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Breastfeeding Moms, It’s Time To Ditch Dairy

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In the process of birthing her child, opening up to allow life to pass through her and howling or whimpering along with thousands of other human mothers and multitudes more female creatures, a woman feels a primal connection to her animal nature. Herein is sparked an unspoken understanding of The Mother Code: all mothers worldwide, of all ages and races and species, learn this unspoken language in their gut and communicate it with their hearts.

This Code is founded upon an equal, shared love for our babies, a desire for the best for our babies — and what’s best for our babies is, by protective feature of Mother Nature, likewise best for us. The Code recognizes another mother’s profundity of pain when her child is hurt or lost, and it celebrates her joy when motherhood is thriving. It sees the essential closeness of mother and baby as gold; the syncing of their bodies and spirits as fact.

As a breastfeeding mother, you know the depth of emotions that make breastfeeding possible. You know the struggle when it doesn’t work, and when it gets painful and exhausting and when we face external obstacles. You know the anxiety when questioning whether your body ‘works,’ whether biology has failed you or if you’re ‘woman enough’ to handle the pressure of this responsibility. You know the Breastfeeding Mother Code.

Lactation works the same in all mammals. Emotions and hormones are the fuel for the mechanics of lactogenesis, a natural triumph of a nurturing, healing system that has secured mammalian survival since, well, the evolution (or divine creation) of mammaries.

So keep this Code in mind, because now it’s time to talk about dairy cows.

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For the Breastfeeding ‘Butters’

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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

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A Year of Celebrating The Breast

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You may have noticed a new tab on this page!

Celebration of the Breast is a set of calendars (two versions – Vital and Taboo) that my doula, Nicole Deelah of Sage Beginnings Doula Services, proposed as a project earlier this month. We immediately had the perfect photographer in mind: the open-minded, open-hearted Blue Fitzcarraldo of Blue Fitz Photography.

The primary goal was to raise some funds for Intact Houston, the local not-for-profit chapter of The INTACT Network/Saving Our Sons that I co-direct. Promoting body positivity, releasing stigmas, and fostering acceptance and education about female breasts was just icing on the cake.

Because these are calendars, after all, the clock was running against us. We set up a shoot for later that same week and held an open call for any and all women who wished to participate in either (or both) versions of the calendar. Many were happy to be featured in both, while others chose to volunteer for one or the other.

Vital demonstrates the monthly themes in a more subtle way (no areolas are shown), while Taboo is more provocative (no censorship here). The photography is tastefully artistic.

Of course, the first month of the year is nearly behind us, so it’s prime time to tack a 2017 calendar to the wall if we haven’t already. What I love perhaps most about this set is the photos are gorgeous — they could be displayed individually or as a collage, even without the calendar pages. For aesthetics or function, it’s really up to you!

**If you’d like to see the calendar images, you can get a copy of Vital, Taboo, or both calendars here.**

They’re also available on Etsy. Shipping is included for domestic orders (email me for international orders). Keep in mind, we’re offering a $10 savings when both versions are purchased.

Below I’ve detailed some of concepts/themes that inspired Celebration of the Breast.

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The Secrets of Postpartum Bodies

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The power of transformation is an inherent gift of woman. The spider, snake, and butterfly are just a few of many creatures regarded as manifestations of feminine energy and universal symbols of shape-shifting. A master of creation, woman’s body is the original 3D printer. When she nurses a child, as Mark Twain once said, “she has no equal among men.”

Somehow still, many of us know discontent with or hatred for our bodies, whether transient or persistent. What’s worse is we believe it’s normal. Accepted to the point of expectation. This is especially true at the moment we inherit our mothering bodies. Through literally all forms of media and outlets for opinion, we are told before anything else that mothering bodies are not sexy, therefore not valuable, therefore invisible.

It’s a dangerous trajectory for the postpartum woman who is vulnerable, open, and recovering — she is brainwashed to confuse these things with weakness, brokenness, incapability, and decreased desirability. Continue reading

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I Want The Choice To Keep My Top On Instead of a Law That Says I Must

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I don’t have the choice to keep my top on. Because I’m female, and I have female anatomy, including female breasts and nipples. I have no choice but to keep my top on, unless I am willing to risk breaking the law. Doesn’t sound like much of a choice, does it?

It’s required by law (in all these US states/cities) to keep my breasts and nipples covered, even in the same places where topless male breasts (yes, they have breast tissue) and male nipples are considered acceptable to expose.

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