Breastfeeding has always been a traditional practice in Native communities. We want to continue to strengthen and encourage the traditional practice of breastfeeding to improve the lives of women, babies, and families for generations to come. Statistically, Native mothers and babies represent one of the lowest exclusive breastfeeding rates at six months of age as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics of any race or ethnicity in the nation. For native families, breastfeeding is an important determinant of health.
Portraits Of A Native American Mom Breastfeeding Have A Powerful Message | HuffPost Life
A Native American mom hopes her breastfeeding photos will empower women and educate the world about motherhood in her culture. When photographer Vanessa Simmons stopped in Oklahoma City as part of her "Normalize Breastfeeding" tour , Banks traveled to the area to pose for photos in traditional Native garb while nursing her son, Nico. Banks told The Huffington Post she is passionate about breastfeeding as a very "natural" part of motherhood. Everyone is always on the go or in a hurry, and breastfeeding becomes cumbersome. But the benefits can outweigh the burden, she added, noting that breastfeeding strengthens the mother-baby bond, helps moms "slow down" and is a wonderful opportunity to cuddle. Banks said her commitment to breastfeeding stems in part from an old Polaroid picture of her late mother, Dorothy Lucille Wahwasuck-Cervantes, nursing her as a baby. A breastfeeding advocate and cultural preservationist, Banks works for the Citizen Band Potawatomi in Oklahoma to help with revitalization efforts in preserving their Native language.
Portraits Of A Native American Mom Breastfeeding Have A Powerful Message
Traditional practices of mothering are important to the identities of Indigenous women, families, and their communities. Infant feeding is central to mothering. The grandmothers wish to restore historical aspects of mothering and share their knowledge and mothering expertise with future generations. The purpose of this chapter is to introduce and recognize traditional knowledge gathered through sharing circles and interviews with grandmothers and great-grandmothers who share their own infant feeding practices and those of their ancestors and their children.
Breastfeeding is a gift from mother to child and has a wide range of positive health, social and cultural impacts on infants. The link between bottle feeding and the prevalence of early childhood caries ECC is well documented. In Aboriginal communities, the higher rates of ECC are linked with low rates of breast feeding and inappropriate infant feeding of high sugar content liquids. The Baby Teeth Talk Study BTT is one project that is exploring the use of four interventions motivational interviewing, anticipatory guidance, fluoride varnish and dental care to expectant mothers for reducing the prevalence of ECC in infants within Aboriginal communities. This research explored cultural based practices through individual interviews and focus groups with older First Nations women in the community.