Saturday, 17 December 2011

The Last Taboo

The Last Taboo...

Frida Kahlo not nursing somone else's baby...

Salma Hayek's talking about nursing someone else's baby...


Which Is Daft.

Peaceful Parenting

And Un-Realistic.

The Wet Nurse

... and denies our biology...

Nefertiti's Wet Nurse well as our history... 

The Milk From Hera's Breast
... and everyday actuality...

Human Milk... for Human Babies.

It's not Rocket Science.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Nursing Matters & Breastfeeding Picnic

Due to some significant personal issues that are affecting my family, I've had to resign from any involvement with Breastfeeding Picnic and Nursing Matters.

Nursing Matters is therefore closed for referrals.  Some sort of info will go up at some point, on the web pages but everything else will be shut down.

Breastfeeding Picnic has a pretty universal life of its own anyway.  :-)

We always had very informal structures, that reflected we were Just Mums on the end of the phone, or the internet connection... so there is no great 'thing' to hand over.  Just that of the bunch of intelligent, motivated and loud mouthed Mums (and Dads, and other adults with heart and conscience) could advocate and support on behalf of Mums and kids.

All those wonderful women are still out there, and I imagine there will be no real change in help and support.

I, however, am not capable of keeping up with it at the moment, and so have to concentrate on my family.

As I said in my last post, I rarely post here anyway now!  You're all out there doing it.

Carry on Lactavating!   

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

We're Winning

copyright Cavendish Press
"Once social change begins, it cannot be reversed.  

You cannot uneducate the person who has learned to read.  

You cannot humiliate the person who feels pride.  

You cannot oppress the people who are not afraid anymore.  

We have seen the future, and the future is ours."

~Cesar Chavez

The above picture appears today in the Daily Mail.  Yes, that's right, the DAILY MAIL.  The blurb mentions nothing negative about breastfeeding.  In fact, the article is a very positive one.

This is such an important moment.  Such.

The culture is slowly turning.  Slowly, sometimes backwards after a few steps forward, but slowly, step by step, inching forward.  This photograph would have been impossible 5 years ago.  A mainstream junky news paper, carrying this image?  Ten years ago, there would have been outrage?  Even two years ago, the editor might have hesitated.  Yes, they have used it deliberately.  Yes, they are expecting a little bit of a frisson.  Yes, their job is to sell newspapers.

But the text... the text reveals nothing but solid, excellent and positive reporting on the flashmob event.

A breastfeeding flashmob!  Who'dv'thunk?  :-)

This picture in the Daily Mail?  Who'dv'thunk?

I don't post very often anymore.  The reason is, I don't need to.  As I've always said, the internet is changing the world, one mother to another.  One woman to another.  We can connect, reach out, activate: change.  Change ourselves, change the culture.  One breastfeed at a time.  :-)

The above picture fills me with such hope.  Combined with the remarkable events of the past week or so, as the entire lacvavist world has taken arms in support of Alma and Habiba... well, I just smile.  Smile at the fact that we just do it, now.  We just stand up and shout for our babies' rights... and it's wonderful


It's not to say it's getting easier.  In fact, it's getting a lot harder in the corporate and political world.  Massive inroads are being made into protection for babies in terms of commercial attack.  The World Health Organisation and the United Nations is being invaded by corporate interests, offering corporate sponsorship to 'help' health funds.  Misguided entrepreneurs are pouring billions of dollars into buying pea nut sachets and diarrhea vaccines, rather than in making sure clean water and full breasts are available on demand.  People who are concerned and loving and compassionate, are pouring efforts into dealing with symptoms, not addressing the underlying causes.

Corporate interests mask their need to make money, by handing out money to 'help' in ways that may kill more than it saves.  At home, formula advertising is now so skilled at showing formula feeding on tv despite the ban, most of us can't watch the adverts without screaming any more.  The NHS is undelivering breastfeeding support at an alarming rate.  Formula companies are deftly fighting to have unsubstantiated health claims put on their packaging, and they are winning.

