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Black Breastfeeding Week


WHEREAS, Virginia is committed to supporting Virginia families by reducing infant mortality and increasing the health outcomes of mothers and babies; and

WHEREAS, Virginia observes National Breastfeeding Month and highlights the importance of breastfeeding in providing early and important nourishment for babies; and

WHEREAS, Virginia is committed to making birth and motherhood safer through respectful clinical practices and interventions to reduce and prevent inequities experienced at significantly higher rates by Black mothers and babies; and

WHEREAS, Black infants have the highest infant death rate compared to other races and ethnicities in Virginia and these high rates have been attributed to premature births which have made infants susceptible to viruses and infections that can put them at an even greater risk of death; and

WHEREAS, breastfeeding can help mitigate infant mortality; and

WHEREAS, breastfeeding provides countless benefits to the nursing infant including easier digestion, production of antibodies and reduced risk of childhood obesity; and

WHEREAS, breastfeeding also benefits mothers with faster recovery from birth, reduced risk for postpartum hemorrhage, and uterine cancer; and

WHEREAS, there has been insufficient promotional and educational efforts to inform the community of the benefits of breastfeeding; and

WHEREAS, there is a significant need for a targeted and accelerated approach to increase Black breastfeeding rates in order to improve health outcomes for mothers and children; and

WHEREAS, during this week, we are dedicated to broadening public understanding of the critical impact breastfeeding has on improving the health of infants and mothers and reducing infant mortality rates;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize August 25-31, 2021, as BLACK BREASTFEEDING WEEK in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.