In this week’s Facebook Live, Courtney Snowden, D.C.’s Deputy Mayor for Greater Economic Opportunity, visited Community of Hope’s Family Health and Birth Center to learn more about the benefits of breastfeeding during Black Breastfeeding Awareness Week.

Ebony Marcelle, Director of Midwifery, and Tina Pangelinan, a lactation specialist, shared insights on breastfeeding, and how the experience improves long-term health for mothers and babies alike. Not only does it reduce the incidence of chronic conditions like breast cancer and diabetes for the mother, breastfeeding also provides early bonding and invaluable nutrition for the baby, and is far less expensive than formula.

Marcelle and Pangelinan stress that commitment and a supportive environment are critical to breastfeeding success. Nursing mothers should liberally embrace a supportive network including partners, family, caregivers, healthcare providers, peers, lactation specialists, and the community, especially during difficult periods. With a network of support, breastfeeding is well worth the time and effort.