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The NMA Breastfeeding Alliance was established in 2014 to help educate patients and professionals about the benefits of breastfeeding. For more than 30 years, African American women have had the lowest breastfeeding rates of all ethnicities. The gold standard is six months of exclusive breastfeeding, but among African Americans, the rate is only 20% compared to 40% among whites. Research shows that breastfeeding has benefits for both the babies and for mothers. For example, breastfed babies have lower rates of otitis media, diarrhea, and hospitalization for lower respiratory illnesses, and decreased incidences of allergies, asthma, childhood obesity and SIDS. Mothers who breastfeed experience decreased incidences of breast/ovarian cancers.
Our goal is to increase the rate of breastfeeding among African American women.
We encourage you read the information provided in the links below.

For Patients and Consumers

Breast Milk Spurs Brain Growth in Preemies
Formula Doesn't Protect Against Asthma or Allergies
Making Dads Part of the Solution
How to Pump and Store Breastmilk

For Professionals

The State of Breastfeeding in 2015
10 Steps to Successful Breastfeeding
Source: Protecting, Promoting and Supporting Breastfeeding: The Special Role of Maternity Services, a joint WHO/UNICEF statement published by the World Health Organization.

[PDF] The Burden of Suboptimal Breastfeeding in the United States: A Pediatric Cost Analysis.
Bartick M, Reinhold A.
Department of Medicine, Cambridge Health Alliance and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA

[PDF] Importance of Breastfeeding to Women’s Health
Michal A. Young, M.D.,FAAP
Associate Professor
Director, NICU and Newborn Nurseries
Medical Director, B.L.E.S.S.
Breastfeeding Coordinator, D.C. Chapter AAP

[PDF] Breastfeeding Leader’s Guide
Committee Opinion 570
Committee Opinion 361

[PDF] The Health Care Providers Role in Improving Breastfeeding Outcomes Among Minority Women
Mrs. Terri Chambers
Certified Nurse Midwife
Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology  
Morehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA
December 2013

[PDF] Breastfeeding: The Organic Choice
Kimberly R. Looney, M.D., FACOG
Meharry Medical College, Nashville, TN
March 6, 2014

[PDF] Where Can We Do More? Medical Schools, Hospi tals, Clinics, Community-Based Organizations
Michal A.Young, M.D., F.A.A.P.
Associate Professor and Chairman
Medical Director, B.L.E.S.S.
Department of Pediatrics and Child Health
Howard University College of Medicine
DC AAP Chapter Breastfeeding Coordinator

For more information, contact Carole West at

Join the NMA Breastfeeding Alliance at the Annual Scientific Assembly for a presentation on breastfeeding:




2:45-5:00 pm
MODERATOR: Theodore B. Jones, MD
Section Chair, Obstetrics and Gynecology
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Wayne State University School of Medicine

2:00-2:45 pm Addressing Perinatal Depression and Anxiety: A Health Education
Initiative of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child
Health and Human Development
Triesta Fowler, MD
Medical Officer/Office of Communications
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child
Health and Human Development (NICHD) National
Institutes of Health
Bethesda, Maryland
Abstract:  Dr. Triesta Fowler, Medical Officer and coordinator of the National Child & Maternal Health Education Program (NCMHEP), at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), will introduce NCMHEP’s new initiative on perinatal depression and anxiety, Moms’ Mental Health Matters. She will provide an overview of perinatal depression and anxiety, including etiology, risk factors, symptoms, and screening and will highlight NCMHEP’s new consumer print materials (available at no cost) and free continuing medical education activity for physicians and nurses. She will also talk about NCMHEP’s recent initiatives on non-medically indicated, early elective deliveries and new gestational age designations for term pregnancy, as well as NICHD’s national Safe to Sleep® campaign. 
  • Describe the risk factors and signs and symptoms of perinatal depression and anxiety.
    • Review the recommendations about screening and gold standard tool for screening.
  • Identify the resources available for patient and provider education on perinatal depression and anxiety.
2:45–3:15 pm  National Medical Association/W.K. Kellogg Foundation Breastfeeding

Health Disparities: Breastfeeding’s Role in Closing the Gap
Camille A. Clare, MD, MPH, CPE, FACOG
Assistant Professor
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
New York Medical College
Manhattan, New York
Abstract:  African American (AA) women have lower rates of breastfeeding compared to other racial and ethnic groups. Obstetricians may not be aware of the factors that inhibit successful breastfeeding in this population, including social determinants of health, racism and health disparities. Healthy People 2020 breastfeeding goals may be used as an example, but not the only model to address breastfeeding in younger women, those who are underserved, have poor social supports and AA women. Cultural taboos and the enduring legacy of slavery has reduced breastfeeding rates in AA women. By improving knowledge of those issues, physicians can offer solutions via African American community engagement and support of the NMA Breastfeeding Alliance. Such patient outcomes as breastfeeding rates and improved knowledge of the benefits of breastfeeding and the risks of alternative feeding choices among physician and the patients that they serve may be utilized to determine the effectiveness of policies and programs in this area. 
  • To discuss social determinants of health
  • To review issues of race and health disparities
  • To identify breastfeeding rates in African American women and underserved women
  • To determine solutions to lower breastfeeding rates in African American women
  • To introduce the efforts to address low breastfeeding and the NMA Breastfeeding Alliance
3:15-3:45 pm Leadership transition 2016: Where we have come from and where we
may go: Project Updates and Future Direction

Theodore Jones, MD, Section Chair
Section Chair, Obstetrics and Gynecology
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Wayne State University School of Medicine
  • Inform members of the progress that has occurred regarding the NMA Breast Feeding Alliance funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation
  • To review issues of race and health disparities
  • Introduce members to the AMAG-NMA-SMFM Collaboration on Birth Outcomes Disparities
  • Suggest future directions and opportunities for section collaboration
  • Best Practice Award (volunteers needs for Committee)
MODERATOR:  Dean E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA
Vice President, Medical Affairs
Dean, School of Medicine
Professor, Ob/Gyn, Internal Medicine and Pharmacology
University of Maryland
Baltimore, Maryland



Please join us for our annual meeting.  Two NMA members will be selected to attend the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine meeting October 13-16, 2016 in Washington, DC


The NMA Breastfeeding Alliance is by a grant from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation.  Contact Carole West at for additional information.

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