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Category Archives: Lactivism
My warning to Mums – Breastfeeding left me infertile
I am so shocked and angered by this I’ve been compelled to send an email of complaint:
I am appalled and distressed by the negative message your cover story headline “My warning to Mums – Breastfeeding left me infertile” on your most recent issue.
Whether or not anyone buys this magazine, it is highly irresponsible to emblazon such a false message right across the front cover. I’m aware that magazines such as yours use sensationalism to raise sales, but this is beyond the pale and an insult to mothers who choose to breastfeed their babies.
In future, please do not print such biased and blatantly misleading headlines – it would do you much credit to instead give FACTS:
* Anorexia (which, from all accounts, the Mum in question is a sufferer) can adversely affect fertility.
* Breastfeeding can reduce fertility while you are nursing but does NOT leave you infertile.
* Fertility goes back to normal when weaning occurs and even whilst breastfeeding it is still possible to fall pregnant.
I think it is only fair that an apology be printed on your cover reading “We got it wrong – Breastfeeding does NOT leave you infertile!”
(An angry mother who breastfed her son for 14 months!)
I urge others to follow suit and email the publication direct regarding this. If you want to complain to them, please do so using their email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Apparently they promise to answer ALL emails, so please do give them lots to answer!
I also urge people to join the Facebook group HERE.
Whilst in town today with Xander, we spotted some people collecting for Breast Cancer Research. As I always do, I stopped and donated, picking out one of the new ribbon badges. Being naturally inquisitive, Xander asked what it was for.
How do you explain about breast cancer to an almost-three-year-old?
Well, I simply told him that sometimes people get very ill with something called cancer, and sometimes it’s in the boobles (that’s what he calls breasts) and that these people were collecting money to help find a way to make all these people better and that maybe one day nobody would ever have to get sick or die of breast cancer.
He demanded a badge all to himself.
When I asked him why, he simply replied “Boobles are very important!”
And he’s right – boobles ARE very important. Mine fed Xander for 14 1/2 months, so he knows first-hand how great boobs are. I’m sure my hubby will also stand up and say boobs are wonderful!
My Auntie had breast cancer, fought it and, thankfully, beat it. So did my old boss. It’s VITAL to know your own breasts and take notice of any changes that occur – early detection is a life saver!
Incidentally, breast cancer isn’t a female-only problem – men can get it too, so EVERYONE should make sure they check their chest (and other areas too – don’t skimp on checking out your nethers, boys!) every month.
Xan wanted a photo taken with his new badge, so here it is for all to see:
Cancer Research UK website HERE
I don’t often read the news because it’s usually a combination of celebrity gossip and depressing stuff, but this afternoon an article on Yahoo News caught my eye. The headline read “Pay Pregnant Smokers £10 A Week To Quit“. The article suggests that “pregnant women who give up smoking should be given a £10-a-week “reward”, according to a political think tank.”
You would think that not harming their unborn child with their bad habit would be reward enough.
If ever there was a good time and reason to stop smoking, it’s because you’re pregnant and want what’s best for your child. I know not everyone can manage it, but surely all pregnant smokers should at least want to try, and not just because of a cash “reward”.
How about a reward for all those pregnant ladies who already don’t smoke?
Let’s take it further.
There are already schemes in some parts of the country that reward parents for making the environmentally ethical choice when it comes to nappies by reimbursing part of the cost of cloth nappies, which is great, but how about rewarding Mums who breastfeed? At the moment it’s all back to front with vouchers to go towards formula when surely it makes financial, medical and common sense to encourage breastfeeding over formula feeding?
I know there are some women who cannot or choose not to breastfeed their babies and that is entirely up to them – I do not refute their right to choose – but from a government point of view, are they really doing enough to promote breastfeeding?
During “breastfeeding week” an advert is broadcast in Scotland about breastfeeding, but you never see it the rest of the year. It’s a shame that breastfeeding needs a national awareness week when it’s something that should really be the norm, after all human beings are mammals – mammals have mammary glands with which to feed their young. That is the true primary function of the female breast. Sexual pleasure is a mere secondary consideration and it’s only the western so-called civilisations that have sexualized the female breast to the point where it is seen as obscene to show them in public. Not that I’m advocating just “whipping them out” when you’re walking down the street, but feeding a baby or toddler is completely different and is completely non-sexual – there is no comparison. A nursing mother’s intention is not exhibitionism, it is the nourishment, comfort and wellbeing of her child that is foremost in her mind and you can bet she’s trying to flash as little of her post-pregnancy flesh as she can manage!
