Montgomery, Ala. – The Wellness Coalition is offering two screenings of “Chocolate Milk,” a documentary about breastfeeding in Black America.
The screenings are free of charge and open to the public. Screening dates include:
- Tuesday, August 13, 2019, 12 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. at the Montgomery County Health Department, 3060 Mobile Highway, Montgomery, Alabama 36108
- Thursday, August 15, 2019, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church, 452 Cramer Avenue, Montgomery, Alabama 36104
- RSVP required at http://bit.ly/2XHFvyM. Those interested in attending should call (334) 293-6502 or visit www.thewellnesscoalition.org to reserve their space.
The Wellness Coalition is joining more than 200 organizations in the United States will show the film in their communities.
“The Wellness Coalition is honored to be chosen to showcase this important documentary,” said Latrice Lewis, REACH program coordinator for The Wellness Coalition. “We’re taking this opportunity to have discussions with community members in an effort to learn about the challenges breastfeeding mothers face right here in the River Region.”
Both screenings will include short discussions before and after the film. The Wellness Coalition will use these discussions to inform their work to increase rates of breastfeeding in Montgomery, Macon, and Lowndes counties as part of a cooperative agreement with The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Benefits of breastfeeding include:
- Reduced chance of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
- Enhanced brain and immune system development
- Reduced risk of asthma, obesity, diabetes, and gastrointestinal infection in infants
- Reduced risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, and ovarian and breast cancer
Low rates of breastfeeding add more than $3 billion a year to medical costs for the mother and child in the United States. 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).
Other reports indicate that six out of every ten mothers do not breastfeed for as long as they intend. How long a mother breastfeeds her baby is influenced by many factors including:
- Issues with lactation and latching.
- Concerns about infant nutrition and weight.
- Concern about the mother taking medications while breastfeeding.
- Unsupportive work policies and lack of parental leave.
- Cultural norms and/or lack of family support.
- Unsupportive hospital practices and policies.
“I wanted to look beyond statistics to paint a picture of black motherhood and the challenges that make it harder for some women to nurse past six months,” said Elizabeth Bayne, the filmmaker behind “Chocolate Milk.” “By creating a documentary about the challenges and joys around breastfeeding in the black community, it is my hope to spark public discussion on how communities can better support black breastfeeding mothers.”
ABOUT THE WELLNESS COALITION
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 www.thewellnesscoalition.org or call (334) 293-6502.