Free to Breastfeed: Voices of Black Women / by Natasha Marin

In the U.S., Black infants die at much higher rates than Whites. April is Minority Health Awareness Month. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the rate for infant mortality was 5.6/1000 for whites and 13.3/1000 for Blacks. The good news is that breastfeeding is helping to close this gap. Free to Breastfeed: Voices of Black Mothers, a new book from Praeclarus Press,seeks to support Black mothers who want to breastfeed their babies. Compiled and edited by Jeanine Valrie Logan and Anayah Sangodele-Ayoka,Free to Breastfeed provides stories of challenges and triumph. It gives visibility to intimate details of the breastfeeding experiences of Black women that have largely gone unnoticed.

"Powerful, thoughtful, intriguing!!! The voices of these Black moms are so real that I can feel their presence. If you want to know the truth behind breastfeeding for today's Black moms, this is a must read. As you turn the pages, you will begin to see the faces of Black moms and babies. You will feel their joy, embrace their pain, and cheer for their triumph as the pages take you on a breastfeeding journey of life and family."

Kiddada Green, Founding Director, Black Mothers’ Breastfeeding Association

Jeanine Valrie Logan is a birthworker, homebirth mama, nursing student, and future midwife. Jeanine received her B.A. from Fisk University, and an M.P.H. from George Washington University. She has worked for reproductive justice organizations in South Africa, DC, and Chicago. Jeanine lives in Chicago with her husband and daughter.

Anayah R. Sangodele-Ayoka writes and speaks about breastfeeding, maternal health and personal empowerment. She also develops campaigns to promote breastfeeding-friendly communities through policy and public awareness campaigns with, including Black Breastfeeding Week. Anayah writes for the corresponding blog ( She earned a B.A. from Vassar College and is currently a student in the Midwifery/Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner program at Yale University School of Nursing. She is married with two children.

Praeclarus Press is a small press specializing in women's health located in Amarillo, Texas. It was founded by health psychologist, Kathleen Kendall-Tackett, Ph.D., IBCLC, FAPA, and produces books, webinars, and other materials on all aspects of women's health. The mission of Praeclarus Press is to produce materials that change women's lives.