Thursday, January 12, 2012

Have you read this article yet?

I don't know what it was about the pre-breastfeeding-me ... I was oblivious to the benefits, the bonding, the process, everything about breastfeeding ... and now that I've immersed myself in the world of breastfeeding through my various support groups, La Leche League and the South Bend Breastfeeding Coalition, I feel like I see it everywhere in the media ...

From the Dec. 28 "Nurse In" held in Targets nation wide to random stories of women being chastised for being inappropriate in other public places ... it's shocking to me that some of the obvious points people are making (Hello, boobs on the news, on magazine stands, on your television .. how is that so 'normal' when breastfeeding has to be fought for?) are being so heavily resisted.

 Buffy Nurses Baby Cody -  1977
I recently read this article - Sesame Street Breastfeeding: Moms Push to Bring Breastfeeding Back to TV Show - and was shocked at how it was "noticeably absent from "Sesame Street" [since the 1990's] ... replac[ing] nursing with bottle feeding. Exemplifying this push for more puritanical imagery (a change from the "hippie parents" of yesteryear) ..."  What?? Breastfeeding is for hippies?? Well .. I do cloth diaper, hesitate to reach for paper products, and enjoy growing my own produce in the back yard .. but many women who are professional, or "square" as my husband described an antonym for hippie-dom, breastfeed .. so why even describe it was being something for hippies? <Sigh>

Tangent. Sorry.

Another highlight to the article that I found moving, supportive, loving and uniting -
Lani Michelle, mom blogger, posted an open call urging "Sesame Street" to bring the breast back. Another mom piggybacked off of Michelle's call-to-action and launched a formal petition.  In an email to Care2, Michelle explained her motivation for speaking out:

Women breastfeeding are the images we want to show our sons and daughters, so that they will view a woman's body as more then a sexual object. That's the only way we will see a change in future generations. My hope for this is that all moms, however they chose to feed their babies, come together and support one another.

Such a powerful thought.  It isn't about whether or not you breastfeed, whether or not you formula feed, what your reasons are for making either choice ... but coming together and supporting each other. Seriously. I receive such great support from my sisters and parents, family-in-law, everyone ... in my journey to breastfeed.  Periodically I am urged to "ween T - give him a bottle, end this struggle" ... but there is so much more to breastfeeding that just feeding the baby ... it's a relationship, a bond, in my mind it's through thick and thin!  Those urges to ween come at times when I am wearing my thin-times on my sleeve and need help, feeling frustrated or going through a rough patch with a plugged duct, a sore nipple, what have you ... and it's made in a loving gesture ... not a judgmental motion.  I always fight back a smile when my 4-year-old nephew dances around me while I nurse Thomas, covered or uncovered, asking all of those curious-4-year-old questions ... "What's he doing? What does it look like? Can I see it? Does he always eat from you?" ... catching a glimpse of my nip as Thomas pops off, milk drunk, yet curious about the action and happenings around him ... satisfied, his older cousin says, "Oh." and walks away.  Let's be truthful with children, honest, factual.  Some babies get milk from a bottle, some babies get milk from Mom, some babies get both.  It's a part of life. There's no mysticism or secret society ... o.k. some of the biology behind breastfeeding is pretty mystifying ... but that's a whole different story ;-)

Just as my family supports my choice to breastfeed, I support my sister's choice to feed formula - acquiring and sending as many coupons as humanly possible her way, taking tips from her on how to bottle feed and which bottles to chose ... we come together and support one another.  So enough. Why fight a good thing? We can all work together to bring the facts to children ... to educate families / expecting moms on their choices ... if it weren't for my husband of all people I never would have chosen to breastfeed, so yes, educate FAMILIES - boys, girls, grown-ups, everyone!

(Sesame Street - You're my Baby - I think it's from the 80s?)
(So stinkin' cute.)

Reading the comments below the article was so alarming ... one man commented on how taking a crap is natural but he didn't want to see it or learn about it on Sesame Street ... O.k. nursing and taking a crap? Seriously.  Another commented on the article with a very sound note -

"I can only say I support breastfeeding unconditionally. I am saddened our culture has become one where only the fringes fight oversexualization, but the masses push back on breastfeeding as inappropriate in public or on tv."

Here here.

Check out that petition.

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