I'm Sexy and I know it....

I have big boobs. It's true.

They kinda popped out the summer between Grade 8 and Grade 9. Like REALLY popped out!

And boys, men and some women too have been staring at them, talking about them, and trying to {and the privileged few getting to} touch them ever since!

I have know of the power of my boobs for a long time and yes, I was and am kind of obsessed with them. {Seriously, ask my friends, I really do love my girls!}

I spare no expense when it comes to housing them in the finest European bras (the ones that actually fit a gal with a 32 E bra size) and I highly recommend that all women go and get a proper bra fitting and a proper bra (I thought I was a 36 C before that!). None of this, buy 2 get 1 free {insert mall lingerie store here} cheap lingerie for my mammaries. ONLY the BEST!

I have always known the power of sexy that my breasts possessed, but I had no idea of their true powers until I birthed my first child. These two amazing appendages MAKE MILK! Amazing, nurturing, nourishing milk for my child!! And man, did he need it. At a mere 3 pounds 13 ounces he was a skinny little monkey. And my boobs? Well, they where easily twice the size of his tiny little jaundiced head!

See!

Breastfeeding a preemie is hard work. Heck, breastfeeding any baby is hard work. And it became abundantly clear very quickly that the sexy that I was feeling about my breasts a mere 9 months before this moment, while lounging on the beaches of St. Lucia (where said preemie child was conceived), was quickly replaced by wanting them to feel comfortable, not chafed or cracked or bleeding or thrush-ridden or plugged or all the other things that happened to me and my girls once we wholeheartedly embarked on this breastfeeding journey.

For a while, sexy left me. I wore the most basic of nursing bras and tank tops and focused all that I could on this little baby boy and making sure that my breasts and I were doing what we should and could to help him grow and thrive.

Around the 6-month mark, we finally got into our breastfeeding groove and had a good thing going on. Little C had grown enough so that boob and baby head were about equal in size and we found a position and a way to breastfeed that made us both happy. (Side-lying FTW!) It was around this time as well, that I started to lose more of my baby-weight and needed to update my wardrobe a bit.

And then... sexy started to creep back into my life. I was still fully committed to this breastfeeding gig, but now I wanted pretty nursing bras and matching undies. I wanted nursing tops that were not just over-sized t-shirts with a not so well-concealed or flattering boob flap or cut-out.  The search was on. I managed to find a few brands that I fell in love with and proceeded to buy a bra or top in every color or style that they had (Big shout out here to BOOB nursing wear and the amazing selection of nursing bras that they have at Milkface.com.) Having a nice nursing wardrobe serves two purposes in my mind. Number one, it makes a mama feel good about herself and the way she looks. And two, it makes it a lot easier to just keep on nursing for the long haul.

At this point you may be asking yourself, "Why is Natasha going on and on about her boobs again? And what is with all this 'feeling/looking sexy' talk?"  Well, it has recently come to my attention (HA! Insert sarcasm font here) that SEXY and BREASTFEEDING are two words that when placed together in a sentence (or a thought) make a lot of people VERY uncomfortable!

Case in point, THIS amazing photo.

Taken by a very talented Russian photographer, this image captures a wonderful breastfeeding moment with a beautiful and dare I say sexy Mama and her cute little chubster of a baby. Is it an art piece? Yes. Is it 'real life'? No, not for the majority of us. It is a photo shoot. Just like those newborn babies wrapped up in gauze and placed in a bowl pictures are not "real life"... this to me follows along those same lines. It is a shot taken to be shared or cherished of a time in their lives that was special and beautiful. End of story.

Or not...

There has been some talk over the interwebs that photos like this one, of an obviously very attractive woman nursing a child (and perhaps in a posed and not a "natural" position) only serves to perpetuate society's obsession with the 'sexualization' of breastfeeding. Just take the Time Magazine cover shot with the lovely, tall and gorgeous Jamie Lynn Grumet. Would the reaction to that particular cover photo been as dramatic, had the image they printed been one of what more people would associate with all us "crazy hippie"  attachment parents?  A barefooted, cross-legged sitting, hemp-skirt-wearing, no make-up, hair in a long braid (or better yet, in dreads) breastfeeding earth mother!!??

I just don't know...

What I do know is this. I LIKE to feel sexy.

Nothing gets me out of a frumpy, dumpy mood like having a shower, putting on my favourite {nursing} bra and matching undies and wearing something that really makes me feel and yes, even look sexy! And while I am out and about looking and feeling all sexy, chances are my daughter is going to want to nurse at some point. And wherever and whenever, I will nurse her. And perhaps because I am looking so fine, someone is gonna glance over and see me and think, "Damn that is one fine mama...oh, wait... What?? Is she nursing that baby? WTF? OMG!"

