Archives for posts with tag: breastfeeding

I’m completely committed to insisting that breastfeeding is a food issue, one of food politics and all the ways power comes into play, of food security, and of food sovereignty, in OUR right to decide how we eat and feed.  This poem is by Holly McNish is so strong and Mama-Tigerly righteous, I want to take part in it’s going ever more viral.

Also of interest:  Anthrolactology is a blog maintained by a Medical Anthropologist with a keen interest in breastfeeding issues for refugees.  Lots of links, resources and education on her site.

Has everyone read this fascinating New Yorker magazine long-read on breastfeeding and the micro-biome?

And in doing some searches for this post, I just found EMBA, the European Milk Bank Association, “where you will find information from many of the 200+ milk banks operating in more than 20 countries throughout Europe as well as news from milk banks and about the use of donor human milk around the world.” Viva sharing!

A few past KitchenCounterCulture posts:

A GIF that shows the male gaze…

Gorgeous Images of the Sanctity of Mary Feeding Jesus

Breastmilk Banking. My first baby benefitted greatly from another woman’s breastmilk while I was getting my flow going, so I’m all for this!

Much thanks and appreciation to whoever created this and put it online.



My first child’s first food, as a newborn, was donated breast milk, and I’ll always be grateful she had such a great first start. Huge gratitude to that generous woman in the ” breastfeeding room” of the hospital; she sat there pumping her milk into little plastic bottles that went into the fridge there for the use of whoever needed it.  It took me a couple of weeks to get my proper flow going.

This is a thrilling story, the first Human Baby Milk Bank in North India.

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Mary is a breastfeeding mother, to state the obvious.  Lots of realistic depictions here.

All over the news: Pope Francis encouraged a woman shy to breastfeed her infant in public to feed that child, there and then.  To feel free and empowered to do it.. “Please give it something to eat.”  Comfort, always, and food, breast-milk so perfect nutritionally, in sweetness, in fats, in taste, in what it delivers immunologically and microbiologically and the nearness of warm loving skin, through which it’s delivered.  Lactation really is a miracle, and very beautiful, and the first food a mother can give her baby, and Slow Food, because a body makes the milk in the time required, and all about “Food Sovereignty” because a woman can decide, in a kind of beautiful dance with Baby, when to feed, how long to feed, how much milk to produce, not intrinsically tied to corporations or regulations or industrial regimes.

I remember the years when I was breastfeeding my babies, even as a non-Christian, feeling a spiritual affinity with Mary and the nursing Baby Jesus.  (And when you’re heaviliy pregnant, it also becomes possiible to deeply imagine the physical travail of riding into Bethlehem on a donkey, and the kind of anxiety that must have accompanied not knowing where one would spend the night.  (No one helped Mary give birth, did they– she did it alone, without a midwife?  I can’t believe I don’t know the answer to this question.)

The breastfeeding Mary powerfully symbolises love, and the addressing of hunger.  This wonderful article discusses how the symbol of the breast predates the centrality of the crucifixion as a symbol and  “the virgin’s nursing breast, the lactating virgin, was the primary symbol of God’s love for humanity…”

I always felt, as a breastfeeding mother, that there was a meanness and cruelty to the judgement that I shouldn’t nurse publicly, forbidding to the infant too, that we should go instead into a toilet or restroom for privacy.  Lactivists across the world are battling for a change in social outlook on this.  Yet– what if issues around breastfeeding became linked with food rights and food sovereignty and all the broad ways we are coming to define them.  I find it really powerful that Pope Francis has made these connections– drawing a wider metaphor about social aspects of food, from a crying baby who wants some boob, without a need to disentangle comfort and hunger — which exist together and can be answered together.

Lots to say really about the industrial food grid and the sacred time before child is on it….  but must go cook dinner for kids now, so will revise later  🙂 …

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