August 14, 2020, is now Native Breastfeeding Day in Minnesota, thanks to Headway team member Shashana Craft.
The month of August is National Breastfeeding Month. But, to recognize the experience of Native women, Craft felt that a special day was deserved.
Craft is an infant-parent specialist in Headway’s Family Spirit program. She brings cultural and traditional Native American, particularly Ojibwe, knowledge to her work in hopes of rebuilding communities and future generations of Native families.
As part of her personal mission to decolonize breastfeeding, Craft petitioned Minnesota Governor Tim Walz to recognize August 14, 2020, as Native Breastfeeding Day. Today the Governor signed the proclamation and made it official.
There is a lot of research showing that breastfeeding is not only physically healthy for both mother and baby, but also encourages strong mental health in both and helps to create a healthy emotional bond between the two. However, because of historical trauma, many Native women choose not to breastfeed. Craft hopes an official day just for them will help Native women reclaim breastfeeding for themselves and their children.
As the Governor’s proclamation says,
“There are many physical and mental health benefits of breastfeeding for both babies and mothers; and … we recognize the importance of reducing racial disparities in health care and birth outcomes and promoting diversity in the lactation field.”
To read the full proclamation, click here.Back to all blogs