0

Conversations & More: Genital Integrity Awareness Week

29695391_3321860095851_710715097487977979_n

I just returned from a trip to Washington D.C. for Genital Integrity Awareness Week, which was March 28th-April 3rd. A week full of seed-planting, countless conversations with principled conclusions, minds changed, futures salvaged… This is my kind of activism!

The mission as stated on the web site is to raise public awareness of:

  1. the basic human right to genital autonomy for all individuals, regardless of sex
  2. the damage inflicted by forced genital cutting, of boys, girls and intersex persons
  3. foreskin restoration options for those impacted by forced genital cutting
  4. research based information on intact subjects to a large body of individuals in Washington D.C. – students, educators, tourists, lawmakers, politicians – who take this information home with them to their own circles of influence
  5. the need for congress and lawmakers to grant boys and intersex minors equal rights under law with protection from forced genital cutting

Continue reading

0

Live on Whole Mother Show: The Circumcision Decision

 

Houston midwife Pat Jones interviewed myself and Amber Clark for the Whole Mother Radio Show on 90.1 FM KPFT to discuss circumcision. Check out the video above — audio file coming soon!

This was a great way to kick off Genital Integrity Awareness Week (March 28-April 3)!

Please support #GIAW, either by attending, sharing related posts, and/or donating toward the effort.

17834839_1672691619414839_6035750928362297565_omhw copy copy

For more info:

mamasmilk_signoff-01

 

2

It Just Needs To Be Said About Full-Term Breastfeeding…

Natural Weaning2

I have two children, an almost 5 year old and an almost 17 month old, who both nurse. They both began nursing just moments after each was born and here we are, still nursing along. I often find myself in the position of explaining this decision (or fate, rather).

Why is an explanation needed and sometimes even demanded from those who choose to do (or simply end up doing) tandem- and full-term breastfeeding?

Now breastfeeding may be less frequent, quicker, less nutritionally vital, more physically active than it was in the newborn days when they had tiny gummy mouths and floppy bodies. Otherwise, it really isn’t much different. They’re the same people they were 17 months and 5 years ago. Still asking to nurse. And one day they won’t.

Continuing to nurse as age advances is no clue that nursing will go on forever, like an evergreen tree of connection to mother. One day, the child will feel differently about this connection and realize the shoe no longer fits. What is the rush or worry until then?

From the looks of many comments on August’s World Breastfeeding Month social media/news threads, it seems there are two kinds of people who weigh in whenever full-term and tandem nursing come up: those who truly fully support breastfeeding and those who don’t (though many kick off their commentary with “I support breastfeeding, but…”). Do the rest just keep quiet to maintain neutrality? I don’t know.

I don’t have the time or concern to respond to or even read every comment/message that aims to preserve the controversy, but I feel it’s necessary to address a few inspired by two videos I recently shared.

Mostly because there aren’t too many tandem nursing, full-term weaning videos and I hope to bust (see what I did there?) some of the myths for other mothers. Also because breastfeeding mothers hear/read these same comments all. the. time. I hope my explanations (not to be mistaken for defenses) will satisfy the wannabe mic-droppers and the apparently ever-curious.

(Links to videos at end of post)

Continue reading

19

How Adam Tries To Ruin Breastfeeding

079020a2596abfa5afa243.58586954_edit_img_facebook_post_image_file_43746149_1500164618 copy

In Adam’s supposed attempt to ruin mom shaming, he was in truth aimed at ruining breastfeeding.

Why not Adam Ruins Everything: Formula Marketing, or Adam Ruins Everything: Mommy Wars?

The episode Adam Ruins Everything: Why Formula Isn’t Poison (which originally aired on July 9th but you can watch it here) plays much like a formula advertisement. It reminded me of the infamous Similac one that aimed to dupe us into receiving it as some cute public service announcement when really, illusions dissolved, it was just a smartly manipulative attempt to sell formula.

A few questions raised by this episode: is it really necessary to degrade breastfeeding in order to prove formula isn’t poison? It’s true that formula isn’t poison, but can’t this fact stand on its own merit without comparing against breast milk?

Overall, Adam’s episode focuses less about how formula isn’t poison and more about how breastfeeding really isn’t all that great, apparently. The information here is incomplete at best, biased and inaccurate at worst.
Continue reading

0

What to Consider Before Sharing Your Birth Photos

DSC00301bw copy

Thinking about sharing your birth photographs with friends, family, on social media, hanging them up in your foyer, perhaps printing them in a coffee table book for home visitors to peruse?

Here are a few worthwhile things to consider first.

Continue reading

1

For the Breastfeeding ‘Butters’

IMG_20170512_170632 copy

If you’ve ever said “I support breastfeeding, but [insert almost any phrase],” I must break it to you:

You don’t truly support breastfeeding if you need to put a condition upon it. (This goes for the reluctant “supporters” and passionate advocates alike).

Examples: Continue reading

3

Isn’t the Ghost Inside a Single Onesie More Than Enough? (My Experience at GIAW 2017)

17758382_1511919212160528_8615185287152201119_o

Image courtesy Saving Our Sons

Here we gathered, sixty four of us. All affected by circumcision in one way or another, the lucky among us protected from the worst of its damage. Sixty four of us prepared to deliver the message that natural bodies are normal, healthy, and beneficial; to leave the alteration for medical necessity or personal consent.

We were here for Genital Integrity Awareness Week — which, in the great fortune of the 2017 calendar — happened to fall on the same week that female genital cutting was outlawed in the U.S. twenty years ago.

For the past two decades, baby girls have been protected from threat to their genital integrity, but their brothers, sons, nephews and grandsons are still routinely cut in barbaric fashion. Some die, and the rest bear the telltale scar forever.

17760948_1513876221964827_3994059682333893539_o

Image courtesy Saving Our Sons

Continue reading