Monday, December 8, 2008

And the answer is...

D! Maybe I made it too obvious, although people have asked me about tattoos and breastfeeding in the past. I guess I have smart readers! Just to note: it is perfectly safe, and I've seen heavily tattooed women happily breastfeeding with no change in milk color. I did win the prize for best fun fact with the fact that "Wet nurses in medieval France were allowed to nurse up to four babies at a time". Other great fun facts were that a nursing woman produces up to a gallon of milk a day, and women begin producing milk up to four months before birth. I like to go with the historical trivia because I think often we don't appreciate how very flexible and varied breastfeeding has been historically. The lines we've drawn in our culture around what breastfeeding outline only a very small part of what it can be (thus the shock over women nursing four year olds, when in fact we've just made up the rule that children should stop nursing in toddlerhood.*) My prize was - of course - a calendar of babies dressed up as different animals. I told my classmates I'd hang it up in our department's computer lab so we can all enjoy it.

Speaking of breastfeeding multiple babies, this is a great story that made the rounds after the earthquake in China about a Chinese policewoman who was nursing EIGHT babies who had been orphaned or for some other reason did not have access to milk.

*This is not to say that only our culture makes rules around breastfeeding, or that only Western cultures do so. I would say that probably almost every culture has some rules about breastfeeding; my point is that what can be normally and harmlessly practiced in one culture is sometimes forbidden in another.

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