The Advantages of Breastfeeding

  • August 30, 2023

The Advantages of Breastfeeding


Sponsored by the U.S. Breastfeeding Committee, the month of August has been designated as National Breastfeeding Month, with the last week recognized as Black Breastfeeding Week.


While the merits of breastfeeding for women and babies of all color, race, and ethnicity have been recognized – including emotional connection, accelerated childbirth recovery, and reduced risk of ear infection and stomach problems in infants – it has been documented that Black women have a lower rate of breastfeeding than Hispanic and White women.


“This disparity underscores the need to focus on the many benefits of breastfeeding for all women, but for Black women in particular,” said Helen Araya, Program Director/Dietician at Whittier Street Health Center.


Heart disease is the #1 cause of death in women in this country, and Black women suffer from heart disease twice as much as White women, according to the Black Women’s Health Imperative. Studies have shown that breastfeeding not only helps to reduce the risk of heart disease initially, the longer a woman breastfeeds, the lower the threat becomes.


“Breastfeeding also reduces the risk of ovarian and breast cancer, type 2 diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis,” according to Araya, adding accelerated weight loss to the advantages list.


Babies who are breastfed have been proven to be at a reduced risk for diabetes and childhood obesity – lifelong health benefits that can start at infancy.


Whittier Street Health Center offers a full range of obstetrical services and case managers to support women’s prenatal and postnatal care. For more information, please call 671- 427-1000.

A note about Whittier and COVID-19

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak in our area, we ask all clients and patients to call ahead before coming to any of our sites. We are working to take care of most clients/patients via phone/video encounter so we can meet your ongoing healthcare needs. This is for your safety and so we can provide the highest quality of care to you while following CDC guidance for COVID-19. Please call 617-427-1000 for any questions or concerns.

Whittier will provide COVID-19 testing from 10 am to 4 pm on Monday to Friday. Following CDC guidance, we recommend testing if you have a fever AND one of the following three symptoms: cough OR shortness of breath OR sore throat. Please bring your picture identification and your insurance card (if you have insurance).