Broccoli Eater

I’m working on a series of comics about a statement in this article: Fearless Formula Feeders specifically that rates of breastfeeding are ‘spectacular’ because 19 out of 20 new mothers report that they breastfed at least once. This week I also heard Attachment Parenting called “the dominant parenting philosophy” of our time. This was on a blog post that claimed that mothers who self-identify as a attachment parenting mothers are (sneeringly) ‘tribal’ and ‘insecure’ and ‘aggressive’ and that, it’s tantamount to a mental disorder for someone that’s in a majority, to falsely claim to be in a minority just for the sympathy and the rebellion of it all. Indeed, I was going to do an entire series on THAT bit of freudian logic alone, but when I went back to the blog post the ‘dominant philosophy’ part was taken out. I guess the writer was clued into their hypocrisy by someone, drat them. Truth is, breastfeeders are still a minority of the populace and if you want to say that everyone who has breastfed at least once is a breastfeeder, then yes, we start to look like a majority, but seriously, that’s just on paper. And why do you want to get breastfeeders to look like a majority? So that mothers that don’t breastfeed can get the kudos of speaking truth to power, the sympathy vote? And here you have it, infant formula becomes an act of rebellion. SURE. Oh, and guess what sells? Rebellion sells.

I did some research on why there are a number of ‘parenting philosophers’ calling Attachment Parenting the dominant philosophy. firstly, they’re the ones decrying the philosophy, so I submit to you they are the ‘backlash’, and that they are usually taking money from the formula companies. AND I find they’re talking about an overall and general ‘kids first’ mentality. Yes, and good, if that’s true, then I’m glad that’s the dominant philosophy. I’m concerned that this ‘kids first’ version of Attachment Parenting is often falsely expressed in too much stuff: classes, planned activities, toys, but if putting kids needs out in front is where we are in this world then hallelujah!

Attachment parenting, as far as I’m concerned, is a set of actions, often beginning with natural childbirth (that’s the one that’s not an absolute, as mothers often have no personal control over the birth), exclusive and extended breastfeeding, baby-wearing, co-sleeping, and a general hanging-out with and respecting of kids, that’s attachment parenting. I live in California, in the land of Dr. Sears, and even here it’s obvious AP is not the dominant philosophy. There are no statistics on attachment parenting, that I can find, but exclusive breastfeeding rates are probably okay stand-ins. In the US exclusive breastfeeding rates through three months are 36%, not a majority and NOT a dominant parenting philosophy.

I’m thinking that when ‘parenting philosophers’ claim that attachment parenting is “dominant”, or that breastfeeding rates are ‘spectacular’ they’re trying to falsely place them in a majority and hence place themselves in a minority, definitely a comfortable place to be if you want to get sympathy, inspire rebellion, and ultimately raise funding. Your thoughts?

broccoli-eater

I’d also like to point out that this comic is a rare glimpse at my diet almost exclusively chocolate, viva la Broccoli Eaters!!!!

Ill Wind

I have some google alerts set to notify me whenever stories about breastfeeding come up, and lo and behold, a week or so ago, all were abuzz about the rates of breastfeeding. They’ve gone up! And now, in the US, high on the victory of rates going up, the governmental organizations in charge of health are all thinking of ways to keep the rates going up. Imagine! A world where all babies get at least a taste of breast milk! It seems like it’s only a step away…

Yet, the cynic in me knew it would only be a day or two and then, yes, of course, the google news alerts suddenly changed to: Is breast really best? and The Debate Rages, is Breastfeeding all it’s been made to Be? I’d link, but sigh, I don’t wanna. I saw it coming, and it did. So here’s a comic about it.

And guess what? Couple of things in the news right now had me sketching plans for SIX new comics, that’s one almost every day for a what, a week? This is the perfect time to sign up to be a member! Only $9.99!
ill-wind

Don’t forget, if you want to sponsor this post over on Facebook, it’s only $5, visit this page to make a donation and link the comic to me! (heathercushmandowdee.com and Facebook.com/mama.is.comic )

Semantics

I was reminded of this the other day, so thought to post it. This NEVER happens to me anymore, my little guy is three and a half, and only ever wants to nurse at night. It’s gotten so that I was able to throw out my old, ragged, holey (holy!) breastfeeding bras and replace them with non-functioning though pretty and perky bras. Now these new bras have an issue, if I try and nurse OVER them I get a raging ┬ábreast infection, and as I just noted my little guy only nurses at night, so the best solution to a breast infection, nursing, isn’t really that helpful. So I can’t go over the bra. I did figure out that I could pull the bra up, wire unders and all, so that it lays across my chest. My little guy protests though saying, “mommy I don’t like it all wapped around like that on top of my head.” Yes, indeed. So, and of course it’s the sensible route, I just take my bra off and go without somewhere around dinner time, and then as long as my bra is off, I might as well get in pajamas. It’s really a time saver, to get into your pajamas at about 6 o’clock in the evening, and clearly announces to the world that you’re completely done for the day. Speaking of time savers, we’re back to the comic:

 

The Best Comic of 2003!

We’re counting down the ten best breastfeeding comics, one for each year that I’ve been in business. We’re up to 2003 now, you might have seen me in Hip Mama Magazine, or the zine Viva La Mama! or one of my own zines that I was publishing at the time. A very few may have seen me at one of my speaking engagements in the South East (I spoke on Parenting as Performance Art and the Politics of Parenting) Or on my blog, of course. My audience was growing, and this was one of the favorite comics from that time – now colorized for your viewing pleasure:

If you found my comics in 2003, or saw me speak that year, or bought one of my zines from that time, let me know in the comments!
Happy World Breastfeeding Week!

xox,
Heather