Normalize Breastfeeding / World Breastfeeding Week 2018

My body feeds / contracts / reacts and breathes // I multiply / I replete / I complete cycles on repeat // I’m from the heavens / I’m from the earth / I’m from the places that you’ve never heard. – excerpt from Celestial Bodies

| n o r m a l i z e  B R E A S T F E E D I N G |

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Photo cred: Mama Niela. Click on the photo for more of her phenom work!

Is it cray to anyone else that we need to normalize something that’s…normal?! So normal in fact that it happens as naturally as breathing. The female body lactates, it’s what it does after giving birth. Yes, I’m aware that some women have issues with breastfeeding, I was one of those women, but my body did produce milk all on its own within days of birthing this big ole baby. For me, it was never a question of if I was going to breastfeed, if I could, I was going to, it’s what I was looking forward to the most, since that’s something I missed out on doing with my first. I did however romanticize the easiness of it. It was hard and really freakin painful. I had no idea how to do it or how much support I would need or that I would need to be taught how to do it. I envisioned birds would chirp around us as deer gathered at my feet and light beams shot out of us the moment his lips attached to my breast in an effortless latch. HAHA! Not quite. Thank Goddess for my midwife, postpartum doulas & lactation consultants (I was seen by 3!) because no one in my family had much advice on the matter as I contacted female family members crying and looking for encouragement only to find out that I was one of 3 out of 23 women in my immediate family to breastfeed. Yup. That’s it. It hasn’t been common, it’s def not normalized and breasts are still overtly sexualized and gross- ew boobs! I am part of a lineage of women who chose to formula feed vs breastfeed. I was a formula-fed baby, so I’m not completely dissing it. I seem to have turned out fine and I have one hell of an immune system. Finding out I was in the minority in my family tho led me to ask why on a larger scale and I began learning that women were sold “convenience” by a big ass *$70 billion industry and lied to about our milk. Women were made to feel that breastfeeding was inconvenient, dirty and that our milk, the one that is chemically altered on the daily to meet our babies needs, is inferior to formula and EVEN COW’S MILK for Goddess sakes! Why would I feed my baby another mammal’s milk if I have the ability to feed them my own…I rant. Scene.

I didn’t realize what a supportive breastfeeding bubble I live in, in Southern California until I traveled to the east coast this spring. I did not expect to feel so out of place, judged and even shunned while nursing my baby.
Here’s a few of the things I heard from my family:
Ugh! He spit up on me! It’s her milk, so gross. (Male to a group of male family members).
Oh god, you’re breastfeeding right now?! (Male. We were in the dark and Baby was in a carrier, but the mere thought of me breastfeeding was enough for him to have to leave the premises).
Could you cover up while we’re here? I don’t think 91yo Grandpa G can handle seeing you breastfeed. (Male).
I thought only my mom did that. (11 year old Female, because she has not seen ANYONE else nurse!)
You can give him some whole milk now. (Female, also a head nurse at her hospital. My son was 7 months old).
What’s your nursing plan? How long do you plan on breastfeeding him? (Male & Female from the east coast to the west coast x100, everyone feels the need to know how long I plan to whip out the titty to feed my baby as if it somehow affects their life).

All of the above and so much more because my son does not like to be covered up while nursing, I mean, would you want to eat blindfolded under an unventilated piece of fabric? This, is why we have to normalize. Our bodies, the female body, the ones that choose to birth, were also created to sustain our babies lives. In fact the World Health Organization recommends “breastfeeding up to 2 years of age or beyond.” In Amuuurica, we are dealing with dum dee dum dums in our government that didn’t even want to sign a breastfeeding resolution that basically states “countries should limit the misleading marketing of breast milk substitutes, as a mother’s breast milk has been shown to be the healthiest for children in decades of research.” And yet there’s more, “The resolution was expected to pass easily, but U.S. delegates aimed to remove language that encouraged countries to ‘protect, promote and support breast-feeding’ in an alleged alignment with baby formula manufacturers.” The American hypocrisy-democracy live in the sticky icky green-lined pockets of loyal lobbyists, who they brought WITH them to the damn Assembly in Geneva! Oh and PS., the US threatened other countries into not signing it until they were ultimately foiled by none other than MotherEffing Russia. How fitting?

