Thank you for the FANTASTIC article on breastfeeding in the July 28th issue (Mother Nature by Linda Sickler).
I am still nursing our three-year-old when I didnt even really consider breastfeeding before he was born. It was great to read about other women who do what they know is right for themselves and their children. I thought the article was very well written.
You may also want to do an article on how difficult it is to have a vaginal birth after Cesarean (VBAC) in our area - almost impossible since there are only a couple of OBs in the area who support this very safe procedure. The medical community in this town really pushes Cesareans, which is major abdominal surgery. The area C-section rate is about 40-50% whereas the rest of the country is 28% and the World Health Organization states that the rate should be 10-15%.
If you need any more info on VBAC, please let me know. I am starting a Savannah chapter of International Cesarean Awareness Network
(www.ican-online.org) so that women are aware of their options.
Thanks for your paper - our family loves it!
Breastfeeding is natural, yes -- but also private
Regarding Mother Nature: Not all breastfeeding mothers would agree with your comments early in your article about breastfeeding in public. Some, like me, do not agree that it is acceptable in any place, at any time.
Let me start by saying I am a mother of two children and I breastfed both of
them. However, when I read your article, several things came rushing back to me that I have wanted to say for years.
First, I agree one hundred percent and wholeheartedly in the healthy and
natural way of feeding a baby and I agree with all the reasons why breastfeeding is a very positive choice.
What I disagree with is taking choice out of the equation, and turning breastfeeding into a negative thing by forcing unwilling strangers to share a highly personal and beautiful experience in order to prove that breastfeeding is natural and superior and suitable in all places, at all times.
Breastfeeding was something sacred to me and my baby, and I did not want to share those precious moments with the strangers. It was a private thing between me and my babies, my husband, or my close family.
I belonged to a breastfeeding group, and I knew mothers who voraciously promoted it by breastfeeding in public, hoping to get some media attention or with an attitude of Hey everybody, look what I can do! Isnt this natural and beautiful? Isnt this the best way to feed a baby?
That is just wrong. It is simply reducing something that is supposed to be a natural, loving act between mother and child into a form of marketing. When will women who are pushy about breastfeeding realize that they do not have to promote what is already a natural instinct ingrained in mothers since the beginning of time?
I saw no reason to prove to the whole world that I was a breastfeeding mother or to use the way I fed my babies as a way of distinguishing myself, like it was superior. That reduces a miracle into a political statement. Mothering is hard enough without dividing mothers into two groups: breastfeeding and non-breastfeeding, as if one were better than the other. Some mothers cannot breastfeed, or choose not to. They are not inferior to breastfeeding mothers, they work as hard, love their babies as much and their choice is valid.
Here are some of the reasons why I, a
breastfeeding mother, chose never to feed in public areas:
Lets be honest, the nudity or suggestion of it from strangers causes
unease and discomfort in many people. Its not legal in our society, after all, so you dont see it often and perhaps that has come about in society because it too, is natural instinct. I always felt it was not polite to take away the choice of others or place my choices above those of others. Some people do not want to witness a stranger breastfeeding.
In my home, as I grew up, the kitchen or dining room table was firmly
designated as the place we were required to eat our meals, and it is the
same for my children. I feel that eating and breastfeeding are virtually the same and there is nothing wrong with setting up parameters, rules or organization for both, such as a food court for burgers to be consumed or a breastfeeding area for mothers to feed their babies. The owners of the mall you mentioned have the right to make a choice on whether to restrict breastfeeding to specific areas. It is their right to determine how their clients and customers will be comfortable, and a shopping mall or public building is still a business area, not a home.
While breastfeeding is a natural process, as you described, there are many other natural processes, such as changing a diaper, blowing your childs
nose, and cleaning off sticky hands that are all done in designated appropriate places such as restrooms. Some malls are even good enough to provide high chairs and play areas. Why is it wrong then to designate a breastfeeding areas with as much care and thought as a safe and fun play area for toddlers?
