SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – August is National Breastfeeding Month and on Friday the city of Springfield issued a proclamation declaring this week as ‘National Black Breastfeeding Week.’

There is a huge disparity in babies getting breastfed within the Black community versus outside of it and with all of the benefits it brings, that’s why this week the city is advocating for this important issue.

According to the group behind the week, 75 percent of white moms have breastfed versus 58.9 percent of black moms. With a black infant mortality rate twice the rate of white babies, as well as many black babies being born disproportionately born too small, too sick or too soon for a number of reasons, the benefits of breast milk in this community is even greater.

If you’re a mother facing challenges, you can meet with a lactation consultant like Shenell Ford who organized this meeting in City Hall, “With Black Breastfeeding Week, we absolutely love to be able to highlight and celebrate and support lactation especially in communities that really need the support and that don’t adequately get the support that they need,”

As the City of Springfield continues to support the advocation for increased lactation, city employees now have a dedicated parental leave lactation in City Hall to privately and comfortably attend to their lactation needs.

On Saturday night, Ford is hosting an event at the Boys and Girls Clubs to further support for this issue.