Attention Big Brother: Big Mother Is Watching YOU!

I got banned this weekend from Facebook for posting a picture of a mother (a well educated woman and my personal friend who consistently annihilates me at Words with Friends!) nursing her infant son in bed while her daughter “nurses” her “baby”, too. 

I was initially shocked & outraged, but after a day of introspection, I realized that the entire situation just makes me sad. It makes me sad for the “friend” I had that chose to flag my photo and un-friend me in the first place instead of choosing to live & let live. The photo isn’t hurting anyone, and was given to me FOR THE PURPOSE OF POSTING by the mother, who fully supports breastfeeding and my site. (Thanks, Danielle! β™₯ ) It makes me sad that there is a double standard in society that has infiltrated the thoughts of even intelligent people like my “friend” when it comes to breasts being used for their God/Evolutionary/Nature-given purpose, and that babies are the innocent victims of this ridiculous dichotomy.
If you’re thinking “Sexy!”,
I’m thinking “Psychiatric Evaluation!”
Breastfeeding is what our breasts were MADE for. If  somehow, that isn’t enough for some folk- Science, Nature & Religion actually agree on this one particular subject.

On that note, I have two points:

  • Jesus was a breastfed baby. If it’s good enough for The Savior, it’s good enough for me! There are paintings EVERYwhere across thousands of years of this.  Also, formula wasn’t invented yet… so there’s that. 
  • No one checks out Virgen de la Leche (pictured right) and thinks, “Bow-chika-wow-wow!” and there is full, obvious nipple in this one. If someone DID think/share those thoughts, THE CREEPY WEIRDO would be penalized, NOT the breastfeeding mother or artist. Just sayin’. 
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding. It has been scientifically proven to lower the rates of SIDS & childhood obesity and breast cancer rates in mother , while increasing bonding & attachment between mother & child, IQ, immunity, security, health & happiness of both mother AND child. There’s even been studies that show the many benefits of adoptive mothers breastfeeding. So how and why does society twist a view that nature, science AND religion agree on? How is this even possible?? 
There is only one thing in this world more powerful than science and religion; money. (Sorry- acts of Nature can’t be bribed) It has been trickling into the limelight (check out this New York Times article from 1981!)  how big businesses use their (money to promote) advertising to seduce misinformed and uneducated mothers into buying their product instead, costing millions of dollars to families worldwide that could be used for other purposes. What family couldn’t use an extra couple hundred dollars a month? 
It’s sad that their abundance of money is luring away our meager amounts hand-in-hand with the opportunities for bonding and health, like people pushing drugs on the street. “The first hit’s free, but after that, it will cost you. Don’t worry, it mimics your body’s natural composition! It’s designed by science! It makes you feel great and your life easier!” Am I talking about infant formula or LSD? I don’t even know. What I DO know is that it sucks to have such a central focal point of mothering on something available for purchase at ALL is indicative of seriously jumbled priorities in my book.
I’m not saying there isn’t a place for formula. There is- just like there are places for antibiotics, surgery and birth control. These are modern medical advances to be used when the body is unable to produce (or one wants to harness the production of) what it is naturally supposed to. If adoptive mothers can breastfeed, mothers who actually went through pregnancy can, too. In fact, scientific studies have shown that choosing to not to breastfeed sends hormonal signals to the mother’s body that the baby has died

“Opting not to breastfeed precludes and/or brings all of the processes involved in lactation to a halt. For most of human evolution the absence or early cessation of breastfeeding would have been occasioned by miscarriage, loss, or death of a child. We contend, therefore, that at the level of her basic biology a mother’s decision to bottle feed unknowingly simulates child loss.”

