Breastmilk AS A Commodity
My beloved Son and Daughter-in-law Emily just celebrated the first birthday of my fifth grandchild Ava Violet. She is still nursing! I couldn’t be more thrilled! She is walking; talking; dancing in her first pink tutu; and generally running the household in charge of her three year old brother. I am strangely grateful for this period of holy hibernation during our new age pandemic. This cataclysmic shift in the universe has had both parents very close at hand with few ventures away from home for this little girl except for daily strolls now that full time center-based day care has been closed in Southern California Coronalland.
Emily and I surprisingly talk little about nursing and breastfeeding. She loves me and knows I am a bit of a fanatic; but she also knows that I know that she is intensely private and that nursing her baby is her business and she’s got this…
She also knows that I am fiercely and intensely proud of this 365 day breastfeeding milestone: not just for her and me, and her daughter, and my son, and the blog but but but just because she is doing what she wants her way with delightful abandon. This is really good stuff and hope for the planet. It has been a tumultuous road with bottles, breast pumps, dizzying fatigue & fear, and a healthy dose of not good enough; work; worry: and wondering is she going to be all right.
It is with such humility that I get to selfishly witness such love. Pleasure, divine maternal attachment and what if anything she might gain for herself for this time for this “last baby” was her primary motive. Seems to me I guess for this go-round; willpower or perseverance was simply not required. They all figured it out! Love always wins!
Edging the mother out of the picture as the sole arbiter of nursing her baby is a trend that has ominous consequences for all but especially for the mother. During this last day of Breastfeeding Month 2020; I caught a reference to a workshop on Breastfeeding WITHOUT NURSING! Human milk for Human babies, but no touching, no connecting required, needed, or even perhaps desired. Mom and mom and baby interaction are essentially obsolete. How many ounces did I pump today? Not latching on; not a problem! How many little bags can I produce for storage today? We could get a freezer on sale. No value added for the time we spend together.
If the product is milk, even your milk, how can the product be delivered to the consumer without you? The stuff of scary science fiction or just relief from an unimaginable burden.
What if there was a vaccine for hate, a slow growing time for learning the capacity for giving, loving and nurturing and it had something to do for all us but especially that mom and that baby having that time to connect, to attach, to learn how and why we may experience belonging and pleasure and the sweet part about just being human. Where do we learn this? Where might it be taught? Who will teach us if we have lots of milk, but no MOM.
Tell your story, what happens after staying close to your baby; nursing as best as you can for that very first 365 days after cutting the cord?