Human Milk is a Human Right

Why is access to human milk a human rights issue?

Human milk is a racial justice issue

Lactation was used as a tool for oppression (genocide) during the era of enslavement where Black enslaved parents were forced to breastfeed the offspring of oppressors, denying Black babies access to human milk. Now, current systems of oppression continue to create barriers for Black parents to initiate and sustain lactation, from disproportionate access to paid family leave to outright racism in lactation care (one study found Black parents were 9x more likely to be offered formula in the hospital than their white counterparts).

Human milk is a family equity issue

Not all family structures include a parent who can or wants to lactate. But what if we lived in a society where human milk was readily accessible through nonprofit milk banking and peer-to-peer community milk sharing? Equity for trans and queer families, adoptive families, surrogate families, and all family structures demands creative solutions to human milk access so those parents who desire to feed their baby human milk have easy, free, and equitable access to human milk.

Human milk is a climate action issue

It is estimated that increasing breast/chestfeeding would reduce emissions to an equivalent of removing 50,000-77,000 cars off the road, through reductions in emissions from formula’s dairy industry, transportation, production, and waste. Simultaneously, being able to feed your baby with your body is the best disaster preparedness plan that parents can have, rather than being vulnerable to the increasingly common scenarios of contaminated water sources and climate refugee displacement.

Human Milk is a Human Right

Formula Crisis

As infant formula recalls and supply shortages put more and more babies at risk, it’s important to remember the policies and practices that got us here in the first place and support lactation and human milk access as a human rights issue. This means ensuring that people who WANT to lactate are supported with policies and practices that align with their choices. It also means acknowledging the harm of systemic racism in shaping infant feeding practices.

Donate Milk

Nurturely's HQ, the Lounge, is a Community Milk Drop location

Contact us to learn more about donor milk!

Milk drops are convenient locations where approved donors can drop off their milk, meet other donors and recipients, and build community around human milk access. Nurturely is proud to partner with Northwest Mothers Milk Bank.

Take Action

Support Equitable Human Milk Access

Support lactation in your community

Join our Milk Magic Educator Program to support access to preventative lactation education in your community. Are you an employer looking to support lactation in the workplace? Contact us for consultation opportunities. 

Coalition Development

Learn about the work Nurturely and partners are doing to convene cross-sector stakeholders to ensure all babies have access to human milk

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