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Monday, July 17, 2006



That is a really interesting theory. It is my opinion that subtle hormonal imbalances from the diets we eat (and were fed as children) and the toxins in our environment probably contribute to the preponderance of breastfeeding problems, too. But I think so much of it is that breastfeeding has been a truly invisible activity in our culture. My mom BF me and my sister and I don't remember ever seeing her nursing my sister (I was weaned at 10 months so obviously I don't remember being BF). I DO remember bottles, though. My own and my sister's! I think the first time I saw someone breastfeeding was in my mid-20's (it was my cousin). And I was far too embarrassed to sit near her and "take notes", even though I knew that I would probably BF my own kids someday. It just seemed strange and awkward, and everything around BF seems strange and awkward to most people in our culture. We're not comfortable with our bodies in the first place, and then to have to use our bodies to nourish someone else, while trying not to "reveal" a part of the body that has been fetishized, which is simultaneously ubiquitous and taboo? Ah, it's a lot that we take on when we BF! Thanks for this post.


There's a whole slew of things I didn't get inot like the environmental toxins and artificial diet and all that other stuff that you mentioned. Thanks for adding that. It's an improtant note.


I am pretty shy when it comes to my body except maybe around my husband. How can I desensitize myself to it? My cousin is bf'ing her daughter but I have never seen her do it around anyone. I have a feeling I will tend to do this too. In Inna May's book about breastfeeding and bonding she says to expose your breasts to the sun or a sun lamp to toughen them up...
where can you get one of these for not so much money?


I've wondered "why" myself. You have an interesting theory. All I know is that it was very hard for me, and it hurt like h*ll in the beginning, even though I was told in my breast feeding class that it shouldn't hurt if I was doing it correctly. We did use an L.C., and I still take Reglan to this day. My daughter was diagnosed with failure to thrive because I wasn't producing enough milk to satisfy her, but with the support of her pediatrician, the L.C., my ob/gyn, and most importantly, my husband, we managed to muddle through. And now my daughter is 22 months old and still going strong.


does it ever piss me off when they say "it won't hurt if you are doing it right."

i'm not sure it should necessarily be easy, i mean women have used wet nurses for hundreds of years.

I'm not saying breastfeeding isn't a wonderful amazing experience that is beneficial for mother and child, but it takes some practice and it is hard at first, and i'm thinking maybe always has been. I don't think it's un-natural to take some getting used to. It's just something you need a helping hand, like say your mother, sister, aunt, etc.

I'm not trying to blame any of the above mentioned womena nd relations for not supporting a nursing mom. Just saying, it's a challenge, but it's rewarding, and stick with it. You can do it.

Finally, posting a picture of me breastfeeding, as I do think seeing it as normal is a big step in teh right direction.


Excellent observations. I also think that we malnourish ourselves postpartum to lose the baby weight here in this image obsessed country.


Actually, I kind of suspect that it wouldn't necessarily be easier in a state of nature.

My feeling is that nature doesn't much care about whether breastfeeding is difficult or hurts the mother. After all, there are plenty of species where the infant basically eats the mother. Nature just cares about reproduction and keeping enough babies alive to keep the species going.

Some people find breastfeeding easy, some find it hard and everything in between, just the way there is a range of other physical abilities - some of us can jog easily and some of us can't at all!



I have a question. My son is 3.5 months old. (He's my third......all breastfed, but only until 6 months.) He has increased the amount he eats while I'm at work (I work fulltime) to about 5 ounces at a time, but when I pump at work (I use a double electric) I only get about 3.5 to 4 ounces. I have no problems when nursing him myself, but my frozen supply is about gone making up the difference while I'm at work. I tried fenugreek and strangley enough I got LESS while on it. Any suggestions? Please email me if you've got any advice.



I totally agree with your theory and I hope you won't mind if I link this post to my blog. I've been preaching what you said about our boobs not being exposed forever. I have wondered if bras have anything to do with an increase in breast cancer?

I wish I could have breast fed my son, but induction is difficult and while I induced twice before him, this time around I produced even less and he had a hard time staying latched on me. The LC said I had, "difficult breasts". I tried for three weeks and I know he got some good stuff from me inthat time. Wish it could have been more.


On that site I linked to above www.007b.com they have an article about how bras may cause breast cancer because they block lymph from draining and backing up toxins in the tissue or something. Interesting, but I wonder how extremist that site is.

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