Via Associated Press
As I write this*, I’m taking note of the tornado warnings that have made my phone beep seemingly every hour for the past few days. The sound of rain pelting the windows. Bayous and reservoirs cresting over. I’m watching friends’ and neighbors’ homes flood in real time. Reading about pleas for rescue as families seek refuge from rising water in their attics and on their roofs. You could say things are out of control.
Amid all of this, babies still need to eat. Newborn babies who took their first breath at a Houston area birth center after tropical storm Harvey made landfall. Older babies who nurse around the clock or drink expressed or powdered milk or formula supplements.
The stores are closed and roads are crumbling or underwater. Formula is now largely inaccessible. But babies still need to eat.
Pumping moms need to continue pumping to avoid mastitis, supply issues, and maintain production. What about when the power goes out? Or when the house floods and the circuit board must be shut off? Hopefully they have a manual pump or have been taught how to hand express… because babies still need to eat.
New mothers, welcomed into motherhood with all the terrific drama Mother Nature herself could muster: I hope you have a (relatively) easy time getting started. The well-trained eye of a lactation consultant in your home, personally assessing latch and other tricky spots, cannot compare to scouring the internet for emergency breastfeeding help in the early days. But no one is risking travel across town for ‘work’ in a deluge. A lucky mother has her phone fully charged and ready to go with breastfeeding apps right now because, of course, babies still need to eat.
*(Flood waters have since receded from my neighborhood and we’re doing fine now. However, eleven million people in the southeast counties of Texas are still trying to get a grip on the continued consequences of this historic flooding). Continue reading
A white truck slowed as it rolled by. The same driver swung back around three more times, honking with each pass. This was no coincidence or deja vu.
One of us carried an oversized white posterboard with the words “Honk if you ❤ foreskin” drawn across both sides.
The other eight of us fulfilled some task related to our cause — hoisting other signs, hauling info cards and materials to distribute, capturing the proceedings on camera, or merely accompanying for purpose of solidarity or, in the case of one individual, by chance meeting. Continue reading
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.
Image courtesy Saving Our Sons
We really want to share our breastfeeding moments.
Nursing our children is incredibly important to us. We’re proud, grateful, sometimes hesitant, always brave. See how quickly we all LEAPED at a chance to share some of our most treasured breastfeeding moments?
That moment when our babies gave us the big ol’ doe eyes, thanking us from somewhere deep in their souls for nourishing them? We couldn’t ignore it. And we’re so happy about it, we want others to notice too.
An innocently cute brelfie (breastfeeding selfie) trend like this should go viral and incite mad passion — even the World Health Organization said so in a UN briefing for this year’s World Breastfeeding Week.
We’ve been patient. So very patient. But we’re starting to get antsy in our nursing gliders and uncomfortable under the paisley tent-covers. It takes this degree of overwhelming social media with Tree of Life brelfies to normalize breastfeeding by tomorrow, when it really should have happened yesterday.
The lovely Pat Jones of the Whole Mother Show (90.1 KPFT) asked if I’d like to be interviewed for a live episode about routine infant circumcision. It was to be with local doula Debbie Hull, along with my Intact Houston co-director Abbie who’d offered to join me. I was so excited to be there (a little nervous, but mostly excited and actually feeling well-prepared!).
Well, this is a bummer. One of my favorite television shows may not be breastfeeding-friendly, and some of my favorite characters even voiced the lines that heavily suggest it to be so.
Stuck in bed and on various soft surfaces last week thanks to a bout of mastitis, naturally I took to a Gilmore Girls marathon on Netflix. All was well until one of main character Lorelai’s short-lived suitors mentioned how “We’re all nourished by our mothers” and she quickly shut it down with a retort that went something like “Don’t gross me out.”
So, me sitting there, breastfeeding advocate and all… awwwkwaaard. Now now, perhaps just more of the same witty banter that’s characteristic of the show’s underlining sarcasm. I thought Gilmore Girls had always been fun without going too far and getting mean-spirited…
But then I saw the opening segment of another episode, Season 3’s “Eight O’Clock at the Oasis.”
Moving into winter now, the general atmosphere of life is all about reminiscing and catching up.
I’m so thankful for this little blog, the outlet it’s provided to write about what’s relevant to me at this time, and especially happy to have connected with many of those who follow this page and take time out of their days to read my posts. ❤
So, in anticipation of slowing down with post frequency during the holiday season, I compiled this list of the top ten most-read pieces published on Mama’s Milk, No Chaser in 2015. (The year’s not over yet, but I’m confident enough these will remain in similar enough positions in a month’s time).
Hope you enjoy reading!