Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Where's The Bub?

My mother was a lactivist before the term was commonly used. I have a very vivid memory of playing on the roundabout at the local children's park while my mother nursed baby sister on a nearby bench. A well meaning granny type spotted sis' little foot peeking out from under the diaper thrown over Mum's chest. She asked for a peep and after the usual amount of cooing, gave Mum a pitying look reserved for the less fortunate and mentally feeble then proceeded to try to educate her on the benefits of bottle feeding. Imagine the woman's surprise when Mum asked her to sit down with her and told her all about the new studies that indicated breastfeeding was necessary to build infant immunities and provide important emotional bonding necessary to social and intellectual development. The year was 1970.

Today we are told that "breastfeeding is best", but the social stigma is still there and has much more sinister overtones than it had in Mum's day. I'd venture to say that it is exponentially worse than it was back in my day when Bunnie (now 13) was still nursing. Back then I did the
La Leche League and learned to pop one out in a safe and nurturing circle of nursing moms. I wore my daughter in a baby sling all day long and learned how to turn her to discreetly nurse under the cover of the sling while I stood in the grocery line or walked around downtown. When I was questioned about weaning my daughter, I followed my mother's example by patiently explaining Baby Led Weaning.

Rather than go into the details of why I think nursing mothers and babies are having a harder time of it today (believe me I can lecture for hours on the subject), I'm going to direct you to a new website called
The League of Maternal Justice. These gals are funny, smart and do a really great job of explaining why discrimination against pregnant and nursing women is rampant and what all women can do to put a stop to it.

They spurred me to take a stand against those who make backhand (and sometimes even blatant) comparisons between nursing infants and pornography starting with Facebook. For more information on the Facebook controversy as well as other important anti-mother and child campaigns, click the widget with the nursing baby on the left.

Where's the bubs? Right here, baby.