The Wellness Coalition Celebrates National Breastfeeding Month By Showcasing Local Moms And Providing Free Support Groups

MONTGOMERY, Ala., Aug. 01, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Wellness Coalition (TWC) is launching its annual campaign to raise awareness about the importance of breastfeeding for mothers and babies, particularly in African American communities, in honor of National Breastfeeding Month.

“African American women have the lowest rates of breastfeeding compared with other racial and ethnic groups,” said Delia Hasberry, REACH program coordinator for The Wellness Coalition. “Minority women experience unique barriers to breastfeeding, including less acceptance at home or work and a lack of access to resources and support.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, breastfeeding disparities affecting minorities include:

  • Fewer non-Hispanic black infants (69.4 percent) are ever breastfed compared with non-Hispanic white infants (85.9 percent) and Hispanic infants (84.6 percent).
  • Black infants are 21 percent less likely to have ever been breastfed than white infants.
  • Mothers ages 20 to 29 years are less likely to ever breastfeed (80.4 percent) than mothers aged 30 years or older (85.3 percent).

National Breastfeeding Month Events
The Wellness Coalition provides resources and coordinates support groups to address breastfeeding disparities and to help normalize breastfeeding. In honor of National Breastfeeding Month, TWC will also:

  • Place life-size cutouts of local moms breastfeeding their babies in locations throughout the River Region. Images of these moms will also be featured on local billboards, social media, and newspaper advertisements throughout the month of August.
  • Provide free weekly virtual support groups in collaboration with River Region Lactation every Friday at 11:00 a.m. through September 30, 2022. Participants can register for a group at:
  • Host a free online breastfeeding summit on Wednesday, August 31, 2022 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. This event will cover the effects of chronic health conditions on breastfeeding and solutions to common issues. The virtual summit is ideal for moms, moms-to-be, support persons, lactation professionals, and anyone who wants to learn more about breastfeeding. Register at:

“Breastfeeding is a way of life. It is the most intimate, precious, bonding time you will ever get with your child,” said Eunisha Shephard, a breastfeeding mother in Montgomery. “Besides it being the healthiest form of food for my baby, it is also convenient and readily available. With a national shortage of food and recalls on formula, why wouldn't you want to breastfeed? Our bodies were made for this, so I hope people can stop acting weird when they see a mother nursing her child in public.”

Health Benefits of Breastfeeding
It is well established that breastfeeding is beneficial for the mother and baby. Babies who breastfeed have a lower risk of:

  • Asthma
  • Diabetes (type 2)
  • Eczema (a skin disease)
  • Gastrointestinal infections (diarrhea/vomiting)
  • Infections (ear, respiratory)
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) for preterm infants
  • Obesity
  • Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)

Mothers who breastfeed their babies have a lower risk of:

  • Breast and ovarian cancers
  • Diabetes (type 2)
  • High blood pressure

“Breastfeeding is one of the most important choices a mother can make for her baby’s health,” said Hasberry, “We hope that by providing support and highlighting local moms who choose to breastfeed, we can continue normalizing breastfeeding in our community.”

The Wellness Coalition provides no-cost coaching, education, and other services for River Region residents to manage and prevent chronic diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, hypertension, obesity, and more. To learn more, visit or call (334) 293-6502.

Travis Parker