It's not a good time to be fighting for babies, in the boardrooms.  In the closed and smoky rooms.  In the committee meetings and in the halls of power.  In fact, it's probably the darkest it has been for a very long long time, for the real political work.

Which just shows you how much effect we're all having.  :-)

"First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win."  

~ Mohandas Ghandi

They are not laughing anymore.  They are, indeed, fighting back very very hard.  But they are losing the culture battle.  The poltical one they may be making inroads in, but the above photo in today's Daily Mail, combined with this quote...

A stunned onlooker said: 'It's not every day you see that many breasts while out doing your shopping. I suppose it's a good way of getting people to listen to the message. I fully support them.' 

... shows just how much we are winning the battle for the daily live.  The being a breastfeeding dyad, in public, and not being oppressed.  Not being laughed at, ridiculed, thrown off the plane, thrown of the bus, sacked, moved job, sent to the bathroom, denied access to our babies... the list goes on.  

As does the battle.  :-)

When you read this post, and rejoice in the photo, and what it says... also remember that when you start to win, they really start to fight back.  We're winning: they are fighting back.  Big time.  As well as all the other work you are doing, the flashmobs, the picnics, the simple being with your baby and having fun outside in public spaces.  The facebook groups, the internet forums in support... as well as doing all this, you should also do something else.  Something real and tangible to fight those who are seriously fighting back.  You should help the ones walking in the corridors of power, trying to stop the corporate inroads.

Send these people some money.

If we weren't' winning, they wouldn't be fighting so hard.

Help the fight: DONATE

Mother to Mother.  Baby to Baby.  Woman to Woman.

We are all Habiba.

And goodness, ain't we wonderful?

Monday, 13 June 2011

Breastfeeding Picnics 2011

A little late this year.  Letting you know.  A combination of circumstances - changing the admin structure, my moving to rural Scotland, a very long turnaround on the permissions from Westminster, due to massive changes brought by the new Gov.  And, of course, we moved it forward a month.  Some of us haven't realised it's June yet.  :-)


People wanted flexibility.  So do check the DATE of your local one.  :-)

Breastfeeding Picnics are first and foremost about turning up, having fun with other parents, and going home.  During this fun time, breastfeeding will take place as a normal part of human activity.  That's actually the most important bit.  Breastfeeding in public is about hungry babies, requiring milk.  That's all.  Hungry babies get milk. Simples!

In Scotland, it is that simple.  There is a law protecting any caregiver, giving any milk, to a child anywhere the child has a right to be.  The caregiver can not be threatened or asked to stop the feed.  To do so, is an offence, liable to a hefty fine.

In England and Wales, there is no such protection.  For a detailed understanding of this, read the posts here with the Breastfeeding Picnic tag, and the Equalities Act tag.

Breastfeeding Picnics are run by mothers, for mothers.  All parents welcome.  All mothers, fathers, grans and grandads.  All babies, all feeding methods.  Hungry babies need milk: don't matter if it's from breast or bottle, Mama or Otherwise.  Hungry babies get fed.  End of.

All are run by volunteers, all take control of their own event.  There is no uber organisation.  Just Mums.  :-)

Go along, show your support, feed your babies.  And invite your local MP too!


Westminster Breastfeeding Picnic
Victoria Tower Gardens
next to Parliament
Noon till 3pm
Sunday 19th June
Facebook Group
contact Elaine


Cambridge Dolally-Doula Breastfeeding Picnic
Lammas Land, Newnham, Cambridge
Noon onwards
Sunday 26th June
contact Maddie


Brighton Bosom Buddies Breastfeeding Picnic
Pavilion Gardens
lawn in front of cafe
1pm to 3pm
Facebook Group
contact Bosom Buddies


Upfront Torpoint Breastfeeding Picnic
Torpoint, Cornwall
Thanckes Park
The Lawns
Monday 20th June
1pm to 3pm
Facebook Group
contact Upfront Torpoint Breastfeeding Group


Stroud Breastfeeding Picnic
Stratford Park
near the bandstand
Saturday June 18th
11am to 2 ish
contact Kirstie


Couple more to be added - check back!  :-)

Friday, 13 May 2011

Were You Breastfeeding on May 12th?