It really is a bit of a mind-fuck if you think about it.

And it has NOTHING whatsoever to do with the mother, the baby or the breastfeeding and EVERYTHING to do with the observer, or in the case of photos on the internet or on blog posts or on magazine covers, the reader.

It is a juxtaposition of two seemingly conflicting ideals that society holds.

That of the WOMAN and that of the MOTHER.

If you see a beautiful woman, your mind thinks a certain way. If you see a mother, your mind thinks a different way. (I am no student of psychology, but I am sure Freud or Jung or one of those guys had a lot to say about this whole topic!)

And herein lies the crux of the matter.

Mothers ARE women! Women ARE mothers. They are one and the same. They are beautiful, sexy, hot, smart, sassy, intelligent human beings. They are also caring, nurturing, loving, tender and protective beings.

They... WE, are all these things and then some. Just because someone can't wrap their head around the fact that a mom can be or look sexy or sultry or what have you AND be the mother that her child needs (and in this case and a lot of cases, a breastfeeding mother) is just a very sad state of affairs.

And it all really just comes right back to the boobs.

And yes, yes, we hear over and over again the same rhetoric, "Breasts are made for feeding babies." My question to everyone then is this? Have we forgotten that those same breasts probably had a lot to do with all that...ahem... fun stuff that was done to actually MAKE all these little nurslings?

Let's be real Mamas. Breasts are sexy!  YOU are sexy! And your breasts, well they make milk too! And sometimes you are a sexy mama feeding your baby with your breasts!

Nothing wrong with that!

Cheers and chest bumps Mamas and Happy first day of WORLD BREASTFEEDING WEEK!!

Natasha~

I'll  leave you with my favourite cover of LMFAO's 'I'm Sexy and I know it.'

Enjoy!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vsvlsuLau5c[/youtube]

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Today's post is Day ONE of my Summer Blog Challenge!

31 Days of posts coming your way this month!

And I have convinced at least one of my friends to join me.

Check out Meaghan's first post today at MagzD Life.

UPDATE at 10:30 PM:

Three more lovely bloggers are joining in on the fun!

Check out April's Day One post over at This Mom's Got Something to Say,

Liam's post over at In The Now,

and Zita's post on her blog, The Dulock Diaries.

 

 

Repeat after me... Breastfeeding is not OBSCENE!!

...and yet, the breastfeeding witch hunt rages on... And very strongly on Facebook again!

More breastfeeding pictures have been removed, people's accounts have been blocked or suspended and there is much confusion about what Facebook's actual policy on breastfeeding photos is or if they even have one.

You would think that they do have one based on this response from Facebook's own Help Centre.

But in an article published in the Vancouver Sun yesterday, Facebook's Canadian publicist said that,

"...although Facebook does not have a specific policy regarding breastfeeding images but given that Facebook’s policy is no nudity it would be best not to post (breastfeeding images),.."

The mixed messages from Facebook are enough to make my head spin!

For the whole back story and media updates I will direct you to my friend Jodine Chase's blog. She has been chronicling this most recent battle daily since it all started on Sunday when Emma Kwasnica, founder of the Human Milk 4 Human Babies milk-sharing network (which ironically started on Facebook), had her breastfeeding pictures flagged, removed and her Facebook account suspended for 24 hours and then another 72 hours after that.

In a show of solidarity with Emma and ALL breastfeeding mamas and their rights to post these photos on Facebook and as a kind of virtual nurse-in (and yes, I will re-address my stance on nurse-ins in general in another post), I asked my fellow mamas and followers on the Natural Urban Mamas Facebook page to post their breastfeeding photos.

And the response was amazing...

All night long and well into Monday mamas posted amazing, beautiful, funny, newborn, toddler and everything in between BREASTFEEDING photos all over the Natural Urban Mamas wall!

But I wanted to do more.

And so I made this.

I hope you like it.

I hope you will share it.

And I hope that not one of you backs down or ever feels like you need to cover up or "do that somewhere else" while breastfeeding, whether in real life or virtually by not posting or removing your nursing photos from social media sites like Facebook.

This is for you Emma and for all of the breastfeeding mamas out there fighting this battle and working tirelessly every day  to make the sight of a breastfeeding mother the normal, commonplace, not-really-a-big-deal, just-a-baby-eating, thing that it really is!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LdvVVAtTo4Y[/youtube]

Give those babies some Booby Snacks Mamas!

