Thursday, May 28, 2009

A challenge, or two

Just a thought I had the other day while talking with a friend -

What would happen to the routine circumcision rate in the US if OB's, midwives, and pediatricians stopped offereing it to every expecting parent? I mean really, this procedure is not recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics and is purely cosmetic and unneccesary. So why is every pregnant woman asked if she's planning on it? Something to ponder...

And while I'm on the topic, or not, what would happen if we changed how we frame breastfeeding in this culture. Instead of discussing it as 'the best' (which implies that there are other, still ok options), why don't we discuss it as what it is - our biological norm. We are told that breastfeeding lowers health risks - well, change that around - what if women were told that formula feeding RAISES heath risks? Very different conversation now, isn't it. Now of course that would mean that the US would need to provide as a culture adequate, paid family leave, and treat breastfeeding as what it is - a full time job of it's own. To be succesful, you need to nurse, alot, and with a correct latch. So many women believe that their bodies are lemons, simply becasue their job as mother is not valued in our society, and they are not supported as such.

I'm not saying here that I think women who supplement with formula are evil, bad mothers. I'm tired of the mommy wars. Isabella was supplemented with formula becasue I did not know that my supply would decrease if she got a bottle while we were out, and I did not nurse or pump. I wish, so much, that I had been given accurate information and support, because I wanted to breastfeed her longer. That doesn't make me, or any other woman in a similar scenario a bad mom. I'm just saying that I feel that women marginalize each other when they get into their camps, and get defensive. We need to turn in the same direction and change the conversations - and make parenting in a America a valued activity.

Ok, climbing down off my soapbox now...

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