Breastfeeding and politics – a rare post based entirely on opinion

Breasts are political.

I grew my two without ever having input from number 10, but now they are here, they are of great importance to the political world at large.

Whether they are ostentatiously sustaining other people near Mr Farage, or being used as soft porn additions to family papers, they are in no doubt a dividing source of political fodder.

But why? What is so important about these strategically placed blobs of fat interlaced with ducts and blood vessels?

SEX. My blobs are SEXY. I have no say in this, this is what I’m told. Your blobs are sexy too. And, like all sex things, they should be nowhere near children or open spaces without male stipulated permission, and they should be for the sole use of men.

The thing is, I don’t think my blobs are sexy. I mean, I am sexy – I’m genetically interesting due to a diverse gene pool, I’m relatively young compared to most of the population, I’m even featured, indicating fertile ovaries, and I show no outward appearance of illness, indicating good breeding stock. Isn’t that the most perfect dating profile you have ever read?

But my blobs aren’t part of that. And, historically, they weren’t for centuries. The dressing up of them was initially designed to mirror the hidden hips and buttocks – which, unlike boobs, are indicators of healthy breeding material (you should see my hip fat working it, baby).Breasts only look like they are good for sustaining young once full of milk; as any peer supporter will tell you, size of boobs or nipples is no indicator of how well they will feed baby. It’s the insides that matter – and for the vast majority, the outside has no baring on that at all. (There is a tiny group of people who you can visably see didn’t grow adequete tissue inside from the outside, but it doesn’t make the breast unattractive. Inny or flat nipples can cause latch issues, but not milk production faults-and they can be managed for successful breastfeeding journeys.)

This isn’t just a breastfeeding thing either. All breasts turn into mum breasts after pregnancy. Breasts are a natural and beautiful maternal thing, much like a buddha belly (where ’em with pride, ladies) and should be seen as a secondary sexual feature that comes from mothering. Like… the harsh tone mums develop when yelling at small people running away from them toward danger, the stare they inherit from their respective lineages when children are doing something their mum literally just told them not to, the way they can drink cold tea an hour after they made it without complaint… That is where ‘boobs’ should be listed.

They are part of mummyhood, and much like the belly, the stares and the yells, they should be there whenever children need them to be.

If your lover person/s feels they wants to include any of the above in sex, and indeed if the mother wants to, that’s between them. None of those features are to be immediately assumed to be sexual objects on their appearance, and are not the business of anyone else.

How is any of this political?

It comes down to the issue with the SUN, and with Mr Farage. What are women for, and what is their place? Because, to them, it’s not as equals. The world is not equal for women, and all the time it isn’t, women’s different body parts will be used to beat them back into the place people in power feel they ought to be.

The ‘Green Surge’ has included a great many Facebook friends of mine; be they of breastfeeding, volunteering or homeschooling communities – all people with originally vastly differing political stances. Why? Because The Green party’s agendas and policies for women are vastly more attractive than the policies of other parties. Could breasts be a deciding factor in the upcoming elections?

Until the world is as easy to manoeuver for old, trans, black, gay, poor, disabled, muslim women as it is for young, cis, white, straight, rich, able, protestant men, the world will be unfair, unjust, and the people at the top will do everything they can to stay there – their livelihoods depend on it.

And that means boobs in papers, and mothers being told when and how they can breastfeed babies.

And, therefore, breasts will continue to be political territory.

How will you use yours?

Tongue Tie

Original post: http://www.tinysparkswa.org.au/blog/2014/5/27/tongue-tie-and-upper-lip-tie

I read this article and shared it on my facebook wall. As a SAHM (stay at home mum) sharing medical articles my Aunt can scroll past while searching for the next angel-based-meme is how I pass the time between cleaning toddler debris and ‘Help, I’m pinned down!’ naps.

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As my latest share, I felt it only appropriate it be the subject of my first blog post.

Tongue-tie.

Neither I nor my children have a tongue tie. Not surprising, as different research suggests that it’s only somewhere between 4-10% of the population who has one. And yet, tongue tie contributes massively to breastfeeding difficulties (some estimate a quarter of chronic breastfeeding problems are due to ties), and also speech impediments and eating problems. As a-person-before-kids, I had never even heard of them. As a peer supporter, I hear of them on a weekly basis; specifically, on the local health service’s reluctance to do anything about them. If mum can somehow convince her healthcare providers to agree to having a frenulotomy (a tongue and tie separation surgery), the procedure is performed with appointments given often weeks and months into the future – compounding breastfeeding problems for baby (often in great pain from gulping air, and having health problems associated with poor weight gain), and horribly painful breasts for mum, which almost always leads to breastfeeding cessation.

Baby-tongue-tie-3

Many experience health professionals whom are indifferent to their wish to carry on breastfeeding; many parents I have spoken to were outright told “why not just switch to formula?” This comment often given by health visitors concerned about the lack of weight gain. This does nothing more than make the mother feel horribly guilty –  for is there no greater gauge for ‘good mothering’ than a baby’s weight gain? And often, the tongue tie prevents efficient formula feeding too, so the big switch is for nothing.

Why the reluctance?

Here: http://www.oralanswers.com/what-a-frenectomy-is-and-why-your-child-might-need-one/ a dentist explains that cutting ties on the lip can cause scar tissue that permanently leave a gap between the front adult teeth, which can’t be fixed with braces, and that leaving the tie until the adult teeth have come in makes fixing a gap easier.

I can’t really consolidate the two camps of ‘poor weight gain from bad latch to nipple and/or bottles, colic, nipple damage, cessation of breastfeeding, poor weaning, speech problems’ etc. VS might have a gap in the front teeth as a teen.

gap790b7b71b5cb06bacaf9eb831c23c64aI think they’ll be OK.

Also (if you are a parent you will have seen on many forums) that if left too late, having the tie cut doesn’t solve the problem-the baby has the habit of the shallow latch, and it takes weeks for a new successful latch to commence.

Infant_tongue_position

I can however understand a parent’s reluctance to have a surgery, however minor. In no way should a frenulotomy be mandatory – tongue ties do not always cause problems, the cut can hurt, and the tie can heal and return if not managed well and parent’s aren’t supported in the management.

Nice Guidelines suggest the tongue tie be done as early as possible if causing problems. The Baby Friendly initiative: has slightly different suggestions, but along the same lines. Tongue tie separations are good, and do impact positively on successful breastfeeding.

As a non-initiative writing person, I cannot speak for the world as a whole, I can only speak for the parents I hear from every week.

I do believe that the services to provide a frenulotomy should be ON THE POSTNATAL WARD, and easily accessible in the community, and that the identification of all types of tissue tie in the mouth should be taught well, and training maintained, so that the staff on the ward can identify ties better, and more importantly, inform PARENTS better about their options. And that if the mother wants a frenulotomy done, that that wish should be granted-it affects the mother’s health too, after all. Breast tissue damage is no small thing, and the benefits of breastfeeding for the mother (reduced risk of cancer for instance) are many and important.

Until then, It’s down to wonderful people like this person in my local area: http://www.tonguetiepractitionerinkent.com/ to charge very reasonably for it.

Tongue ties.

GET THEM DONE.

If you want.

Also, as you have valiantly made it to the end of my blog, please read the original post. It is quite excellent.

http://www.nice.org.uk/IPG149

http://www.unicef.org.uk/BabyFriendly/Parents/Problems/Tongue-Tie/Division-of-tongue-tie/