Anyway, to go back to the point I was originally trying to make – there are far better ways for the government to spend money when it comes to pregnancy and motherhood.
They should be channeling it into getting accurate information and proper support to all mothers and making sure that all health practitioners are on the same page, so that the quality of care and information isn’t wildly different depending on which person you happen to see.
It should be channelled into setting up milk banks for premature babies (I would gladly have donated milk form my over-productive boobies when I was nursing Xan, but the closest milk bank to Aberdeen is in Glasgow and they do not collect this far north).
It should be channelled into educating mothers from all walks of life on just how capable they are and what their bodies are capable of doing (really, many would be amazed to discover it’s a very low percentage of women who are genetically predisposed to not producing enough breast milk to nourish their babies, but poor support and inaccurate information which undermines the efforts of a nursing mum result in declining milk production!).
And finally, it should be put towards educating the public to the fact that when it comes to feeding your baby, breast really is best, so anyone who sees a nursing mum should be thinking “Good on you!” rather than harassing her and making her feel uncomfortable.
£10 a week to reward smoking mums for quitting? Come off it! What will happen is you’ll get chancers saying they smoke (or even starting to smoke!) in order to get an extra tenner off the government.
Is that really what we want or need?
If it weren’t for the fact that I am a member of several support groups on Facebook, I’d be deleting my own account there immediately as I’m so angry with them. The fact is, however, they may well delete my account themselves as apparently I, and many other mothers, are obscene.
Many Mums have found their accounts deleted, some with warning, many without; others have discovered, as I did this morning, that some of their photos have been removed. Why? Because they show themselves breastfeeding their child.
I only heard about this happening this morning and checked my own account. Sure enough, one of my photos was no longer there. I received no notification that it was being removed before or after the fact and I had no warning that they deemed the content “obscene” in any way.
I’ll let you all be the judges. This is the picture that mysteriously disappeared. You tell me – is it obscene in any way?
It shows Xander at age 13 1/2 months having his afternoon snack. Now I’m not an exhibitionist, in fact I’m incredibly shy about my body, but this picture does not show any nipple, or even a smidgen of areola. All I’m doing is feeding my son in the way that nature intended.
Human beings are mammals. The definition of mammal, according to Dictionary.com is:
n. Any of various warm-blooded vertebrate animals of the class Mammalia, including humans, characterized by a covering of hair on the skin and, in the female, milk-producing mammary glands for nourishing the young.
Would Facebook have removed a picture of a cow feeding its calf? I think not!
I have returned the “offending” photograph to my Facebook album and have also posted it on my wall with the following message:
It seems Facebook have deleted one of my photos. It is a shot of Xan breastfeeding and my nipple is not visible in it at all. They have left an almost identical one when he’s younger alone though so I do not understand their logic. I am reposting it, so if my account disappears, you’ll know they deleted me for “obscene… content”. Tell me, do you think this picture is obscene?
If my account disappears from Facebook, you’ll all know they took exception to my pointing out that THEY have a problem with Western culture sexualising breasts to the point where they can’t be seen for what they actually are – a food source for babies – NOT ME!
I’m a Lactivist. I’m proud to stand up and be counted as a Mum who breastfed her baby and who will campaign to further education and support for those who also wish to do so, as well as promoting breastfeeding as the “normal and natural thing to do”. That’s not to say I have anything against those who bottle feed their babies – far from it, I really do believe it’s all down to personal choice – but I do believe in promoting breastfeeding, in trying to raise awareness and make breastfeeding more “socially acceptable”, and in fighting all promotion of formula feeding as being “the norm”.
Today my first ever overt act of lactivism paid off.
Netmums is a website that helps parents and provides information, support and an online community for them. Under their Featured Articles section, they had this picture:
Can I ask why on the “Featured Articles” section, you feature a picture of a bottlefeeding baby rather than a breastfeeding one for the “Feeding Your Baby” section? I know that when you click on the link for breastfeeding, it then shows a breastfeeding baby, but why show bottle feeding as the norm rather than grabbing the opportunity to show breastfeeding as the norm instead?
Within the hour, they had replied:
Hello and thank you for getting in touch.
We appreciate your concerns and the image has now been replaced with a more breastfeeding friendly one.
The Netmums Helpdesk Team
Now they show this picture instead:
Isn’t that a beautiful picture?
I am SO pleased my first proper act of lactivism has paid off!