Mommie Dearest: This Week In Breastfeeding News
It feels like there’s never a dearth of stories when it comes to breastfeeding. From the Pope blessing breastfeeding, to fining those who shame women who breastfeed in public, to the almost daily stories of moms actually being shamed or kicked out of places because of nursing in public, breastfeeding is a consistently hot topic. So, let’s review this last week in breastfeeding to see what we’ve missed out on.
Over at Yahoo! Health, Eden Strong writes about breastfeeding her best friend’s baby, and the shock and concern it elicited from folks she knew. Only, the title is the most shocking bit about the piece. Strong didn’t actually breastfeed her friend’s baby, but rather pumped milk for him. While that is a generous and wonderful thing to do, is it really all that shocking?
In an age where we push “breast is best,” but offer little in terms of supportive infrastructure for nursing moms, milk donation really shouldn’t be a taboo topic, but rather one that is championed and promoted as positive. And if you really want shocking, I’ll fill you in on the time I breastfed my friend’s baby. As in actually nursed her, no pumping involved. Because that’s what happens when you’re babysitting your bestie’s baby and she’s screaming bloody murder and you’re lactating anyway because you also have a baby, so you do whatever you can to help calm her down (and yes, my bff knew about this and gave me the green light. I would never breastfeed a baby without consent). So, let’s can the provoking headlines and maybe get real about making milk donations/banks actual viable, affordable options.
In other breastfeeding news, photo sharing site Instagram will finally allow breastfeeding photos! Hot on the heels of Facebook claiming to allow breastfeeding photos, Instagram has updated its guidelines to specifically note that breastfeeding pictures are allowed. While I applaud their commendable fix, it shouldn’t have taken this long to implement (and the company clearly still has some issues, as mother Hannah Moore found out when her account was deleted for posting a picture of her post-pregnancy stomach stretchmarks. Oh, Instagram, you still have a ways to go).
And speaking of photos, Kourtney Kardashian is causing some waves for this picture she posted of herself on Facebook. The snapshot was from Kourtney’s recent trip to Vegas where she posed on a tabletop, rocking leather pants and a breast pump, along with the caption “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.” As expected, the comments section is a mish-mash of supportive comments and those that take the mother of three to task. Some are outraged that she would demean herself as a woman and mother by posting such a picture while others are angry that she’s supposedly sexualizing breastfeeding.
While I hate lazy comparisons of breastfeeding photos to sexy photos, I have to say that I totally commend Kourtney for posting this photo. Not only does it help normalize pumping, but it shows that women continue to do their thing despite deciding to breastfeed their children. I say more power to Kourtney for posting that picture and possibly encouraging other women to breastfeed or pump. I’m definitely not a Kardashian stan by any means, but in this case, haters to the left.
Kourt wasn’t the only one getting flack for posting a breastfeeding related picture to social media this week. Elisa Wilson Beach, wife of TV actor Michael Beach, posted a photo of herself nursing her toddler… while she was going to the bathroom (Elisa, not the toddler). The picture quickly went viral with people going wild over the fact that a mom was nursing while going to the bathroom. Which seems incredibly ironic given the amount of people who insist women who want to nurse their kids in public should just go to the bathroom to do so. An uproar occurred over the cleanliness of it all, but to be honest? I just see a mom doing what mothers do best: multitasking.
As you can see, there’s no shortage of breastfeeding related stories this week, and, I have a feeling there will never be a lack of ones to discuss. Society as a whole loves to police women — and mothers in particular — especially when it comes to their bodies. Breastfeeding is the intersection of all of that, so I don’t foresee people just letting it go any time soon.