Chocolate Milk Mommies Highlight Breastfeeding Amongst The Black Community

December 8, 2017
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A group of nine women have taken part in a photoshoot in an attempt to highlight, normalize and celebrate breastfeeding in the Black Community.

The nine mothers all from Alabama are pictured feeding their babies while wearing black dresses and crowns but remaining virtually topless in the process.

Angel Warren, one of the mothers posted a Facebook message in which she called for breastfeeding mothers who were willing to participate in a PSA photoshoot during Black Breastfeeding Week. Eight women volunteered and they all became friends after the first photoshoot.

The nine brave ladies have formed a support group called the Chocolate Milk Mommies of Birmingham and this particular photoshoot is their second shoot together.

Speaking to Yahoo Lifestyle, 26-year-old Charity Moore explained the intention behind the pictures. “We wanted to do something to capture the essence of how natural breastfeeding is. We used crowns to remind each other that we are queens and to keep one another lifted. We chose to come together to normalize breastfeeding. And it’ll never be ‘normal,’ unless it’s seen.”

PHOTO: LAKISHA COHILL OWNER OF HC INC

Explaining the reason behind the goddess theme the women chose, first-time-mom Rauslyn Adams also 26 said “To breastfeed, it takes strength, patience, and poise. We utilized the photo as a tool to bring awareness that it’s OK to feed your baby the natural way.”

Adams explains that one of the women is still breastfeeding her 2-year-old child and as a result has been shamed for doing so. “This photo was for awareness, for all the women who don’t have support in breastfeeding. This photo is also for women of color, because breastfeeding is considered taboo in our community; hence the hashtag #blackwomendobreastfeed.”

The Centers for Disease and Prevention have said that black women still need more targeted support to encourage breastfeeding, a fact that is certainly spurring the women of Chocolate Milk Mommies on to raise awareness and gather support.

PHOTO: LAKISHA COHILL OWNER OF HC INC

Since the photograph has gone viral, photographer Lakisha Cohill has said she is overwhelmed by how much notice her picture has received.  “I had no idea it would go viral, I just wanted to spread a beautiful, positive message through art, because these images are so powerful, and tell so many beautiful stories. Each woman represents a different chapter, including the one behind the lens,” she says.

Charity Moore has hit back at the breastfeeding haters pleading with them to stop treating it like it is a “dirty shameful act that people should keep hidden and stop doing as soon as possible.” “Breastfeeding is an amazing part of life and should be celebrated, not treated like some dirty secret,” she explains.

Charity also offered some advice to women who have received criticism for breastfeeding their children. “You have the natural and legal right to breastfeed your baby in whatever manner you see fit: covered, uncovered, in private, in public. Never let anyone else and their views dictate the choices you make for yourself and your baby,” she says.

Tiffany N. Wells and Baby Morgan. Image from Chocolate Milk Mommies Facebook

Charity explained that the women want to erase the stigma amongst the black community, in particular, especially in relation to breastfeeding. She said “Did we take these photos for attention? We absolutely did.” And they have certainly been given the right attention they deserve for highlighting such an important issue.

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