Tonight Kelly (the lactation consultant who owns Baby Beloved, inc.) and I will be headed down to The Institute For Global Education in downtown Grand Rapids to participate in a discussion about breastfeeding. I participated in a discussing years ago (can't even remember what the topic was anymore) and had a great time. I have known Dave Blakeslee since I was 14 (I'm not disclosing how many year ago that was anymore). When I was in and out of lock up as a teenager I ended up in a group home called Wedgewood. Believe it or not, some of my most fond memories from my teen years were spent there. It really did influence my life for the better. Dave was the head supervisor of the home and we seemed to connect right away. We had an unspoken hippie bond. I remember him letting me keep my Greateful Dead CD even though it had "Casey Jones" on it which talked about Cocaine. He knew it wasn't about the coke - it was about the music! Through the years as I developed into an activist our paths crossed again and again. We catch up through lunch every now and again (though this is long over due!) and I am very proud to call him a friend. It's interesting because not many people in my life now have any idea of how troubled my past was. It's always rewarding to meet up with those people and hear them say that they are proud of my accomplishments. We all know how easily I could have continued the cycles I was born into. It took a lot of will power and re-learning of how to actually live life to do it and I am also extremely proud of myself.
Anyways, back to the discussion. I am looking forward to going and discussing breastfeeding. I think that it is important to openly discuss (and hopefully encourage) breastfeeding. It seems to be somewhat of a taboo topic, though I can not for the life of me figure out why. There is currently a bill in Michigan that will allow women to breastfeed their babies anywhere in public that they are otherwise legally allowed to be. This seems like common sense, right? I mean - why wouldn't a woman be allowed to breastfeed her hungry child ANYWHERE? My theory is that this country had sexualized breasts so much that when they see a woman breastfeed they are immediately confused and don't know how to feel. I think that the confusion is what insights opposition. Why else would we be so anti-breast? I mean, we are constantly encouraging women to wear low cut shirts that show almost the entire breast anyways. We use breasts to sell everything from toothpaste to beer, but somehow throw in feeding a baby and things get a little different. Boobs were made to be functional. They are there TO feed a baby....we've just turned them into something that is meant to be played with or looked at. Granted, that is OK too, but we can't take away the breasts from babies just because it makes "some" people uncomfortable. I believe that the babies win by default. It always has and always will belong to them first.
I think I'm also going to be bringing up (unless it's brought up for me) covering up while nursing. I get some flack for making my Nursing Clips from some hard core natural moms. Now, I understand that women should not have to cover up, but I also understand that at least 3/4 of the women who do choose to breastfeed simply are not comfortable taking their breast out in front of others. There is NOTHING wrong with that. Being modest is a choice. I also do not believe anyone should HAVE to cover up, but I do believe that if one wants to, she should be able to without judgement.
Anyways, it should be interesting. The discussion is taped and is broadcasted on to our public access channel so I'm looking forward to seeing the final outcome! I will ask Dave if I am able to get the whole show so I can put it here on the blog (like they have on their site. If you scroll down you can watch past episodes) and I will also make a post after this about how it went and when it should air! So, stay tuned!
Zander enjoying natures bounty!