Claretta's Breastfeeding Journey

26 Aug 2016

Breastfeeding was not something I saw or even thought about growing up. The first time I saw a woman breastfeed I thought, she must be poor. No one told me that but everyone I knew had formula. It never occurred to me that it is better to give a human child, human milk. Most Formula is made from cows milk. Our children are not cows.

When I was pregnant with my first child, I got educated on how amazing women's bodies are. I learned that people breastfeed because it is the best food for human babies. Formula feeding has been linked to obesity,asthma and diabetes. Exclusively Breastfeeding lowers our children's risks of those diseases. Even when kids struggle with those sicknesses they would have been worse if they were fed formula.Black children have these diseases more than other children and die more because of race disparity in healthcare. Breastfeeding literally saves babies lives.

I wasn't quite as brave as I am now when I breastfed my older 3 children for 1 year each. My family and friends told me if they can ask for it then they are too old to breastfeed. They made comments that often made me feel embarrassed and I stopped breastfeeding after 1 year. My husband of 14 years, Daro always supported my decision  to breastfeed. He told me to breastfeed as long as I wanted. He changed diapers so I could sleep and he brought babies to me so I could rest and make milk! My younger 2 are still breastfeeding and they are toddlers. I l love seeing how healthy they are and I always have a snack ready when they get cranky. Today I am a Certified Lactation Counselor and I co-facilitate the Black Breastfeeding Sisterhood at the Willow Tree Family Center on 3333 S.Pennsylvania on 1st and 3rd Mondays from 3-5pm. Breastfeeding in public is important so people know that breastfeeding is normal and that breasts are not solely for pleasure.

The World Health Organization recommends only breastmilk for babies for 6 months and then continuing at least to the age of 2 years or until Momma and/or baby want to stop.

Clara Freeman 11 years, Vickie Freeman 9 years, Daro Freeman 8 years, Mishael Freeman 2 years and 7 months. Iris Freeman 17 months. My name is Claretta Duckett-Freeman.