Mary Muse: From Roots to Wings: “An Intergenerational Exploration of African American Mothers’ Breastfeeding Successes and Challenges”

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Meet Mary

Mary Muse is a Public Health Researcher and an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). She has been in private practice since 2012 as owner of Every Woman’s Breastfeeding Consultant, LLC. Since moving to St. Louis, MO three years ago, she is now owner of Mary Muse Consulting, LLC, providing prenatal mothers with virtual breastfeeding consulting. Mary and her husband have two children that were both breastfed.

From Roots to Wings: An Intergenerational Exploration of African American Mothers’ Breastfeeding Successes and Challenges

This session provides empirically-based findings from an intergenerational breastfeeding study based in the metro St. Louis area. In addition to interview data gathered from African-American mothers who successfully breastfed their babies, the researcher also interviewed grandmothers in order to glean intergenerational beliefs and perspectives around breastfeeding within the African-American community. The session provides (a) an overview of the historical, political, and economic contexts that have shaped African-American women’s breastfeeding experiences, (b) historical and present-day statistics on breastfeeding, and (c) the contemporary challenges that shape breastfeeding rates among African-American women in the United States. Findings from ethnographic interviews with participants highlight the efforts they have made to reconnect with their roots and legacy by breastfeeding their babies--despite present day challenges that African-American breastfeeding mothers experience in the United States.




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