Breast Feeding and mental illness

While I am not a mother or even sure that I want to be one, I realizes the importance of breastfeeding and the implications that mental illness may have on a mother’s ability to do so. I have seen mental illness up close and personal when it comes to motherhood. For years, I always wondered how my mother dealt with being a mother and postpartum depression. I finally got a chance to find out how she death with mental illness, mothering and breast-feeding. You can read my mother’s story here.  After you finish reading my mother’s story make sure to read the other black mother’s stories about how having a mental illness affected their ablity to breastfeed.

In health,





Today marks my 34th year and I know I am blessed. After all, I am here. While feeling eternally grateful that God chose to let me close out one year and begin another, I’m a bit sad. Not because God didn’t grant others the same. Rather, I’m saddened at the manner in which their lives were ended. Over the past few days, I’ve been following the happenings of #Ferguson. I’ve shed the tears and I’ve gotten angry even though I have no real energy anymore to do so anymore. I’ve read the articles acknowledging that, “America is not for Blacks.” I’ve acknowledged that too. It’s really not.

Y’all go ahead and keep thinking that all of the laws, which affords us some rights were put in place because we were on their mind. Trust and believe that if they could, they would have it so that we can’t benefit. At least other countries are open about their caste system and the lesser folks know that they won’t benefit from anything. We the only ones who sing kumbaya and think they’re thinking of us.

I’ve had the heavy twitter discussions. I’ve used twitter to call out and question elected officials. Most of all, I’ve prayed.

I’ve prayed for the protection of my family, friends, even my enemy. Michael Brown is just one more name to add to the never ending names of people who were killed by the people who are charged with protecting us…serving us.  If we are honest, that’s the biggest problem. These are the people who are paid to protect us, killing us!


There’s no question that people like myself, hate that those among us are killing ourselves. We question why. The answer is quite simple and rather than debating on the whys, those of us who can need to do more. The psychological effects of slavery years later are still present. We expect those who don’t even love themselves, to love someone else. It’s impossible. Love is an emotion that’s learned. Love is reciprocated. Slavery ended over 100 years ago and the Civil Rights only 50 years ago, yet the damage done during that period is still present. Many of us are a people who never learned how to value ourselves and were constantly told that we were not worth any value. The self-hatred that we display evidences this. However, that still does not negate that those who are charged to protect us from even ourselves can’t be trusted to do so. How are we supposed to feel safe when we can’t even expect that?

President Obama called for reflections after Michael Brown’s murder. I disagree. We don’t need to reflect. We reflected when Medgar was killed. When Malcolm…Martin…Shu’aibSeanTrayvonOscarJordan…….were all killed. The time for reflection is over. We need ACTION…JUSTICE…ANSWERS…A PLAN. We don’t need another petition….rally,  rather we need legislation…laws…punishment to end this era of being unsafe from the people who should be taking care of us. We need to hold our elected officials accountable for their failure to stand by us…for us when it comes to ensuring that we are protected…made to feel safe.

Today, as I celebrate my birthday I will be reflecting on what more I can do to ensure that future generations do not live in fear of not just the people in their hoods killing but the police as well. While I will not be present physically at the vigil for the National Moment of Silence today at 7 pm today, I will be taking a moment to be silent in memory of all of the men and women, boys and girls who were gunned down and treated as if they never mattered. Today I say prayers for all people of color that one day they may be able to interact with all no matter their color and not be afraid. I say a prayer for all of the mothers and fathers who have buried their children as a result of a senseless death. I say a prayer for those who are childless, yet want to children but live in fear of birthing a child to the madness of the world. I say a prayer for peace…harmony…fairness… happiness…love…justice. I just PRAY!!!

Words of wisdom: “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.” -Frederick Douglass

In Health,


Fitness for life: Massages

Today is Fitness Friday. Aside some from physical activity to keep fit one must address the mental and spiritual areas. Personally, I believe in God to which takes care of the spiritual portion. For the mental portion, I take a mental vacation via getting a massage. If you have never had a massage, I suggest you run to the nearest spa and allow yourself to be worked out mentally. As it happens, massages don’t just benefit the mental aspect of your body. They also benefit the physical aspect. Routine massages, help to prevent the lymphatic system from going stagnant. One of the reasons why after a massage you should drink plenty of water is because the stimulation promotes lymphatic movement. You want to get rid of all of the toxins that this causes. The increase water allows the toxins to be leased from your body.

