It's all about context, the message seems to be. We need less sexualization of women's bodies (breasts in particular) and more acceptance of them as functional and natural. But the matter gets confusing is when you add in women like Paulina Gretzky, whose scantily clad body is all over Instagram in unmistakably sexy poses-- because she has freely chosen to put it there. Is she a feminist foe who is ensuring that generations of little girls will grow up objectified and not taken seriously by men? Or is her personal decision to celebrate her sexuality and glory in controlling her own image, critics (and Dad) be damned, actually a feminist move?
Two summers ago I developed the rash of all rashes. There was only one medication the doctors told me would make it go away: prednisone. A steroid that crosses into breast milk. Breastfeeding was too important to me, so, I declined. That is -- until today. After almost 30 consecutive months of breastfeeding, I reclaimed my boobs.
I'm starting to accept that all the research in the world can't prepare you for the day-to-day realities of parenting, and that the parent you hope to be isn't necessarily the parent you will be when you are faced with the child you end up with -- who is, after all, an individual in his or her own right. What matters is that I am the right mother for him, and he is the perfect child for me.
It turns out that breastfeeding doesn't actually protect against later childhood obesity. This comes as no surprise to those of us who have devoted much energy over the years trying to quell the 'breast milk as miracle food; formula as rat poison' polemic. Today's breastfeeding culture is a zealous one. The paradigm that guides our thinking is one where we are prone to believe everything about breastfeeding is good and everything about not breastfeeding is bad. Overstating the science to encourage breastfeeding and prop up its importance is not only not necessary, it's also false advertising.
A new study debunks the idea that extended exclusive breastfeeding wards off childhood obesity. Maybe we should use these results as an opportunity to ask ourselves whether having all mothers breastfeed exclusively for four or six months should really be the ultimate goal? Shouldn't other considerations about mother/child bonding, maternal sanity, child thriving and family unity be taken into account? Isn't it possible that we may have reached the level of exclusive breastfeeding that reflects the portion of the mother/child population for whom this is the best option, all things weighed?
The first two days with my newborn were hell. Those weren't exactly the words I'd expected to come out of my mouth as a first-time mom, but from the moment my new little man laid eyes on my breasts, his reaction was to scream. I had intended to breastfeed, just like I had planned on having my baby sleep through the night at eight-weeks-old. It wasn't about my struggle though, or my sore nipples, or my frustration -- it was about my new best friend in the world, and he was hungry. That was it. That was all that mattered. I got the feeling from these nurses that if I were to feed him formula it would be like pouring a bottle of vodka down his throat.
The call for more education about the benefits and safety of breast milk in the wake of last week's story about a couple suing Alberta Health Services for giving their baby another mother's breast milk is not only typical, it's also off-mark. The well-worn and highly favoured "lack of breastfeeding education" message is once again being paraded about to deflect the error and redirect attention.
Baby formula is a big killer in less developed countries, but even where access to health care is good, not breastfeeding increases illness. Yet companies are still allowed to use advertising to convince parents to use their products. Those looking to make a buck from the product have no business "educating" about it.
Formula feeding and early introduction of solids are two big no-nos in the new parenthood order. Both deviate from the rule of six months exclusive breastfeeding. Susie's essential quandary is this: is it justifiable for her to prioritize her own need for sleep if it means breaking this sacred rule?
When my son decided he wanted to breastfeed, it was half pump, half baby all the time. I'm not really sure why I bothered with shirts, the ta tas were out so often, catering to all their various needy mouths. And then came "The Hand." The hopeful husband hand, sliding over the edge of the bedtime cuddle and giving the left breast (or was it the right?) an optimistic inquiring squeeze.