In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month, I sat down recently with Florence Williams, author of the book, BREASTS: A Natural and Unnatural History, to talk about breast health and what's really in our breast milk.
Not enough working moms or their employers know about these new breastfeeding at work rights (and their limitations).
Last month, Adrienne Pine, an American University professor, became momentarily famous for breast feeding her little son in class. The topic raised the questions of adequate child care, American discomfort with the female body and much more.
The truth is, all those people I consulted should have been able to take one look at my chest and know that breastfeeding might be difficult, if not impossible, for me.
Given the mind-spirit-body connection, how can women have a truly healthy spiritual life when our bodies are riddled with doubt, self-consciousness, fear, judgment, disappointment, and demoralizing references?
It should be a priority for all who work with pregnant folks and new parents to try to get their tone right as often as possible. To slow down, remember that that new dad holding his baby is far more likely to be riddled with insecurity and self-doubt than he is to actually drop the baby.
Fran Drescher courted controversy last week during a radio interview in which she said that breastfeeding "poisons" infants and recommended that nursing mothers get their breast milk tested for toxins.
Although milksharing is an ancient practice that probably dates back as far as humans do, many people today know little about it. I'll try to shed some light on three common misconceptions I have encountered in my own journey.
The uncensored truth wouldn't have dissuaded me from breastfeeding my baby (the benefits are just too compelling), but it would have helped me cope with the seemingly endless barrage of challenges.
Flexible programs don't do a lot of good unless people actually use them.
I agree whole-heartedly with Pine and have been faced with similar situations where I wondered what I would do if I had no babysitter available when I needed to teach a class.
Hollywood producers wanted somebody to attack other mothers for their choices; that's what makes for good television. Even if it is a mischaracterization of the debate. I can't.
In a class whose whole premise involves feminism and culture, if your sensibilities are offended by the notion of a mother feeding her baby, then it seems you're not quite ready for college, let alone this seminar.
I hope these tips help moms keep their supply up and continue breastfeeding when returning to work!
Let's stop thinking about breasts in terms of sin, immorality and bimbo-ism.
Our ability to nurse is presented to American women as the most basic, natural thing a woman can do for her child. So when it doesn't work, we're blamed.