Sophie Uliano's 'Gorgeously Green: 8 Simple Steps to an Earth-Friendly Life'. In the meantime, here is my response to The Feminist Breeder's post on lactivism and breastfeeding and why US mamas need more support. If you haven't checked out her blog, I highly encourage you to do so. She is such an intelligent and poignant blogger and advocate for women's and family rights! Check her out at: The Feminist Breeder
I have been lucky enough to have support in breastfeeding my 2 month old son, and it has truly made all the difference! Throughout my entire pregnancy, my midwives helped me to prepare for breastfeeding, and the moment my son was born, before my husband even cut the cord, he brought him to my breast and I began to nurse him. The hospital I gave birth in never gives out formula samples or pushes formula feeding on new parents. The hospital does not have a nursery, and has 100% rooming in with parents and babies, which truly helps to foster a quality feed-on-demand relationship, as well as giving families more opportunity for quality, skin-to-skin contact. Lactation consultants came to see me every day during my hospital stay, and all of my nurses were trained in breastfeeding support. Each of my postpartum appointments included a lactation consultant, and my son’s pediatrician has a degree in lactation science. What saddens me, is that my experience is rare, and it shouldn’t be. As a 19 year old, first time mother, I needed all the support I could get to establish breastfeeding (my wonderful life partner being my number 1 breastfeeding cheerleader!), and if I hadn’t received the support I did, I don’t know if I would still be breastfeeding today. I completely believe that having paid maternity leave for at least a year, as well as mandating that all workplaces provide private places to pump/breastfeed that are not bathrooms and not forcing women to clock out in order to do so, will help to promote breastfeeding and the strong mother-child bond it creates.
It deeply saddens me that the majority of mothers turn to formula feeding because of the media images that are so prevalent in today's culture. We need to provide adequate support and scientifically sound information for mothers during pregnancy and beyond to show women that breastfeeding is not impossible, dirty, shameful, or wrong in any way. Our bodies were designed to feed our children, and don't you let anyone make you believe anything less! Every woman deserves the right to breastfeed her child. And in the circumstance that she cannot, or chooses not to breastfeed, deserves the right to access safe and properly regulated human milk donations.
The only way we are going to see any change is if we as mothers stand up and DEMAND it! Let’s start supporting our fellow sisters and get breastfeeding rights back on the agenda!