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109 blog post submissions by the Mothering community.

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When a nursing toddler speaks, prepare to laugh

                Essay excerpt from humorous new breastfeeding anthology   Reprinted with permission from the 2013 release from Demeter Press, Have Milk, Will Travel:   Adventures in Breastfeeding   "Into (and out of) the Mouths of Babes" by Jessica Claire Haney   I try to resist the pull to fulfill his desires. He craves my attention, my embrace, my gaze, but I want the moment to be mine alone. I am successful only until he says my name. Then my will is gone, and I’m his. “Jessica! Jess!” When my son was two, he took to yelling out my first name when a... read more

Breastfeeding: The Feminist Issue of Our Time

Why is breastfeeding the feminist issue of our time? Let’s start by defining feminism. According to Merriam Webster, feminism is “the theory of the political, economic and social equality of the sexes;” the first known use of the word feminism was in 1895. Widespread concern for women’s rights dates to the Enlightenment, the European intellectural movement of the 17th and 18th century; in 1792, Mary Wollstonecraft’s, A Vindication of the Rights of Women was published. In 1848, the Seneca Falls Convention called for full legal equality with men,... read more


The controversy about breastfeeding would be over if we counted breast milk production as part of our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the same way that we count formula production. The $4 billion a year in US formula sales is part of the good news of our economy because of the distorted way that we count things. We don’t count the health savings from breastfeeding or the actual value of breast milk production in our GDP. What would it look like if we did? HEALTH CARE SAVINGS FROM BREASTFEEDING In 1997, nursing professor Jan... read more

Romney Is Not a Friend of Breastfeeding

  By Peggy O'Mara                    In December 2005, thanks to the hard work of Marsha Walker and The Massachusetts Breastfeeding Coalition, the Massachusetts legislature became the first in the US to prohibit the distribution of formula sample bags in hospitals. However, then Governor Mitt Romney pressured the Public Health Council to rescind the ban.    The council successfully resisted his pressure until he fired and replaced three members just prior to a vote on the ban; in May 2006 it was rescinded. Less than two weeks later, Romney announced a $66... read more

Hospital Formula Sampling: What You Can Do

It’s an exciting time for breastfeeding advocacy. Last week, Public Citizen and the United States Breastfeeding Committee (USBC) held a joint webinar, “Take Action to Keep Formula Marketing Out of Health Care Facilities,” and it was packed full of inspiration and practical tips for citizen action. Formula “discharge bags,” or formula sampling to new mothers in hospitals, has been used effectively for over 40 years; it implies an endorsement by the hospital. According to Marsha Walker of the USBC and Ban the Bags, those who receive these... read more

What is a Baby Friendly Hospital?

In April , Mayor Bloomberg announced that the New York City (NYC) Health Department would launch an initiative to encourage city hospitals to be baby friendly. In May, New York City Health Commissioner, Thomas Farley, announced the launch of the citywide initiative, “Latch On NYC.” at Harlem Hospital, the city’s first Baby Friendly Hospital. NYC is asking maternity hospitals to voluntarily limit the promotion of infant formula because it can interfere with breastfeeding. Eleven public hospitals and 12 private hospitals have signed on. NYC will... read more

Choice is a Red Herring

  BUT, IT'S JUST A CHOICE. Like cigarette smoking, breastfeeding is a public health issue, not a freedom of choice issue. Obviously, US women feel free to choose not to breastfeed; most of them do. If women were actually intimidated into breastfeeding, we would have a breastfeeding culture. Instead, we have a bottle-feeding culture in which 67% bottle feed. Only 33% of mothers breastfeed. If there is, in fact, any social pressure to breastfeed, it certainly is not effective. I would argue, that the social pressure is to... read more

What is Attachment Parenting?

By Peggy O'Mara The recent furor in the press over attachment parenting stems from an inherent misunderstanding. Attachment parenting is not permissive parenting. It is not about abdicating authority as a parent, but about responding to the legitimate biological needs of a baby. It is firmly based in the sciences of anthropology and psychology and specifically on the theory of attachment. THE THEORY OF ATTACHMENT The theory of attachment originated with psychoanalyst John Bowlby (1907-1990) whose influential 1951 report to the World Health... read more

Wear Your Baby: The Benefits

By Peggy O'Mara Helping my daughter hunt for Easter eggs while babywearing my son circa 1976   Babywearing is a necessity for women all over the world who carry their babies while they work and do domestic tasks. This practice has been around for centuries, but has seen a dramatic resurgence in popularity in recent years. Why? Because touch is good for us.   THE BENEFITS OF TOUCH According to a study in Pediatrics, babies who are carried cry less. Babywearing for three hours a day reduced infant crying by 43 percent overall and 54 percent during... read more

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