These Black Breastfeeding Moms Are Shattering Stereotypes in the Best Possible Way

Lakisha Cohill

The Chocolate Milk Mommies is a parenting group based in Birmingham, Alabama. In efforts to celebrate black breastfeeding moms, they came together to stage a beautiful "Goddess" photo shoot with the help of talented photographer Lakisha Cohill. What started out as a celebration for the group turned into a viral message that is inspiring women everywhere.  

  • For the Chocolate Milk Mommies, the Goddess photo shoot represents everything they stand for.

    “To us, a goddess theme was perfect because they represent strength, poise, and patience; qualities we all feel to be important when breastfeeding,” Rauslyn Adams told People.

    This wasn't the first time group members posed together. Photographer Lakisha Cohill did a photo shoot with the group before in honor of Black Breastfeeding Week, but unfortunately the shoot wasn't very well received. 

    "The first shoot was excellent, but didn't get the message across," she tells CafeMom, also sharing that the women received many negative comments. "So I suggested we shoot again, but this time with a theme that showed how powerful they were and the beauty in breastfeeding."

    More from CafeMom: New Mom Calls Out the Breastfeeding Shame We Don't Talk About

    It was then that one of the members, Angel, suggested the "Goddess" theme for the photo shoot. "The ladies then came together creating their outfits for the shoot, including the crowns they wore to signify their power," she says. 

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  • Lakisha believes the group emboldens women to feel confident in the choices they make for their children.

    "Each of these women represents a chapter to rewriting the story of our history," Lakisha says. "For as long as I can remember, women, particularly women of color, have been given a script on what they should or shouldn't be doing, so we decided to drop the original script, and create our stories based off who we are not who we're told to be." 

  • The Chocolate Milk Mommies are working to encourage more black women to consider breastfeeding.

    Although they all agree that every mom should do what's best for her, even if she ultimately decides not to nurse, they definitely want more women of color to break free of the idea that breastfeeding is a taboo. “It is important to show black women breastfeeding because our community needs it,” Rauslyn said. "We need the support and we need our children to be healthy as well.”

  • Lakisha didn't breastfeed, but she says that the group has completely changed her outlook on nursing.

    "I didn't breastfeed due to lack of knowledge and support," she says. "These amazing women have convinced me why it's so important to nurse your children naturally, and have created a community specifically to give knowledge, and support to moms who breastfeed."

    More from CafeMom: Woman Shares a Powerful Thank-You to All the Black Breastfeeding Moms Out There

    Now, she hopes that her viral photos help inspire other black moms the way that Chocolate Milk Mommies help have helped her. "I'd like people to see a beautiful bond between women, and their children," she says. "This is a statement saying that black women do breastfeed too, despite them being encouraged not to."