Why is it acceptable to show our breasts in public when they are full of
milk, but not at other times? The answer is because our breasts are used in sexual ways as well. This is just a fact, and it is really at the root of why breastfeeding in public is a negative thing. Unless humans stop using breasts as part of sexual activities -- which is not likely to ever happen since it goes against human instinct -- public breastfeeding will continue to make some people feel uncomfortable. Personally, I did not want my breasts to be gawked at or imagined sexually by strangers while I was doing something as sacred as breastfeeding.
I want to make it clear that I am not trying to tell anyone what to do. I
am simply trying to defend my position on breastfeeding in private, keeping
it simple and doing what I think is true to my principles. And I am asking those who try to push public breastfeeding on others to think carefully about doing that. Educating is fine, but harassing or taking a superior stance is altogether different. Please dont turn the beauty of breastfeeding into a negative issue that turns people off.
Story was good work
Thank you for your lovely and nurturing picture of a breastfeeding mother and baby on the cover of Connect Savannah. It brought back many fond memories.
Its wonderful to see breastfeeding displayed so naturally in a culture where it is not the norm. Keep up the good work!
Breastfeeding is an ego trip
In response to your article on breast feeding: If the Mother wants to breast feed there child for a year, two or what ever time to satisfy there needs not the childs. As when a child has a full set of teeth can walk and talk the only one that they are convincing that breast feeding should continue is there self. They need to look in the mirror and ask why do I want my child so dependent on me, what is it that am lacking in my self.
But to flaunt it and to think that everyone else wants to see a woman breast feeding in a public place, with the look on there face and mannerism that I will do this anywhere any time and you should just say it is normal!
Excuse me that means going around nude or having sex any where should be accepted as that is normal. If you watch the animals that we are supposed to be above the will go off from the public.
By the way I am 100 percent female. I do not have to use my child to build up my ego or use my child as and excuse to be and exhibitionist.
Were not fair & balanced?
I read with interest Mr. DiPirros left wing screed, Weapons of mass deception.
Typically, he brings all of the left wing talking points of the last 3 1/2 years. There was nothing new to his accusations. He would have us believe that the BBC, Guardian and any Canadian paper were the papers to bring us the truth about America. These "papers" have always been anti-American. This is nothing new.
Study the issues and not just parrot the Democratic Party. Do your homework Mr. DiPirro and bring a more insightful issue to your comments.
Dont forget the Drunks
As cofounder of the Savannah Wine Club (www.members.aol.com/
savannahwine), I read last weeks Corkscrew column with great pleasure.
However, there is one wine consumer you left out. It is the "Drunk." That is the person who shows up at a wine tasting or dinner to get ripped. They tend to say nothing until their blood alcohol content reaches 150. Then they spew out all sort of sophomoric crap (loudly and slurred) to rival even the "bullshitters."
After being in the company of some wine-greats such as Larry Stone amongst others over the years, I found that the not-so-greats at the wine tastings and dinners became increasingly less entertaining. Quite honestly, the Educators, Prognosticators and Bullshitters in the groups became annoyingly obnoxious and bored me to tears on near every occasion.
Some in the industry are the worst offenders. That is never a good thing when trying to enjoy a fine wine. Not enough Newbies (of which I have always considered myself) to balance out the others.
Hence, I have given up on large scale tasting and wine events for the very small 2 to 4 person gathering over a fine bottle or two of wine, good food and interesting conversation.
Just though I would add my two cents, and I havent even uncorked this evenings bottle yet.
JP Saleeby, MD
The U.S. isnt invincible
There are those who are so engrossed in their hatred of President Bush that they turn a blind eye to the very real possibility that this country could fall. We are not invincible.
As Michael Savage (The Savage Nation on WBMQ) said recently, because of political correctness we have become a paralyzed nation.
Those who clamor for appeasement should consider: How would their beloved liberal causes fare under Islamic law? How long would it take the Earth to emerge from a second Dark Age? What with modern technology and weapons, maybe never.