Saturday, January 19, 2008

A tribute to breasts and breastfeeding

How do you react when you watch this video? Why do you think you react the way you do? Does society need to change the way it perceives motherhood, infant nutrition and breast feeding?


Noble Barnes said...

I had the pleasure of meeting with you in the 3D virtual world of second life this evening, and as you stated you would write a blog review about my maternity clinic, I thought I would come and see your page. I must admit it is outstanding and very well put together. As for this video, I am impressed, too many woman feel shame in breast feeding in public. Society has made this common act of nurturing our young and suppling them with a basic requirement to survive a taboo. There is nothing that should stop any woman in any country from being able to openly breastfeed their baby without having to worry about harassment or embarrassment. If I was able to rate your video and blog I would give it 10 wonderful stars. Also I thought I should add, every location you have a picture of in your blog I have either lived in those areas, or visited them as well. What a small world LoL

Sincerest Regards
Noble Barnes
Owner Mommy & Me Birthing and Maternity Center (in the world of secondlife)

Carolyn McIntosh said...

Thanks for your help Noble and an interesting, if not somewhat disturbing, time in your clinic. I wish you all the best.

I hope you do decide to dispense with the virtual doctor and stick with the virtual midwife. Also think about getting those women off the delivery bed. In fact get rid of the delivery bed and get them birthing in the shower or in the pool. (At least you don't have them in lithotomy). What about kneeling and leaning on the bed or on the birth ball or even leaning on their partner. I know all of this adds a level of complexity but I am sure you can do it. By the way what do they see on the scan if they are carrying a wee wolf?

Anonymous said...

lovely - i love it. Healthy women and healthy babies.

Anonymous said...

Does society need to change the way it perceives motherhood...breastfeeding etc?

I think more could be done at policy level. I think paid parental leave should be extended to at least 6 months which is the suggested most appropriate time-frame for exclusive breastfeeding. This would better support women to do this work (not only for their own benefit but also for the benefit of their baby and broader society).
On the street I think attitudes have shifted significantly. I think more people are comfortable with breastfeeding (even in awe of it or at least respectful of it) than not. When feeding my own kids I rarely felt marginalised by attitudes or treatment on the street in NZ. I have quite a strong sense of self as a woman and mother though so may not have felt as susceptible to negativity about feeding my children as some might. If anything I think I first approached my work as a breastfeeding mum with a sense of defiance almost daring anyone to approach me with complaints. I never got any so it soon ceased to be an issue.
The media and formula companies are responsible for maintaining negative attitudes around breastfeeding (well they do have a vested interest in advertising).
Some TV shows seem to be getting more realistic about breastfeeding and it is being used for comedy a lot more I notice. Thats probably positive in terms of de mystifying it and making it less taboo.
For some cultures and religions it seems to be taboo (as are women in general) - but as i don't subscribe to any of that I have to say I'm not individually affected by it.
The younger generation of my immediate family are really comfortable around breastfeeding. My son at an all boys, actually fairly traditional NZ school felt that there was a very normal culture at his school around the place of breastfeeding and a woman and babies right to do it. He felt t was just accepted.
We do have a pretty cool country.

Carolyn McIntosh said...

I do think that in most sections of society breast feeding is more accepted than it was a few years ago. Six months paid parental leave would be just so fantastic, what a way for society to demonstrate support for motherhood and infant care. Who is gonna pay this though. Society through the government? Employers?

Anonymous said...

whose gonna pay? I'm guessing not the formula
I think govts need to think outside the square and ask themselves how much longer they can afford not to fund this primary health initiative.

Housefairy said...

This was lovely! Thanks for sharing!

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