Wednesday, August 06, 2008

I almost overlooked World Breastfeeding Week.

It's August 1st through 7th.

I've celebrated it by...wait for it...breastfeeding. No, I don't subscribe to the "when they can ask for it, they're too old" theory.

I've got a Jesusfreak relation who told me that it's "gross" to breastfeed past six months. I thought about telling her Jesus was most likely nursed until He was two, in accordance with Talmudic guidelines, but I doubt she would've believed me.

I do wonder about our country's freakishness over the human breast. Once upon a time I was nursing my oldest daughter in the food court at MacArthur Center mall in Norfolk, Virginia, when a security guard came up to me and said "You know, you can do that in the family restroom. There's a couch in there."

Now y'all just think for a second about how much you'd like to eat your dinner in a public bathroom. I told her I could also do it right where I was, and she scurried off.

I nursed that child in the offices of Submarine Squadron Six, and also on the sub pier in Norfolk in a crowd of several hundred. My belief, formed then, remains If it doesn't bother the sub fleet, what the hell is your problem?

Of course, there's not much that fazes submariners.

I did, however, quit wearing nursing bras shortly after the incident at the Applebee's just off base in Norfolk where, absentmindedly re-hooking the cup of my nursing bra (it had hooks up near the shoulder), I caught the eye of a young sailor who apparently thought I was shaking my breast at him. He was certainly looking at my chest with a kind of pole-axed expression.

I was asked, some short while ago by a friend of a friend why I had chosen to breast feed. "Because I gave birth to humans." It's really tha simple. All milk is breastmilk, folks, and if you stop to think of it, the gross thing is that we humans regularly consume the breastmilk of another species.

Of course, babysitting a formula fed baby when I was thirteen and dealing with the royal pain in the rear that is powdered formula--not to mention being introduced to the fact that the stuff STINKS--was definitely a formative experience. I decided then and there I'd not do that unless there was no other option. I'm too lazy.

So: Happy World Breastfeeding Week, mi lecheras. (Yes, I know that word means milkmaid.) Nurse on.


knitalot3 said...

Good job! I would much rather someone feed a hungry, crying baby in public than not.

I breastfed my last two until they were about a year old. They were tired of it and pretty much eating on their own. Since I was working full time, the pumping got old about then. I love that I never had to deal with the messy, stinky, wasteful formula.

It would save our country a lot of money if more moms could/would. (WIC, food stamps, Medicaid).

Sabra said...

Oh man, don't get me started on my feelings about the government subsidizing formula feeding! I could rant about that for hours on end, LOL.

Anonymous said...

I breastfed my kids, never thought of any other way unless medically not possible. During a discussion of breastfeeding one idiot claimed it was 'unBiblical' to nurse your child. Did the three wise men bring bottles, formula and pampers?