If you were, and you were in Britain, you might like to take part in the May 12th Mass Observation diary.

Mass Observation has been running in Britain for decades, and records daily life and activities for posterity.  Everyday people record what they are doing, doing everyday things.  The records are then open to historians and researchers, and can be used to gain an insight about what was going on with the 'masses' at any given time.

Yesterday was a Mass Observation day, for recording a journal entry from you, about your every day life.  E-mail only, and it goes into a database to be used in the future.

Why should it be important that you were breastfeeding yesterday?

I'm glad you asked.  It's important, as you were doing an everyday thing.  It's also important if you were doing other everyday things, like baby wearing, bed sharing and cuddling your baby if it was distressed.  And it's important because... well, imagine it's the year 2111.  Researchers are trying to gain an idea about parenting techniques in Britain one hundred years ago.  So they look at old television programmes, adverts, newspaper article and movies from 2011, to see how it was done then.

And what do they find?

They find Gina Ford, Jo Frost and advice on how to Cry It Out.  They find that mothers adored the new follow-on milk, and it was advertised heavily.  They read that mothers were told how to train and control their children and how to ignore their baby tyrants from day one.

That's the impression you'd get from us, from the major media sources around us today.  Is that how you parent?

Let's make sure the future knows how we are parenting, today.  Write a journal for yesterday, and post it to Mass Observation.  Email only.

Speak now, on how you do things, and let history record it.  Mamas in the future may need the support!  :-)

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

A Personal Indulgence

People, I have a wonderful joke to share with you, and to ask you to take part in.

Forgive me bringing a totally personal post to this space, but you'll see why, oh you'll laugh!  :)

I published a fiction novel on Sunday past.  I have been talking about it in my Facebook space, and a lot of you on this subscribe list, will know of it.  Some of you will not.  I keep the two blogs, and identities, separate.

Or that was the plan!

Completely spontaneously, a fellow writer just declared war on me, about milking cows!  Now, this is so sweet.  It's sweet for a couple of reasons.  One, I think it's very clever of Alan to whip up some publicity for an interview I'm giving on his blog tomorrow, by doing this.  He didn't warn me, didn't bring me in on the plan, he just launched off the cliff.  Which I take as a huge compliment.  And I've responded in kind.


Oh Great Milk Of Lake, however... he has NO IDEA!  He genuinely does not have a clue,why I picked up on the fact in a review of his novel, that he'd made a substantial error, by not having his milking cows milked.  He'd had them left in a field, un-milked, for a couple of days, and didn't mention the cows again.

Now, obviously, that's a mistake a lot of men would make!  And that I picked up on it, when I reviewed the book, he was genuinely grateful about.  But I think it's so sweet he's called war on me, as a joke, and HE DOESN'T KNOW a thing about my lactation profile.

I can hear you smiling.

So pretty please peeps, let's have some fun with this.  Please bombard Alan's blog comments, about how he's such a fool to call me out about milking!  About how he really shouldn't have picked on me, to have a fight about lactation.  Pretty please?

It's just a bit of fun.  It is all in good humour, and it will all fade and die in the next day or so.  It's just a cute little publicity stunt, and I'd like to do this for him.  Let's try for a good 20 to 30 comments, about how he shouldn't have picked on this Mama, to argue about milk.  Please?

And keep it nice and light.  This is all in good humour, and I only want to make him smile.  If you are on Twitter, you can tweet him on @AlanRyker and you can comment on his blog post here.

I'm @DreyfussTrilogy, and my responding blog post is here.

