Storytime and Book Signing Features Children’s Book Normalizing Black Breastfeeding

August 22, 2022

If you’re in the Elk Grove area, stop by A Seat at the Table Books at 10 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 28, to enjoy author storytime and book-signing with California Breastfeeding Coalition Program Manager Jasmine Marquez.

Jasmine is an IBCLC who wrote and illustrated Breastfeeding All Around the Bay, a board book focused on normalizing breastfeeding using popular Bay Area landmarks.

The book fills a gap she discovered in seeking out books for her daughter, Margot, who was a toddler at the time. No matter how hard she looked, none of the board or picture books she found showed infants being breastfed, few had Black characters and none showed interracial families — so she wrote and illustrated a book with all of the above.

“Women should feel comfortable and supported in feeding their children in public,” she said. “We need children’s books, TV shows and movies to show lactation, breastfeeding and chestfeeding. Infant feeding in the media is almost always portrayed with a bottle. It’s difficult to normalize something when it’s not seen anywhere.”

Jasmine’s experience as a lactation consultant also played a role in the development of her book. Too often, the families she worked with hadn’t seen or been around breastfeeding until they were pregnant themselves.

Written from the perspective of a very hungry newborn, Breastfeeding All Around The Bay:

  • Normalizes breastfeeding in public, a right every women in California (no cover needed)
  • Features a Black woman breastfeeding. Rates for initiation and duration of breastfeeding for Black women in the United States are the lowest comparatively to other races, but there are nationwide movements happening to help decrease this health disparity.
  • Highlights an interracial couple, something that is also rarely seen and reflects the author’s own family.

Kids are welcome to attend Jasmine’s reading of Breastfeeding All Around the Bay. You can find out more about the event at the bookstore’s website.