Kathleen Kendall-Tackett, PhD, IBCLC, FAPA marks Black History Month. In the United States Black History Month traditionally falls in February. Women’s Health Today began publishing in February 2017, and we have published many posts addressing Black women’s health issues on this blog.

Black History Month
Courtesy Lena Ostroff

I’m often asked why we need to highlight health issues among African-Americans. The answer is simple: look at the numbers. On pretty much every health metric we can name, African-Americans fare more poorly than their White counterparts. Black mothers are more likely to die in childbirth. Black infants are more likely to be born prematurely, and have higher rates of SIDS. Black women and men have higher rates of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome.

Why do we see these differences? From a physiologic perspective, there are a number of factors. Discrimination and historic traumas, structural differences in care, and the intersection of race/ethnicity with lower socioeconomic status. These issues must be addressed.

In spite of these challenges, there is a rich history and great strength, with intervention coming from within the African-American community itself.

Praeclarus Press commits to highlighting the health challenges and celebrating the strengths of the African-American community. Black History Month offers us an opportunity to highlight both.

Kathleen Kendall-Tackett, PhD, IBCLC, FAPA

kathleen-kendall-tackett-womens-health-todayDr. Kendall-Tackett is a health psychologist and International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, and the owner and Editor-in-Chief of Praeclarus Press, a small press specializing in women’s health. She is Editor-in-Chief of two peer-reviewed journals: Clinical Lactation and Psychological Trauma. She is Fellow of the American Psychological Association in Health and Trauma Psychology, Past President of the APA Division of Trauma Psychology, and a member of the Board for the Advancement of Psychology in the Public Interest. Dr. Kendall-Tackett specializes in women’s-health research including breastfeeding, depression, trauma, and health psychology, and has won many awards for her work including the 2016 Outstanding Service to the Field of Trauma Psychology from the American Psychological Association’s Division 56.

Dr. Kendall-Tackett has authored more than 400 articles or chapters, and has just completed her 35th book, The Phantom of the Opera: A Social History of the World’s Most Popular Musical. Her most recent books include: Depression in New Mothers, 3rd Edition (2016, Routledge UK, in press), Women’s Mental Health Across the Lifespan(2016, Routledge US, in press, with Lesia Ruglass), Psychology of Trauma 101 (2015, Springer, with Lesia Ruglass) and The Science of Mother-Infant Sleep (2014, Praeclarus, with Wendy Middlemiss). Her websites are:

Google Scholar

Black History Month

Battling Over Birth7 Steps to Create a Culture of Respect and Inclusivity

10 Key Principles for Applying Black Feminist Theory in Public Health

A Mobile Application to Promote Breastfeeding Among Low-income African-American Women

Battling Over Birth

Black Women Breastfeed

Birth Trauma: Psychological Trauma of Childbirth in Our Time

Breastfeeding Beliefs and Attitudes Among Black Americans

free-to-breastfeedBreastfeeding Disparities and Implications for the Life Course

Closeness of Breastfeeding

DONA International’s review of Battling Over Birth

Free to Breastfeed

Innovators Addressing Health Inequities within the African-American Community

Racial Disparities: Considerations for IBCLCs

Racial Disparity in Infant Mortality

Racializing Postpartum Mothers in Breastfeeding Promotional Contexts

Black History Month
Depression is Black

Reflections on Lactation in the African-American Community

The Only One

Voices of Black Mothers: A Book, A Website, A Movement