Wednesday, January 11, 2012

So You Ask Yourself, Why?

Why is that child still nursing?

Or maybe,

Why did her mother choose to share that on the internet?

Millie, 26.5 months

No doubt, if you're on Facebook, a friend of a friend of a friend (or maybe someone closer) has posted about recent removals of pictures like the one above.  In fact, the one above was removed from Facebook, just last night, for 'violating the terms of service' with a picture that contains 'nudity.'  Seems they changed their tune from last warning, that said my picture was 'sexual in nature.'  

I'm not the only one who has had photos deleted, as is attested by such groups as Fb!  Stop Harassing Kwasnica and All Breastfeeding Women .  Another group, FB Unblock Danelle Frisbie! Enough is Enough, was created because a woman was blocked from use for posting content in support of another who was banned for posting photos.  Round and round we go, where we stop, only the Facebook gods know?

So why is that kid still nursing?  Well, she's 2 and she's a picky eater.  She likes to nurse and it gives her comfort.  Those are the short answers, but as you can see in this posting, the benefits to her and to me are numerous.  For one, kids who are breastfed at any age have less significant illness than their formula-fed peers.  They also score higher on tests and have more nutritionally complete diets.  Moms, well we get a lowered risk of getting ovarian cancer and protection against osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis. 

As for comfort, if you are a parent or know one with a toddler, you realize that High Drama can ensue at any given moment.  Forget Hollywood Divas, because that cutie up there in that picture, she's got them all beat hands down.  Her tantrums can last a while, cause disruption to the family (and others when out in public) and can even be painful with all the flailing and limp-noodling.  The easy solution:  give her ninny (what we call breastfeeding around here.)  It shuts down the tantrum NOW because, well, she can't scream with a boob in her mouth and she's getting the attention she needs and wants.

Now, I will try to briefly go into why I share my breastfeeding images online.  

If you are exposed to a thing, it is easier to understand it.  And by that, I don't mean you being exposed to my boob.  I mean the breastfeeding experience, and not just with young babies, although that's where this thing usually starts.  

I mean, seeing women breastfeeding, everywhere, when and how they want.  People in other countries see this all the time, and no one bats an eye.  Here in the good ol' US of A, we don't and we are usually caught off guard when a mother breastfeeds in public because the rate of babies exclusively breastfeed at 3 months is about 45% and at 6 months that rate drops to about 25%.  Look at babies over 12 months old, and the average drops down to around 5%.  The average weaning age, world-wide is about 4.2 years and natural weaning isn't shown to occur until at least 2.5 years in humans. 

In some places, breast milk is the only clean or readily available food, but here we have good old chicken nuggets and fries.  But the latter aren't healthy or nutritionally complete, like breast milk, even though a picky toddler might actually eat the nuggets and fries for her tired parents.  
And breast milk helps keep children hydrated, especially after tonsillectomies, which we experienced last month.  Millie wouldn't drink or eat, but she would nurse and that sped her recovery up dramatically.  Instead of the usual 5-7 days recovery, she was FULL STEAM at about 45 hours post-op.

So, without further ado (I could go on and on and on), I am going to continue to show that nursing aka BREASTfeeding is natural, normal, loving, and something people should see on a daily basis.  

Millie, 2 months

Millie 3 months

Millie 6 months

On the DART in Dallas, TX (9 mos)

Millie 20 months

Millie 23 months

On a Hike (13 months)


breastmilkmum said...

Love your posts!! Very well said and th pictures are great!! :)

jen said...

Aww, Thanks Zoe!