BabyAlthough rates of breastfeeding are generally on the rise, new data show that rates of breastfeeding initiation and duration continue to be lower among black mothers than among those of other ethnic groups. Join host Marie Biancuzzo and special guest Kimberly Seals Allers for discussion of cultural norms, particular challenges, and ways of supporting black families in initiating and continuing breastfeeding. Find out about the possible influence of socioeconomic, cultural, and parenting perspectives. Learn how health care providers, public health advocates, media, family, employers, and community all contribute to the current situation—and how they can support positive change.

Allers bio imageKimberly Seals Allers is an award-winning journalist and nationally-recognized commentator on motherhood and breastfeeding in the African American community. A former senior editor at Essence magazine, she is the author of “The Mocha Manual” series and co-author of “Giving Notice: Why the Best and Brightest are Leaving the Workplace.” In 2011, Kimberly was named an IATP Food and Community Fellow for the Kellogg Foundation’s effort to increase awareness of the “first food”—breast milk—in vulnerable communities.  She has been selected by the United States Breastfeeding Committee as a lead commentator for the national “Break Time for Nursing Mothers” campaign, and writes for several popular online parenting sites. Her next book, on the social, political and economic influences of U.S. breastfeeding culture, will be published by St. Martin’s Press this year. Kimberly is a divorced mother of two and lives in Queens, NY. She is online at and BlackBreastfeeding 360°.

Tune in Now with Host Marie Biancuzzo on her show Born to Be Breastfed for her new episode “Breastfeeding and Black Families” Listen in on the Voiceamerica Health and Wellness Channel.

Every new mother hears that breast is best. Many decide to breastfeed so their baby has the best. But soon after birth, the days are often fraught with sleep deprivation and conflicting messages from peers, family members, and health care professionals. Later, negative messages from the media and critical comments from family members and others may trigger mothers to question their decision. Feelings of inadequacy, intimidation and societal pressure to wean can cause mothers to give up breastfeeding before meeting their goals. The aim of this show is to empower parents to overcome the barriers that keep them from beginning or continuing to breastfeed. Through discussion of hospital practices, milk supply, medications, returning to work, milk storage options, and more, this show will provide an informed and supportive voice for new families and established families, so that they can take charge of their breastfeeding experience from conception through weaning.