Breastfeeding

I wrote this for a friend’s e-zine that was never published SO here it is:

The first food any of us consume is, generally, breast milk. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and a variety of other founding fathers were themselves, founded on breastmilk. Frankly, we have the leakage of the mammaries to thank for our fine United States of America. So, why is it, that such a necessary and vital function is frowned upon? At least when performed in a public setting. I have a few theories but first, let’s discuss the benefits of breast milk. 

The World Health Organization (who? WHO!) recommends breastfeeding until at least one year of age: “Exclusive breastfeeding is recommended up to 6 months of age, with continued breastfeeding along with appropriate complementary foods up to two years of age or beyond.” Or beyond! I’m definitely not knocking the mom’s (and\or dad’s) that formula feed. But, this article is about breastfeeding. According to WebMD (the undisputable authority on all things medical) “Breast milk contains antibodies that help your baby fight off viruses and bacteria.Breastfeeding lowers your baby’s risk of having asthma or allergies. Plus, babies who are breastfed exclusively for the first 6 months, without any formula, have fewer ear infections, respiratory illnesses, and bouts of diarrhea.” We all would like to have a little less diarrhea (or maybe not). 

There is a World Breastfeeding Week, support groups galore, educational certifications, careers, coaches, websites and MeetUp groups all about breastfeeding. It’s everywhere, but you just may not see it that frequently. Just like you probably never saw Santa Claus leaving treats in your stocking, but they were always there Christmas morning (or not, sorry to bring up painful memories for some of you). Even though you might not see it, it’s happening all around you. Like, the parking lot at Target, the booth behind you at Silver Diner, the stall next to you in the bathroom, shopping in Old Navy, orientation at a new school, etc. I name these because these are all places I myself have breastfed my daughter. I have never received a scowl, a whisper or a suggestion to take it elsewhere but I can assure you, if I had… they would have had hell to pay. 

So, release those boobies my lactating sisters! Storm Victoria’s Secret and tell them their bras are too small and constricting! Don’t be ashamed: we are women and mothers! Unite in our milky uprising! 


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