This can (need I say obviously? I feel like this entire situation should be obvious, but I digress…) lead to severe PPD and detachment, even resentment of the newborn instead of bonding & forming secure, lasting attachments. Feeling detached from one’s newborn is having one step in the water of a huge, hard to control guilt and negativity cycle that women are voluntarily engaging in without even knowing. The exponential effects of formula feeding without knowing the risks and effects is just the same and much more long lasting and far reaching than taking any other contrived chemical substance without research. (I try to eat mostly organic, whole foods, if you can’t tell. But that’s another post altogether.)

It’s time to start listening to Big Mother instead of Big Brother:

Science, Nature and Religion Agree, Why Can’t We?

  • Breastfeeding requires the use of one’s breasts. (shocking, I know) You might catch a glimpse of  a nipple (located in the center of the breast- just not sure exactly how clear I have to be, here) now and then. You know, like the ones you see while showering… unless you avert your eyes then, too- if you do, that’s you’re own thing- I can’t help you there.
  • Breastfeeding is the intended purpose of the breast. Men have nipples because they have mammary glands and can lactate, too. You know, so if the apocalypse actually happens this year and there are only men and babies left, the babies can still survive. Neat, huh? Also- no one gives a CRAP about men’s nipples being exposed. Why? Because we see them all the time and there is no way to make money by keeping them hidden. Shouldn’t this be in effect with women, too? This doesn’t change the fact that I choose to keep most of my skin underneath clothing most of the time- I’ve become like a vampire about sun exposure after losing my father to Melanoma in 2010. 
  • Breastfeeding is what is most healthy for mother an child, and therefor should be the first and only method of feeding children under 6 months of age, unless (triple-checked opinion or extremely obvious) medical necessity dictates otherwise. Breastfeeding shouldn’t cause media sensations, it should cause shoulder shrugs without a second passing thought.
  • Babies and their stomachs are not aware they are in public. Therefor, nursing in public is not about a woman’s right to show her breasts in public. We’re not trying to turn Target into Mardi-Gras, people. It’s about a baby’s right to eat THEIR INTENDED FORM OF SUBSTANCE when and where they are hungry, just like we have the right to eat when and where we are hungry- and not in the commode, thankyouverymuch. Telling people -because of age or food choice- that they cannot eat in a certain location seems like a civil rights issue from 50 years ago to me. 

That’s why I made this photo:

No Irish, No Blacks, No Dogs… no breastfeeding babies??

It’s time to listen to logic, Nature, Science and even Religion when it comes to breastfeeding. Don’t let media dictate where you put your money and what you put into your sweet baby. Don’t be afraid to nurse in public if your baby is hungry in public. Do not feel ashamed if you want to use a cover; do not feel ashamed if you don’t.  Think with me a minute: Are you going to let the uninformed opinion of complete strangers dictate the choices you make for your children? If so, you’ve got a lot of introspection to do on much more than breastfeeding.

Remember: Big Mother is BIGGER than Big Brother! Don’t let silly, circular nonsense and clever advertising cloud your judgement. Be a Big Mother for your child, stop getting bullied ad mislead by Big Brother and set an example for other moms, too. Together, we can send the message to Big Brother: Big Mother is watching! We aren’t going to buy your song and dance anymore. It’s time to take back our bodies and their intended purpose and stop subjecting them to the scrutiny of people and products influenced by media misinformation. Don’t fear change, change fear! There’s a movement to take back birth and breastfeeding should go right along with it.

Even if you aren’t currently breastfeeding, you can still help. It can be as simple as smiling and make eye contact when you see another mother breastfeeding. A smile is the easiest, fastest, most universal way to support and it doesn’t require a thing- other than your happiness at seeing another mother put baby before Big Brother, too! Talk to people you know. Join a group. Put your money where your boobs are– and then save it to spend on something else! Don’t buy formula unless it is medically necessary- and if you do, choose store and local brands that don’t advertise, which are an average of 60% cheaper and are often compiled of the exact same ingredients as larger company versions.

Through positive demonstration, consistency and a sense of humor -just like any mother- maybe we can finally teach Brother this important lesson.

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