By Hannah Schenker
We saw this photo on Facebook of the gorgeous Semone and baby Chastney, and couldn’t help but be taken aback by its beauty. This mama radiates love, strength and yes – royalty as she is captured breastfeeding her baby. Photographer Laura Marsh of Blue Sky Photography includes this photo in a small series called The Queen Mother.
“The goal,” Laura says, “is to have images of black women breastfeeding their babies to increase awareness and hopefully increase their breastfeeding rates. African American breastfeeding rates are the lowest, they lag behind white and Hispanic women by 20%.”
“I am a doula, a photographer and a mother. Working as a doula for the past 10 years was how I learned of the different breastfeeding rates between the races. Black women have the lowest breastfeeding rates , 59% vs 75% for white and 80% for Hispanic women. [source]
“They have the highest maternal mortality rates at 4 x that of their white counterparts [source], and their infant mortality rates are double those of white and Hispanic babies [source].”
See more photos on the next page.