Thursday, August 5, 2010

Use Your Mammaries, Mothers!

[Disclaimer - This is not about women who are physically unable to breastfeed, but about women who are capable but don't.]
If my last few posts have not been mention and proof enough of my disillusionment, with the world as it exists today, here comes another one. For a rare change I was looking at a newspaper today, and as newspapers have the habit of doing, it managed to impart some nugget of information to me. 'What now?', you ask, well this is the World Breastfeeding Week. And you can head over to the dedicated website, to gain more information about the week starting 1st of August, that this is being celebrated.

My point being, however, that we live in society today, where the most powerful and basic form of love, that of a mother to a child seems to be dwindling. I am sure, consciously or without really noticing, everyone in this world has observed some event, where a mother's affection has made the impossible possible. This is supposed to be the love, purest of all, the one without any expectations or demands. But before I go on, about that for a few posts worth of length, let me just say, that breastfeeding is the most basic thing a mother does for her child, and it is strange that there needs to be weeks, days or anything at all dedicated to inform people about it.

We celebrate women because they breastfeed their babies??? *huh????* Next we will need to celebrate the man who drives his family around, or the woman who cooks for her family, or a person who spends his earning on bringing up his/her children. Oh! But I forget, many people already believe they are doing the whole wide world a big favour, by doing precisely these very things. What is wrong with us? Does there need to be preaching and encouragement for mothers(notice, I am not saying women here!! Because the emotional transformation a woman goes through, when she delivers a baby, transforms her forever into a mother) to breastfeed their babies? There is a reason, why a woman's body was designed by nature, to grow a baby within itself, nourishing and growing it, and then nourishing it for a while after too. What exactly can be enticing enough for a mother to not want to do that?

[Image courtsey -]

WHO recommends breastfeeding a baby for atleast the first two years of life, and by the time a baby is just about six months old, many many mothers begin to plan their weaning methods, and by the time they are one, the babies are all weaned successfully, as the mothers would proudly claim. And while, in a normal world, I would think that cruel, in the one we currently inhabit, I have to applaud the mothers for allowing their babies access to their, completely personal and self-owned breasts(Yes, I am being sarcastic!), because there are those, who don't allow their babies that privilege. Its a strange world indeed, where mothers are too busy/self-involved/self-lovingcompletely selfish to provide their baby with breast milk. The reasons, could be many, and all equally pathetic. But unfortunately, no matter how much I hate it, such is the world we inhabit. Selfishness, has crossed all barriers, and has invaded even the purest of relationships.

And hence, the newspaper, being a more accepting part of the world, as it exists today, linked up an article about Celebrities Who Love Breastfeeding (a few pics may not be suitable for viewing in office!)as it states, 'In honour of World Breastfeeding Week we feature 12 celebrities who support the 'breast is best' message.' Well, indeed, let us celebrate, and instead of being a sourpuss, who keeps cribbing about what bothers her, let me appreciate the effort that is being taken here, to make things right. And so I will say, its the best way for a mother to bond with her baby. The initial months, fraught with sleeplessness, breastfeeding is the perfect way to relax. Breastfeeding releases hormones, that soothe and ease the mother's nerves, and helps her rest and relax. For the women who have breastfed, they would know, it induces a much needed state of blissful sleepiness. Breastfeeding also reduces the risk of breast cancer. And it helps the uterus shrink faster and sooner. And now that I have said all that I know about how it helps the mother, may I also add the obvious, that it make the baby healthier, it gives him natural immunity against diseases in those precious first few months of life, it is the easiest food for his tender digestive system, and it also gives him emotional strength of knowing he is loved, and not a burden!

So there women, nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing is worth giving up on this special experience, nor any reason good enough to use an excuse. Feed your baby, give them what only you can, don't hold that back.


Tamanna said...

I promise I will!

Vetrimagal said...

Well said. I find more and more young women are following what you have written, and I salute them.

Passionate Goof said...

Tamanna - Good girl. It is a gift only you can give your baby!

Vetrimagal - Hopefully, every child in the world will get what's his/her right by birth.

Sraboney said...

I believe breastfeeding is important but kids who are not breastfed do fine...Breastfeeding may be awesome for some and the health benefits are incredible, but it’s also not the end of the world if a woman doesn’t breastfeed...I also think every woman has got to make that choice for herself and her baby, just like every woman has got to make her own choices about every part of her reproductive rights and her own body...

What if a woman can't produce enough milk? Or it's painful? Should she be made to feel inferior?

Let’s not make anyone feel like a second-rate mom for their feeding choices...Mothers should stick together and not tear each other apart...

MRC said...


All you say is true, but as Sraboney has pointed out, there's a flip side too. Some mothers are just physically unable to breastfeed.

Also, I disagree that breastfeeding is always relaxing. It can be the most tiring thing in the world, and a tired cranky mother is not the best thing for a baby.

Sraboney said...


"...and it also gives him emotional strength of knowing he is loved, and not a burden!"

I disagree with this statement...You mean to say mothers who don't breastfeed don't love their kids? Judgmental, isn't it?

Passionate Goof said...

MRC - I forgot to mention this is not about women who cannot. Have put up the disclaimer now. About it being relaxing, well there is scientific proof to it M. Here, it says "Yes, during the breastfeeding process your brain will manufacture chemicals that will calm you, give you a feeling of well-being and promote maternal behavior. Your baby's sucking stimulates nerve endings in the areolae, which send messages to your hypothalamus and pituitary gland (in your brain, causing them to start releasing oxytocin and prolactin, breastfeeding hormones that will begin to calm and relax you. "

Sraboney - The disclaimer is up, as you can see. It should have gone up earlier, sorry about that.
And finally you can comment.
Now for what you say, no, I don't think a mother who is unable to breastfeed, due to physical constraints, is any less of a mother, or her baby at any loss due to that. But I do believe that the women who can, and decide not to do it, really deprive their babies to one of their basic rights.
Am I being judgmental? Yes, I think it is wrong, and I have no doubt about it. To me its worse that racsim. I have seen women struggle to breastfeed their child, and are unable to fulfill their nutritional needs, how heart-breaking it is for them to then substitute it with external sources, and then to see women leaking out, but not willing to feed their baby, it really saddens me. Just as an example Sraboney - picture this, six month old baby, mother lactating well, leaves the baby in the care of others, to enjoy a vacation. Obviously there is not breastfeeding happening, and I think it truly does affect the psyche of the baby.

Mystic Margarita said...

The way I see it, many women, me included, face lactation problems. However, if a woman can breastfeed, I can't think of any reason why she shouldn't want to, since it's been proven to have immense health benefits for the baby.

I know breastfeeding is a matter of choice, but so is conceiving. And if one has chosen to conceive, one should ideally strive to do the best for the baby.

MRC said...

hmmm...then Im certainly the exception to this study ! The thought of staying up late into the night, feeding the kid back to sleep , makes me quite tense. Sleeping in an awkward position , because I've drifted off to sleep exhausted and unable to pull away is NOT relaxing!
The thing is, I think Artim takes me to be his feeder and comforter and general looker after at his beck and call 24/ other words his mom :D

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Passionate Goof said...

Mystic Margarita - The exact point I am trying to make.

MRC - I understand what you mean, but when you are actually feeding Artim, notice the relaxed drowsy state that seeps in, and that is why you fall asleep while feeding him!

Anon - Glad to be of help!