This month, I have treated myself to one massage at my favorite spa, Hibiscus Health & Wellness Center. As it happens, they had an anniversary sale. This week is the last days of the sale. You can click here for more information. I guarantee that by the time you finish you feel like a brand new person. Don’t live in the area, no problem. I am sure that in your area there is a spa that can provide you the much needed mental treat. As it happens, after my return to Black Girls Run tomorrow after a very long absence I will be laying upon white sheets and relaxing aromas at Hibiscus for another massage. I hope you get on the massage bandwagon. I promise that just like milk it will do your body good.

Today’s Prescription: Your body should be treated like a temple and like a temple you are supposed to treat it well. Take the time to treat your body well. Remember that it was given to us on loan. One day, we have to give it back.

In health,

Maliyka is health

Fitness: Child’s Play

This morning, I came across a NY Times blog post in my twitter feed @maliykaishealth discussing the newest study related to childhood obesity. The blog post asked whether exercise programs help children stay fit? According to the post, a new study found that physical activity interventions in school almost never increase overall daily physical activity rather they participate in the intervention and then remain stubbornly sedentary during the rest of the day. This got me to wondering why? Are these programs to structured? Why are school physical activity programs just not hitting the mark?

I’m a 80’s baby. Born in 1980. Growing up I enjoyed playing. Yes I watched television and enjoyed cartoons but going outside to play was my favorite pastime. Can we say that the park was the best place to be in my younger years. The one year that I did attend public school [P.S. 249 I enjoyed recess. Why…because I got to play. Even gym was a favorite subject of mine because even though we were learning and being physically active it was just plain fun. Games such as jump rope, dodge ball, tag, steel the bacon, etc. all physically involved and all fun were common activities I engaged in. Yes these games were fun. They were also beneficial health wise because they encouraged you to be active. No one wanted to be the child who also got caught. The amount of obese children then was nothing like the amount found today.

Children like to play and rightfully so. They should not have to be concerned with the mundane facets of life. Any program that encourages physical activity should be fun. Learning can should be fun. Children and even some adults have a short attention span. If that attention isn’t grasped early the lesson will not be learned. There is no question that the lessons being imparted are necessary for these children’s wellbeing but do they understand that. Are the educators in charge of their physical activity putting it in terms where they can understand the long-term implications. Are the lessons fun. Is physical play being encouraged. Perhaps, the fun should be brought back. Less television and more physical. Television that showed fun and physical things. Someone get the jumprope and the neighborhood kids. I bet you they will enjoy it and so will you.

Today’s Prescription: Nurture your inner child. In a stress world such as the one we live in our inner child can be the best stress reliever.

In health,
Maliyka is health


Sleep: The key to life

20120928-210828.jpg Today’s topic relates to why I didn’t post yesterday. Seriously, I am tired. Am I the only one who appreciates sleep more now than when I was in my teen to early 20 years? I remember being good off of 4hrs of sleep. Slowly I needed 6 hours. At 32 it is more like I need 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Unfortunately, sometimes I just don’t get it.

When people mention being fit the first thing that comes to mind is not being fat. Sorry guys but there’s more to it than just that. Being fit involves getting enough rest. Not getting enough sleep has been attributed to weight gain (Prevention Magazine). In theory, the more sleep you have the more energy you gain. When you don’t get enough sleep you don’t have enough energy so you eat. Most often you’re not eating apples and oranges rather your eating everything that a nutritionist would cringe at. Lack of sleep can also be linked to accidents, a decreased sex drive, heart attacks, etc. (WebMD).

While children require more sleep than adults, adults should be getting at least 7-9 hours of sleep. For some, getting that amount of sleep may be difficult. There are ways to rectify that. Some ways to do that include setting a routine. Bedtime should be around the same time each day. Foods with caffeine should be avoided before bedtime. Your sleeping area should be comfortable. These are just some of the ways that you can get that sleeping beauty type of sleep. For additional tips click here.

On that note, I think it’s time for me to call it a night. I didn’t follow my own advise and in additions to allergies beating me down, exhaustion is also messing with me. I am aiming for at least 7 hours before I start my busy Saturday. Sleep tight all.

Today’s prescription: Get some sleep. It’s the key to longevity.


In health,
Maliyka is health