Thursday, April 10

Found this old blog today

While looking through my documents, I found a copy of this old blog I'd posted on MySpace about a year ago. Since I deleted my account there, I wanted to move it here. It's about breastfeeding, with some links to facts and history followed by my opinion - feel free to pass it on to anyone who may ask you about breastfeeding! :-)

This is dedicated to the Puritanical people who think they are 'saving our eyes' by reporting normal, healthy pictures of breastfeeding as 'offensive', and leaving the truly explicit offensive pictures of teenagers here on myspace right where they are.

This week, I offer you a lesson in feeding your infant. Pop quiz: when was infant formula invented? Anyone? 1867, Henri Nestle. Realize that this is pretty recent in the history of humankind - that's just after the American Civil War (1861-1865 in case you didn't know). 140 years ago. So, what did most women feed their children before that? Breastmilk. The entire reason breasts are attached to the female form (and this goes for all species, kids) is for feeding our young. In other words, breasts are NOT a sex toy for men. There is no food so perfect as breastmilk, although formula companies are trying to convince young mothers otherwise. On the other hand, they freely admit that formula will NEVER be as complete and natural as actual breastmilk, as breastmilk is constantly changing to fit the nutritional needs of the child. No amount of science could catch up with and imitate that, no matter how hard they try. And ethical marketing? Yeah, sure. Anyway, what's easier at 3 a.m. when you've only been asleep for two hours, and not sleeping very well? Either you get up, go to the kitchen, mix/warm up a bottle, make sure it's the right temperature, THEN feed it to the child - who's now hungry *and* pissed that you're taking so long....... or you can whip out your breast, and feed the child right then and there. Happy baby because you were quick about it! That was my favorite thing about nursing my kids - I didn't have to get up in the middle of the night *just* to go get a bottle. It certainly helps with the new-mama-lack-of-sleep thing. But I digress......

Let's go back a bit further in history - say, about 2000 years. Christians, what did the newborn Jesus eat? What was every mother on Earth feeding her newborn, toddler, and child? Breastmilk! Of course! Hey, breastmilk is still free to all women and their children. If women had not been nursing their children, how would this, or any, species have survived? Now, there have been and still are some women who cannot physically breastfeed - you ask "What did they do, huh? Let their babies die??" No, they didn't. Did you read that article I linked above? See the part about "wet nurses"? Those are still around, in a way. Much like sperm banking, there does exist a Breastmilk Bank. Most mothers (and fathers, but this is about the womenfolk) will do literally anything for their child(ren) if it is in the best interest of the child(ren).

Now for some links, since some of you probably won't read everything I link here (or you already know these):

Breastfeeding can reduce your chance of developing female cancers. (Here's another one from Dr. Weil.)

The FDA recommends breastfeeding. And the AAP thinks breast is best, too.

You have the option of nursing in public, and I don't mean in a restroom. Of course you also have the option of not nursing in public, it is again the choice of the mother and no one else around her. You don't want to see it, don't look.

Oh, and did you know, you CAN nurse a child you adopt! I actually know a woman online who is doing just that, and the boy is thriving (not to mention absolutely adorable!! (= )

If you're still with me, congratulations and thank you for reading so far and so much! {Seriously, you deserve a medal - this took me a day to compile, write and rewrite.} I think I should look into becoming a lactation consultant..... been almost 4.5 years since I last nursed, but I remember what I learned from my Grandma, my WIC office, my neighbours, and other women - all good accurate information that rarely, if ever, changes. I feel like I need to share it with as many women as are willing to ask. Ladies, new mamas especially, don't be afraid to ask for help - remember that no child fresh out of the womb has nursed before, and you both will learn a lot from each other. If it seems hard, find help if you still want to nurse. If you decide you don't want to do it, that's your choice too, but please make an informed decision about it. There are some women who yearn to nurse their babies but physically cannot, and it baffles them that other women think of nursing as an inconvenience.

1 comment:

Shell Todd said...

Well said. I hope you don't mind I am going to share this on my Facebook page. I found it on a friend of mine's Facebook as well. Thanks!