Sunday, September 16, 2007
If White Folks Sneeze, Black Folks Already Have The Cold
I attended a facinating talk the other night. A local retired dentist, Brian Palmer has set about the last 20 years to devote himself to researching the tie between breastfeeding and oral health. I have heard him present before, but this time his message seemed more refined and succinct. It was really exciting to listen to him explain the relationship between breastfeeding and SIDs, breastfeeding and sleep apnea, breastfeeding and speech impairment, breastfeeding and bed wetting, breastfeeding and ADHD, even breastfeeding and beauty (!) I couldn't help but get excited. This information should be known, and bless his heart, he's working to get it out there. Dr Palmer is a pioneer, and I feel so fortunate to have him right here in my own back yard. What was most impressed upon me, once again, is that issues that impact our culture as a whole, can really have exponential impact on the black community. Black women need to breastfeed. Its as simple as that. We have so much more at stake. Our folks suffer in disproportionate amounts from the above-mentioned maladies (more SIDs, more ADHD, more speech impediments, more asthma and sleep apnea) and therefore need the intervention of breastfeeding more. Why aren't healthcare providers saying this to women of color? Why aren't researchers saying it to healthcare providers? Well I'm going to say it. African-American woman need to choose breastfeeding (and low tech birth, but thats another essay) to impact long standing chronic conditions that impair the health and vitality of our children. (We also need to change other habits, but thats another blog also.) Black women need to be strongly encouraged to breastfeed and told exactly why. How about a government funded campaign for that?