Friday, June 3, 2011

boob buzz

Is it just me or has the blogosphere been abuzz in the past month or so with breastfeeding-related posts? It must have something to do with Facebook’s recent decision to remove pictures of a breastfeeding mother and baby from their site. I hadn’t even heard the news on, well, the news, before I had already heard about it on the mommy blog circuit. Marissa and Emily both wrote posts on it, and I read about it on the Earth Mama blog as well. It's hard to say what part of this online decision is most offensive—the removal of the pictures or the choice of pictures to remove. It’s been pointed out in lots of places that there is racial intolerance simmering just beneath the surface of this breastfeeding issue, as the “offensive” photo features a woman of color, and other similar photos of white mothers were left on the site. I actually haven’t followed this story closely enough to know if all the photos were eventually removed, or if instead the lunacy of removing any of the photos in the first place was remedied and the pictures were re-posted. Does anyone want to save me the Google search and fill me in on how things have been resolved? In any case, this instance is just one of many indications of strange and inexplicable small-mindedness when it comes to breastfeeding.

Another example? Just this morning, I read this thoughtful and conscientious response by Allison at O My Family to what I would consider an offensive and purposefully hurtful inquiry from one of her readers regarding her choice not to use a nursing cover while she feeds her son. Um, what? In what world is it okay for anyone to suggest to the mother of a 3 week old infant (or any mother for that matter) that she should be more mindful of what other people think about her breastfeeding attire? I am so, so grateful that no one hassled me about mine. Caught up in all of my hormonal new mommyhood, with all kinds of fresh body insecurities and uncertainty about how to be the best parent to my new little bundle, I doubt I would have handled such a comment as graciously as Allison.

And these are just a couple of examples. What is the deal, world? What is it about breastfeeding that makes everyone lose their heads and forget that we’re talking about the vital, simple, natural act of feeding a new life? I know there's probably no real answer, and probably I'm just guilty of stirring the pot a little bit more. But, hey, it's my blog, right? I'll write what I want.

If you're in a boob frame of mind and want to read more about my breastfeeding experience, you can go back in the archives for an overview of why I chose to breastfeed and when I chose to stop.

On a completely unrelated note: I'm still dealing with bizarre interruptions to my commenting abilities here on Blogger, so please pardon my silence in the commenting section of this and other blogs. I'm reading, I swear! I love getting your comments, and I love leaving responses to other bloggers' posts... I'm just at a loss for how to fix the issue at the moment. Imma work on it and get back to commenting on the reg soon, I promise.


  1. I was with my in-laws in a mall when the babe started squealing in hunger. "Do you have a bottle?" my father-in-law asked. Nope, I didn't, so I breasfed in the middle of a crowded mall. And I had a nursing cover. Both in-laws then walked away and didn't make eye contact with me until I was done. That left me puzzled, as I breastfed in front of my parents with no problem. And hey, during the first month of the babe's life, I was flashing boobs all over the place and my mom-in-law certainly saw things! I've thought about their reaction in the mall and I suspect it's because they were raised in a formula feeding environment. My mom-in-law told me few people breasfed when she had babies, and she herself was formula fed. I think breasfeeding has recently become more popular, and our generation might be more comfy with it than our parent's generation. It might just take time to change people's perceptions.

  2. I was just writing a post about this same thing!!! I had a really horrific public breast feeding incident recently that just floored me. I can't understand how this is still an issue in today's society. Thanks for this post and bringing awareness of this "issue", even though I think we;re all really confused as to why it's even an issue at all. Hope you get your comments sorted out, Blogger can be so spastic!