Natasha~

Video music credit goes to:
The Star Wars Theme by John Williams
Booby Snacks by Moorea Mallat, www.songsforbreastfeeding.com
Dog Days are Over by Florence and the Machine, www.florenceandthemachine.net

 

 

Nurse-in. Nurse-out.

Tomorrow, there are nurse-in's planned at Target stores across the USA and in some Zeller's stores (the future home of Target) across Canada. It is all in response to an incident that happened to a breastfeeding mom at a Houston Target store in late November 2011. You can read all the details here, in the post written by Annie Urban from PhDinParenting on the Care2 site.

This is sadly not a new news story. Long story short is this: mom is shopping with baby, baby gets hungry, mom has a full cart of items and decides to sit down and nurse her child with a cover over her. Mom is subsequently harassed by store employees asking her to move or leave and then proceed to threaten to call the police and have her arrested for indecent exposure, etc, etc, etc....

And... Cue the Lactivists!! And the uproar from both sides of this issue. (See the 489 comments on Annie's Post! 489 people!!)

And then nation-wide nurse-ins are planned.

And I get a kind of weird uneasy feeling in my tummy about these gatherings.

Please understand this. I am a very vocal and proud advocate of breastfeeding. I believe that breastfeeding is the normal and yes, best way to feed our babies. I believe that mothers should nurse their babies anytime and anywhere and not have to suffer any kind of harassment or public humiliation for giving her baby the simple basics of food and love.

I believe that leading by example and modeling the kind of behaviour we want to see in others and around us is the best way to change the world. I especially believe this about breastfeeding and this is why I have and always will nurse in public when I need to. I will do so with a smile on my face, with or without a cover, with my newborn and with my three-year-old. I will nurse at a pool, at a restaurant, in the mall, at the park, in church or sitting in the lawn furniture display at Superstore.

Some may think I am a 'breastfeeding nazi', because I believe that this is the best way to feed my babies and I will do whatever I need to ensure that this is what happens. I will share my knowledge of breastfeeding with those around me and help whomever asks me for advice or help!  I will support businesses and products that enhance the breastfeeding relationship and remove my support from those that I feel undermine it.

But on the subject of public gatherings and nurse-ins...

To be completely honest, and I know this will get me in some hot water with some people...

I do not think that this is the way.

This 'Stickin' it to the man', or in this case (and as the media will undoubtedly portray it) 'Whippin' em out in front of everyone', will HURT the lactivist movement. This will become less about a mother's right and basic human need to feed her child when and where that child is hungry, as it will be about a group of outraged feminist crazies and exhibitionist women 'flaunting' themselves in the name of breastfeeding in public.

Do you think I am wrong?

Maybe I am, but I know what kind of world we live in.

We live in a world where boobs = sex. Where one of the most watched fashion shows on the planet is the Victoria's Secret one and it is chock full of barely there bras and panties and lots of bouncing boobs. Where the biggest social media website in the world will allow almost pornographic pictures of breasts and other questionable body parts, but actively removes, bans and shuts down pages that show a breastfeeding mother and child. We live in a world where the most powerful nation known to man has the most appalling maternity leave policy on earth and does next to nothing to support breastfeeding mothers.

So what is a breastfeeding advocate to do?

I have been invited to our local nurse-in tomorrow, but I don't think I will go. I see these actions as confrontational and in my opinion THIS tactic rarely ever works to change people's minds and only serves to alienate those we want support from and make the issue seem more sensational than normal. There is something to be said about attracting more flies with honey than vinegar and I truly believe that this highly charged topic of breastfeeding in public is one that needs way more sweet than bitter to move it forward.

I don't know what the right answers are here and just like feeding our babies, it is likely as diverse and varied as these answers and choices are.

I personally choose to make my stand for nursing in public (NIP) as I feed my babies. On demand. And trust me, with a three-year-old who is still nursing and very vocal about it,  she can be very demanding! As demanding as a screaming hungry newborn. And you can bet that I would, I have and I will nurse my children when and where they need it.

So for all those shop employees, shoppers, diners, people walking by, fellow church goers and everyone else who seems to have a problem with a mother nursing her child, I say this...

Your choice is...

THIS.

 

Or THIS!

Look away or deal with the high-pitched, full-throttle and seemingly never-ending screams of a hungry child!!

Natasha~

P.S. I fully support all the mamas and daddies and everyone else who IS going to the nurse-in's across our nations. I am with you in spirit and will likely be somewhere else quite publicly nursing my toddler and being an example to all those around me.