a pregnancy guidebook for black women.
Allers’ mission evolved to incorporate breastfeeding when she learned the shocking figures about infant mortality rate among black babies. They are nearly 2 1/2 times MORE likely to die before their first birthday than their white counterparts, due in large part to premature and low birth weight.
Having nursed both of her children, Allers was a first-generation breastfeeder with no multi-generational support. She didn’t allow this lack of support stop her from doing what she felt was best for her children. She drove 13 miles to attend a breastfeeding support group at the hospital where she delivered her daughter. This group was the saving grace of her breastfeeding experience, particularly in the early days when she needed help to keep her going.
Her focus is helping more African Americans learn about the benefits of breastfeeding. She began sharing her story and worked on breastfeeding campaigns on Mocha Manual; now she can be found attending speaking engagements and women’s empowerment conferences. Partnering with major brands, Allers has widened her impact on the conversation of infant nutrition for African American mothers by founding Black Breastfeeding 360, “a comprehensive, multi-media content library of resources, perspectives and voices of the black breastfeeding experience.”
Allers works to dispel the myths of breastfeeding and to that end, shared with Goodenoughmother.com these five myths about breastfeeding among minority populations.