Recently, my professor began my class asking by asking this question:
Are breasts political? Or sexual?
Here is my answer:
Personally, my breasts are "all of the above" (literally, lol).
Actually, my breasts are really smart. Although shy, preferring to hang-out quietly nested near my heart, among themselves the talk about everything...they spark the most interesting conversations about the most controversial things! Sex, cancer, politics and nutrition. In fact, my breasts are scientists AND programmers! While they suckle my 3 year old after a long day at school, they can upload her daycare's germ-profile, and can filter, and download from my body the perfect ingredients for her own unique daily vaccine. No cow can do that!
But, back to the original question. Are breasts political or sexual? THEY'RE BOTH!!
When my breasts aren't busy as microbiologists, my breasts are totally sexual. When properly displayed in a black-laced push-up bra (very push up, lol), my breasts scream femininity. They speak for me, and thank God, because I'm super shy. But, when they get the chance to take a breather from the tight unnatural black lace, watch out! When handled by non-toddler hands, my breasts ignite wildfires.
And in terms of politics, my breasts are non-partisan. They vote on issues. And the issue that's hottest on their plate is my own family's breastfeeding reform. My breasts will NEVER forget that it was formula companies, hospital practices and cultural breastfeeding horror stories which underminded their potential to feed my now 16 year old son. In fact, this time, my breasts will produce until their suckling outgrows them like she outgrew my womb. May her memories as a nurse-ee reform my little family's health, and may she nurse her children whenever, wherever and for as long as they want to.
Click the lay man's terms below to get the powerful research that some parents actually DO want to know about breastfeeding! Enjoy!
Colostrum transitions babies from the womb to the world.
Premies benefit from colostrum swabbed inside their cheeks.
What "Colostrum has antibodies!" really means.
Some women repurpose their bodies and heal from sexual abuse via breastfeeding.
Having been breastfed reduces your daughter's risk of developing breast cancer
Heres a true story about when the "right" time to wean could be, according to one very old and wise lady:
As I nursed my 8 month old in the lobby of a doctor's office, I heard sniffling and occasional sobbing coming from an very old lady behind me. After a few minutes of hearing her, I turned around and asked if she was ok.
Quietly and in Spanish, she begain to tell me her story...
"I'm from a small town south of Mexico City. Fifty years ago, I weaned my five year old son. Twenty-five years ago he moved to the city and became a wealthy businessman. He went twenty years without calling me (her eyes welling up in tears again). BUT...he called me last night, and he called me to tell me that he had a flashback of his childhood...he remembered himself at my breast at the age of 5. And he broke down and cried, and thanked me for that memory, because after all of this time it was the memory of nursing that woke him up to his roots, to his family, to his humble start, and to his mother."
The old lady tearfully looked me straight in the eyes and said 'Senorita, for everything on earth, please don't nurse her longer because some doctor tells you it's healthier, or because it makes tantrums easier to quell. Nurse your little girl until her time at the breast is really over...until it's ingrain in to her heart and her min. Nurse her until she remembers nursing...because one day, it might be that memory that will bring her back to you. No matter what happens to you, she will remember that you nursed her, and she will nurse her children. "
Gracias, viejita, for the most meaningful and normalizing breastfeeding advice ever given (to me). Its because of you that I nursed her in to memory.
(For those of you who, for very personal and legitimate reasons, are unable to nurse as long as you'd like to, take LOTS of photos, and remind your babies that you and her/him had a special relationship that no two people could ever have. Remember, whether you nurse for a feeding, a day, a month or a year...you still gave your baby an extended part of you.)