Thursday, May 18, 2006

Soapbox: Nurse Here. Now.

Mamacita's SOAP-BOX

I guess you could say I have become somewhat of a lactivist. Lactivist meaning: lactation activist. I am an advocate for women's rights to breastfeed her child(ren) in public; wherever she may be. Keep reading if you want to see how I am making a difference in the life of my son - and everyone else I encourage to breastfeed or keep breastfeeding.
Most people I know would say "breast is best" when addressing an infant. That perception changes here in the States once the tyke is walking and for sure talking. Research shows, however, that extended nursing - that is nursing past one year of age, is very beneficial and encouraged by the World Health Organization (WHO). "Breastfeeding is an unequalled way of providing ideal food for the healthy growth and development of infants; it is also an integral part of the reproductive process with important implications for the health of mothers. A recent review of evidence has shown that, on a population basis, exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months is the optimal way of feeding infants. Thereafter infants should receive complementary foods with continued breastfeeding up to 2 years of age or beyond. Breastmilk is the natural first food for babies, it provides all the energy and nutrients that the infant needs for the first months of life, and it continues to provide up to half or more of a child’s nutritional needs during the second half of the first year, and up to one-third during the second year of life."
In the second year (12-23 months), 448 mL of breastmilk provides:
29% of energy requirements
43% of protein requirements
36% of calcium requirements
75% of vitamin A requirements
76% of folate requirements
94% of vitamin B12 requirements
60% of vitamin C requirements -- Dewey 2001

If you're still reading, BLESS YOU!!! Don't stop now but keep reading as there is more! The research is astounding when listing all of the benefits both to mother and child for continued nursing. Please, join my in protecting breastfeeding nation wide. has information on how to support, encourage and protect breastfeeding. You might be surprised to hear that in some states it it against the law to breastfeed in public! Help change these ridiculous views that only the USA has!!!

I am a nursing mom.

I am an intelligent, independent woman.
I don't need to be told how I can make others
more comfortable when I nurse my baby.
I don't feel responsible for the comfort of the general public.
I am responsible first to my family, my children. No more patronizing, shame-inducing discussions about what kind of cover-up works best to hide breastfeeding or how to make
onlookers more comfortable.

I deserve to be supported when I do what is right for my baby, not told I need
to hide it or cover it up or take it elsewhere

That's what Nurse Here Now is all about:
Empowering breastfeeding moms to nurse wherever we are, whenever our babies need it, in spite of the fact that our culture would like to pressure us into thinking it is a shameful and impolite act. We know that breastfeeding is not a shameful act that should be hidden, it is a normal everyday parenting activity, and we are passing this message on to all nursing mothers.

We won't allow "peer pressure" from society to change our thought and behavior and cause us shame and embarrassment. We will do what is best for our babies and ourselves. We will reject the pressure to make breastfeeding invisible, we will reject the oversexed idea that breastfeeding uses "private parts", we will reject the disapproval and let it roll off our backs like water off a duck. We will empower ourselves to reject adopting the inaccurate views of our culture.

We know better.
We will nurse. Here. Now.
Wherever and whenever that may be.
Thank you for reading my views on extended nursing. Yes, my son "asks" for it and yes, he will be 2 years old very soon... and your point is??? I will wean when my son is ready - not when others deem appropriate.


  1. Interesting and informative post, Joy. One of the things I am looking forward to the most about Griffin's birth is breastfeeding again - - I really enjoyed it with Camden. He self-weened at 11 months, and to tell the truth, I was ready then, too. I personally believe breast feeding vs. formula feeding is a very personal choice, probably because I believe that Mom has to be happy for baby to be happy, and I know that breast feeding simply doesn't work for all moms. Another issue (in my opinion) is that new moms aren't given the tools the need to really "know" what they want as far as breast feeding goes. I frequently think back to how incredibly difficult the first month of breastfeeding was for me(painful, tiring, etc.)and how easily I could have given up. Hot topic, for sure! Thanks for writing about it!

  2. I agree, Heather. When Roy read this post, his comment was, "Well, honey, it is very opinionated! But that's okay because it's you!" HA!

    You were inspirational to me in breastfeeding because you told me how hard it was in the beginning (as was my start) and how worth it was to keep it up! I try to pass on what you gave me to other new moms and encouraqe them to get a LC, take the free breastfeeding class and TALK to other moms who have or are nursing!

    It is a hot topic and I doubt all my soapbox posts are quite so personal. wink.


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