Praeclarus Press
Excellence in Women's Health
Free To Breastfeed
Free To Breastfeed: Voices of Black Mothers​

Free to Breastfeed: Voices from Black Mothers outpaces other books on the topic because it gives privilege to actual women. Facts about breastfeeding and statistics can be found in numerous pamphlets and with professional lactation consultants. However, there is no other book on the market that can give a new or expectant mother the experience of seeing her experience reflected in the stories and pictures of other women. While there is growing coverage to the disparities in breastfeeding rates, the actual thoughts and experiences of African-American nursing mothers are overlooked. It is precisely these first-hand experiences that breastfeeding mothers seek from other women.

“Data shows that breastfeeding rates among African American women lag behind those of other races/ethnicities. While this may be true, Free to Breastfeed provides readers with a wealth of captivating stories about just a few women who are helping to close the gap. Reading their stories reminded me of the powerful experiences I had on my breastfeeding journeys. Through the ups and downs, as many of the voices captured can attest, I will never regret or forget what I gained through the sacrifice I made to breastfeed.”

Sahira Long, MD, IBCLC; Pediatrician, Lactation Consultant, DC Breastfeeding Coalition President, Wife and Mother of 2 

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 is a co-editor of Free to Breastfeed: Voices from Black Mothers. She 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 MomsRising.org, including Black Breastfeeding Week. 

In addition to editing and contributing to the book, Anayah writes for the corresponding blog (www.freetobreastfeed.com). She is a board member of the Lactation Education Accreditation and Approval Committee and a member of the the International Center for Traditional Childbearing.

Anayah 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

Authors Jeanine Logan and Anayah Sangodele-Ayoka talked about the importance of giving voice to African American moms’ stories, of claiming breastfeeding as part of the African American experience and tradition, and about going beyond the typical headlines about black women and breastfeeding. They discussed treatment by healthcare providers, breastfeeding support organizations, and also shared which stories moved them. We think you’ll really enjoy the conversation!

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