Photo: Lakisha Cohill
By Winnie Gaturu 
Some of the best things in life come free of charge; sunlight, oxygen and breast milk for babies. 

Breastfeeding has all the nutrients babies need, it strengthens their immune system, and it’s the cheapest option when it comes to feeding newborns. With all these benefits, it's no wonder that pediatricians recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months after which solid foods can be gradually introduced.

However, for African-American women, exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months is a bit difficult. In fact, a report by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) noted that between the years 2011 and 2015, the percentage of women who initiated breastfeeding was 64.3 percent for African-Americans, 81.5 percent for Whites, and 81.9 percent for Hispanic women.

Clearly, African-American women have a lower percentage. This is attributed to many factors including: lack of proper information on the benefits of breastfeeding, a work environment that doesn’t support breastfeeding, having to return to work too soon after childbirth, fear of being stigmatized while breastfeeding in public and cultural belief that breast milk doesn’t make the baby full. To address this problem, a group of Alabama moms decided to take action by spreading a positive message about breastfeeding and encouraging other black moms to follow suit.

Photo: Lakisha Cohill
Their journey started when one of the moms, Angel Warren, was searching for a group of volunteers in Alabama for a photo shoot during ‘Black Breastfeeding Week.’ After that first photo shoot, the moms became friends and formed a support group called the Chocolate Mommies of Birmingham. They did the second photo shoot as a group again, where each mom posed topless while breastfeeding their young ones, wearing black dresses, gold accessories and crowns. Their message is that breastfeeding is a natural act that shouldn't be discouraged or sexualized. Although the aim of the shoot was to spread awareness about breastfeeding and eliminate the stigma associated with it, they didn't expect their photo to go viral. However, they are all delighted that it did.



According to Angel Warren, all the women in the group are tired of breastfeeding being treated like a dirty or shameful act. As a result, they’ve created a website that serves as a resource for black women who breastfeed, and they also started the hashtag #BlackWomenDoBreastfeed to encourage more black women to nurse their babies.

What’s your take on breastfeeding?
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Winnie Gaturu is a writer, tech lover, mom, wife and student from Nairobi, Kenya. During her free time, she loves trying out new recipes, diy projects, filling in crossword puzzles and spending time with her family. You can catch up with her on yourhairandbeautywrite.wordpress.com.

By Jashima Wadehra

I am ALL about the wellness train that defined 2017. I am not, however, the most well-versed on spending hours peeling, chopping and blending my nutrients into instagram- worthy mason jar smoothies. I used to be a start-my-morning-with-a-cup-of-coffee kind of girl, until I discovered my morning elixir 3 months ago, life hasn’t been the same.

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In an effort to assist de-bloating and promote a sunnier disposition I decided to incorporate the tried and true warm lemon water into my morning routine, which was great but it got me thinking…..I had heard A LOT about the benefits of unadulterated Apple Cider Vinegar  and wanted to experience it for myself while integrating a few other key ingredients.

Say Hello to your new favorite hair, skin and energy life hack:
I compile the following ingredients in my trusty 32.oz  water tumbler:


1 Tablespoon of Turmeric:
We’ve all heard the hype behind turmeric, beyond its skin cleansing and yellow coloring benefits- it contains Curcumin. Curcumin possess an endless list of benefits and will soon become a staple in your cabinet.
Anti-inflammatory properties
Antioxidants
Promotes digestion
Enhances your brain’s neurotrophic factor
Lowers risk of heart disease
Has been used to treat arthritis


1 Lemon: 
Re-Open the lemonstand because baby, we bout’ to make some lemonade!! The age old lemon water is NOT a myth, it works. Not only does lemon alkalize, but its properties also encourage a boost in energy. Beyonce was onto something with that album…
Acidic properties
Digestive assistant
Flushes the liver and lymphatic system naturally
Contains vitamin C


2-3 Drops of Liquid Chlorophyll:
If you can get past the potentially green tinted bowels, liquid chlorophyll is a skin and internal health power player. There is a reason plants produce this incredible component and thrive because of its abilities.

Here is my favorite rundown on Chlorophyll:
Detoxes your liver
Expedites wound healing
Protects skin


½ Teaspoon of Cinnamon:
Cinnamon contains Cassia, it does much more than make apple pie and decorate hot cocoa. This sweet spice has several benefits beyond skin health.
Antioxidant
Lowers blood sugar
Anti Inflammatory


Pinch of Cayenne:
Capsaicin is a component in cayenne pepper, aside from its hint of heat, cayenne pepper can boost immunity!
Detoxifies
Lowers Cholesterol
Pain reliever
Packed with vitamins like B, E, and C.


Pinch of Black pepper
This underrated flavor enhancer is more than just for your potatoes. Black pepper not only assists your body in absorbing more curcumin because it contains piperidine, but has a slew of positive attributes!
Contains Vitamin K, Manganese, Iron, Fiber and Zinc.
Fights against intestinal gas
Anti-Inflammatory
Digestive assistant courtesy presence of Potassium



Drizzle of organic honey
The honeybear comes with more than just a sweet cuddle. Locally sourced organic honey can help combat your seasonal allergies as well as provide incredible skin benefits and lighten hair naturally!
Antioxidants
Lightening properties
DELICIOUS!!!!
Will combat the ACV and intense spice flavors


Apple Cider Vinegar
Ya’ll already know this beautiful probiotic filled vinegar is where it’s at. More than a salad dressing must- ACV is #bae.
Packed with probiotics ( if you can’t stand greek yogurt like me, this is the #PLUG)
Acetic acid
Reduces acid reflux
Helps manage blood pressure
Can assist in weight loss

Voila mix and mingle!

Drink this first thing in the morning for a week straight and reap the benefits!
I noticed the following,  changes within the first two weeks:
Clearer skin
Brighter skin
Shinier hair
Reduced eczema breakouts
Improved digestion
Decreased inflammation
Better quality sleep
Increased energy throughout the day
Less junk food cravings

Will this become a part of your morning routine? Let me know in the comments below! 
 P.S. I am NOT a doctor, so be sure to consult yours! 
Jashima Wadehra is a writer, dancer, entrepreneur, and lover of people based in NYC.  She can be found blogging at overpriced coffee shops or on a plane heading to a new place to write about.  Follow her on instagram at @TheChatterboxlifeEnthusiast and check out her new blog TheChatterBoxLifeEnthusiast.com.