Children’s book aims to normalize and educate people about breastfeeding
Airdate: October 10, 2022
Studies have shown that a lack of support for breastfeeding and a lack of education about it can act as a breastfeeding barrier.
Many say that it’s important for not only mothers to be informed about breastfeeding but their entire family, as it can make for a better and more inclusive experience.
Dr. Amaka Nnamani, author of “Ziora’s Quest: Mommy’s Milk Rocks!”, pediatrician and chapter breastfeeding coordinator for Pennsylvania American Academy of Pediatrics, Amara Nnamani, co-author of the book and Ola Nnamani, who inspired the creation of the book, joined us on Monday’s Smart Talk to discuss their book and the importance of children’s literacy around breastfeeding.
Nnamani said, most moms start out breastfeeding but many stop when they reach the three month to six month postpartum mark. She said, moms experience breastfeeding barriers like racial disparities because of their socioeconomic status, poor medical leave policies, and lack of information. Nnamani said, a child’s lack of knowledge about breastfeeding can act as a barrier as well.
“We know that if something is normalized for a child, they’re more likely to do it,” Nnamani said. “But we know that in our culture, in this country, breastfeeding is not something that’s really been normalized. It’s more normal to see a baby bottle feeding and I’m writing this book to empower and educate not only our current moms and pregnant moms, but also our next generation of girls to know the importance of breastfeeding.”
The book follows a girl named Ziora as she explores the world of “Milky White”, with illustrations of moms and children of color, and learns the true power of and fun facts about breast milk.
Nnamani and her daughters are Nigerian and decided to give the main character a Nigerian name that means “teach the world”, which fit perfectly with their mission for the book, to teach the world about the importance and benefits of breastfeeding.
Amara said their book is important because only a small amount of her friends know what breastfeeding is.
“So judging based on my school, I’m going to guess only 1 or 2% would actually know about breastfeeding,” Amara said. “My friends know now because I talk to them about it. I honestly think if more people would actually just take the time and really think about it, it could change a lot.”
One of the things that Nnamani and Amara are seeking to change with this book is the narrative created by children around breastfeeding; so that its not sexualized but normalized and embraced as a part of a mom’s way to sustain the life of their baby.