If I still lived where I was raised, I’m not sure that I would have made it through those first 7+ weeks to my now “lookin hella easy” breastfeeding status. I can do this shit walkin, talkin and chewin gum now, so yeah, I’m a BF-G. To all of the badass breastfeeding Mamas out there, keep posting your beautiful boobies, your stories and the FACTS to support the Mothers that choose to and can breastfeed feel less nervous and more supported! No one should ever be shamed or sexualized (unless you’re into that) when it comes to feeding and connecting with our babies! I will continue breastfeeding (read: breastfeed forever) to normalize it in my own family!

I’ll leave you with this.

“A 2016 study published by The Lancet says breastfeeding could save the lives of 823,000 children and 20,000 mothers each year. In addition, universal breastfeeding could save $300 billion in reduced health care costs and improved economic prospects for children.”

*The Times reported that the baby food market is a $70 billion industry.

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– xOx

 

Fashion as Activism: Sparking Necessary Conversations

My sun // always remember // your light is not on a dimmer […]

Through love // my Sun // you are a healer to a mighty sum

excerpt from Solis: A Love Letter

Today I cried, inside a Pavillions with a stranger. Together, we made a scene, people heard and people saw. They saw two compassionate women in pain expressing outrage through tears, swear words, too many unanswered questions and a mutual empathy for humanity. We connected about our devastation. that there are children who are separated from their families and left alone at our borders. Why  is this shit happening? This isn’t right! Can I send breastmilk? Can I go to them, hold them, hug them, be a wetnurse? Send them to our homes! We didn’t and don’t care about the politics or the buearacracy or congress or “laws”. THESE are our children, get them back to their parents NOW. TODAY! Why is that not happening? This should be an immediate cease and desist, open the gates! It was a moment that we both needed to share today. Pure vulnerability.

What sparked this connection was relatively small, unexpected…or was it? The impetus? A pair of earrings. My Black Power fists, a symbol of solidarity, strength and resistance. An intentional accessory led to an uncomplicated invitation. A simple “I like your earrings” effortlessly accepted, “Thank you. I wear them to spark conversation and there’s a lot going on in this country that we need to be talking about.” And that was it. A few sentences casually tossed together to create the space that two spiritual sisters needed to connect, break, release and fortify.

Black Power Fists

Sinea, 

  My new soul sister friend, our energy intensified and was set on fire when we came together today. Keep your compassion alive, your vibrancy, stay on this path with your Warrior self. We need to be strong because we have work to do, work for those that are unable to. You are a part of the solution for the families whose lives they are trying to destroy. Thank you for reminding me that WE can and do move mountains. Humbled and honored to have shared space with you today. . ❤ J

By the time our communion closed, Sinea was in front of me and we held each other in a Divine embrace for a long time, fusing our light, energy so thick you could float on it. We committed to using our platforms, our voices and to take action. We cannot be complacent when there’s so much work to be done. So now,

: What can we do? :

  • Baby2Baby is collecting basic essentials to create bundles of highly needed items for immigrant children through their partnership with Kids in Need of Defense (KIND). Click here in  to purchase directly from the registry.
  • Here’s an actual factual article to help you understand the atrocities that have been happening, Slate has done a great job of updating this article almost daily to include more and more organizations that are being of service.
  • We can also write to the babies via the angels at Southwest Key Programs. Check out the info in the graphic below.

letters to kids

To everyone reading, DO something. Use your platforms, your voice, your dollars. These conversations are necessary, crying together is illuminating and healing. Hug each other (consensually) and ignite each other’s souls to do the work that we are meant to do. Make a difference in whatever way you can today, because you CAN. Trust.

– xOx

UPDATE :

Just learned of Melania Trump’s ridiculousness. This is how it’s done Mrs. Trump.