Thursday, October 04, 2007

Has breastfeeding always been in the closet?

More and more is being written. The boobs are coming out of the closet. Makes you wonder if this is "new" or if they have always been in hiding.

Check out "When Nursing in Public Was Normal"

You can find more from Jennifer James at The Black Breastfeeding Blog.

You also don't want to miss:

Breast Feeding Art
Breastfeeding and the Bible
A Look At Breastfeeding: Past, Present & Future

I've had my own, very solid, opinion about this for a long time. The more I read ancient writings (including the Bible) and literature, I realize that breastfeeding has been talked about openly and beautifully in a way that we never hear today. We have changed our view of the most maternal, warm and comforting view of our breasts. Our society has trained some to be uncomfortable with something that should be comfortable.


amy said...

christine, you know i always like to dig on you about this subject even though you know i respect your opinion, but the Bible also talks about breasts being an extremely sexual part of the body. solomon didn't call them the "hills of bethar" for nothin'. the problem is that they ARE dual purpose no matter what. they have been since the beginning of time even before the media and pornography blew things completely out of proportion.

Christine said...

Why is them having a dual purpose a problem? Of course they are! What we've done is to say that breastfeeding is somehow equated to sex (in the sense that it should be hidden), when it's not!

Song of Solomon is yummy! My breasts, toes, fingers, earlobes, and ooooohhhhh the nape of my neck ... all crazy sexual ... when I'm enjoying some yum with my husband. Doesn't mean I should cover them up when it's time to use them for their other purposes.

Yet, breastfeeding is discussed throughout history as something that is done openly - and it is accepted as beautiful.

Where are the writings and art and pictures and drawings of women covering their babies while they nurse? Seriously. Where are they?

And why is that?

That is the journey I took, and that is the reason I share information about it and LOVE to encourage people to do the same. I don't see it as a lactivist issue. I see it as a spiritual issue - for me. I see it as a basic principle that we are taught, like many others, in scripture - the nurturing of our children. The miracle and gift that we are to them. The necessary sacrifice we make of our time and our bodies to care for our children in the best way possible. That is what it has become for me.

Sara said...

I love this entry cuz I love lactavism...but the comment you left is almost better! You should edit and leave that in the entry so everyone sees. *nods*

Strawberry said...

I agree with Sara!

Well said Christine, both in your post and your comment!!!

Suburban said...

Hi Christine, Hope you don't mind if I coment? I've been lurking here for a few weeks, and enjoy the blog immensely.

I Had to coment on this one, because one of the sayings I find myself repeating over and over is something along the lines of "everybody wanted to see my breasts until my baby needed them."

Even my best friend Tariq, (long time Co-Worker, with whom I have traveled the world on business, shared hotel rooms with, and gone swiming with) was squirmingly uncomfortable when I fed My daughter in front of him, though he tried valliantly to seem relaxed. I was like "Man, you've been trying to see my breasts for ten years now. This. is. your. chance. Don't let the baby attached to them put you off."

I blogged about the issue here in Oman, and in the context of how socially acceptable it is to give a baby a bottle, or to feed porrige before the fourth month. Like christianity, Islam is very, very Pro- Breast feeding. Specifically, it's made clear that a child should be breast fed for the first two years.

Unfortunately, with the gradual incursion of Saudi influenced Petro-dollar islam, Much of the Middle east is becoming increasingly intolerant of public breast feeding. Why breast feed if you can just give a bottle. It's happening everywhere. The post on my blog stirred up an impressive amount of Vitriol, from both sides of the camp.

Anyway, I digress. Great post.