Ever since Time Magazine published the image on the front cover of the almost 4 year old breast feeding on his very yummy mummy’s teat, I’ve been ruminating about attachment parenting. That picture itself certainly didn’t phase me. It created quite an uproar but it was designed to. It was styled to be a controversial image and they got the reaction they were aiming for.
It’s such a polarising subject, with many attachment parent-ers apparently going underground so as not to be judged by others. I’ve already blogged about us giving each other a break in ‘Why are we our own worst enemies?’ so that is not what I’m talking about today. What I am talking about is the WHY? Why is it seen as weird to breast feed for longer than what society deems as ‘normal’?
Let me preface this by saying I breastfed for 12 months with D Man, and I loved it. I may even go a little longer with KiKi if I have the opportunity to. I personally think it’s kinda funky to breastfeed your kid over about 3. Seeing a full sized child walk up to their mum in public and reaching for a breast is a little confronting for me.
What I want to know is why do I feel this way?
Why is it deemed perfectly acceptable to feed your children toddler formula (man-made milk that doesn’t even taste like milk), or cow’s milk, but odd to give milk from the very species that we are? When you read about all of the health benefits of human milk shouldn’t be bottling the stuff and selling it in supermarkets? Actually, that would probably open up a whole can of worms about ‘mummy farming’ and all kinds of wacky Twilight Zone stuff, but you get my angle, right?
Cow’s make milk to feed their calves, so they can grow into big strong cows. Sheep make milk to grow lambs, pigs make milk for piglets and soy beans make milk for…..well, soy milk is just plain wacky. It’s packed full of phytoestrogens and is actually a known carcinogen. Scientific studies have revealed that it may increase the risk of breast cancer and prostate cancer, yet it is hailed as a healthy alternative. I get that mammals have a natural weaning time, if left to their own devices, but why is it that there is a whole industry of other animal dairy products and not so for the very species that would actually best benefit us health wise?
Why is it so weird?
I’m a massive cheese fan, and I’ve wondered for many years about pig cheese. It even sounds challenging, doesn’t it? PIG CHEESE. I love me a bit of goat cheese, and sheep, and I’d even try camel without so much as a flinch, but pig? Yeah, nah, I don’t know. Apparently, pig milk is very high in fats and flavour but it is not economically viable to have a dairy farming pig as they produce less than a quarter of the amount of milk daily compared to cows. So it could be an artisan type thing, no?
Which leads me to my next question – you know where I’m going, right?
What about human cheese?
Aside from the obvious issue of needing quite a large amount of milk to make a decent wheel of Mammenbert (at least 2 litres according to my sources – Mister H on google), why is it such a wacky concept? There was a restaurant in the UK who had breast milk ice cream, called Baby Gaga, on their menu. It sold out, and then they were clamped down on pretty quickly but after extensive scientific testing were allowed to put it back on their menu. I’m certainly not suggesting we all go out, make breast milk ice cream and feed it to our children until they’re 21, but what I am suggesting is perhaps next time you’re quick to judge, you question yourself as to why you feel the way you do.
You may not change your mind, but perhaps, at least you won’t just have a blind opinion. Speaking of opinions, I’d love to hear yours on this subject…..what do you think?