Come on, have some fun.  I promise I'll not do this again.  :-)

Friday, 18 March 2011

Breastfeeding Picnics 2011 - June 18th & 19th

Freedom, Fairness and .... Equality

As we announced last year, we're changing the time of the Breastfeeding Picnics, from a weekday to the weekend.  We had run them, concentrating on Westminster, during the last week of Parliament before the Summer Recess.  This was to allow members of both the Commons, and the Lords, to attend.

However, we found that most MPs reported they'd be more likely to make a local picnic, in their area, over the weekend.  And that many Mums felt they couldn't attend mid-week.

So we moved the dates.  :-)

This year's Picnics will run over the Weekend on June 18th and 19th.  It is up to the local organiser, if they go for the Saturday or the Sunday.  Most will run for 3 or 4 hours, with a very fluid drop by between x and y, times.

Breastfeeding picnics, are just that: a picnic, usually in the park.  You choose a spot, tell everyone to turn up, and go have fun in the sun.  You also invite your local MP, and tell the local media.  The point of the picnic is to raise awareness of the need for proper protection in England & Wales, for breastfeeding (and bottle feeding) babies.  Scotland has excellent protection, and we want that protection extended to the whole of the UK.  Despite comments that England & Wales, Northern Ireland, The Isle of Man etc, cannot possibly bring in legal protection as civilisation as we know it will end... Scotland doesn't seem to have experienced any problems at all.  Everyone know babies and infant get fed, when they are hungry: end of.  Any baby, any milk, any caregiver.  Simples.

So, keep out for a list here, on the picnics running in June, and ask yourself if you want to run one.  Running one couldn't be easier.  Just decide the place, and let us know.  We'll send you a couple of information sheets, giving tips on what to do.

All you really have to do, is join Yahoo, so you can join in the Yahoo group.  It's very low maintenance, with just some discussion around setting up one a year.  You can also download the So You Want To Hold A Breastfeeding Picnic and tip sheet, from there.  It's moderated, so just give your name and where you want to hold one, and you'll be let in:

You can also join the Facebook Page, and hold your own 'even't page from there:   but the help to set up comes from the yahoo space.

It doesn't matter how big, or small, a Breastfeeding Picnic is.  All that matter if that Mums and Kids get together in the sun,and have fun, and raise the awareness that breastfeeding is a perfectly normal OUTDOOR activity.  We'd especially like some more in Scotland, as it is about everyone having the same rights.

So you there!  :-)

Tuesday, 25 January 2011


I'm sorry, all I can say, is that I couldn't stop myself.


You know, it was bad enough when we were being told we had to bring a shower curtain out with us...

Now we have to bring the bed too?

So discreet, who would notice you?


Monday, 3 January 2011

If You Have Been Affected By Eastenders...

Da..da..da.da..da. DA...DAAAAAAAHHHH..

"If you have been affected by anything in tonight's Eastenders, please phone....."

"Hello, how can I help...."
"We do understand tonight's episode has upset a great many people.  How can we help, caller?"
*more sobbing*
"Please take your time.  We're here to listen.  I have a list of advice lines, and I can pass you on when I know what aspect you most need help with.  I'll just sit and listen for a moment, okay?"
*broken cries calm down*  "Thank you for being there, I just didn't know where to start.  I'm not sure what's upset me most.  Is it okay if I just babble for a bit?"
"Certainly caller.  There were many issues raised tonight, and my job is to find you the right support.  In your own time."
"Okay, thank you.  I'll just think a bit, about the bit that got me most upset.  Do you have a helpline for people who've had bad breastfeeding experiences?"
"You found that part, when she wasn't able to breastfeed Tommy, distressing?"
"Oh yes, yes.  The same thing happened to me, and I wasn't able to feed my baby, and I saw Ronnie tonight, and I thought... I thought, if only someone would tell her, what no one ever told me!"
"And what was that caller?"
"That you need to take your bra and dress off first.  If only I'd known!"  *sobs*
"I quite understand caller.  Did you feel bullied by those who did breastfeed, I have a line here to a wonderful helpline paid for by an international baby food company, who understand the issues you were going through...?"
"No, no, I'm fine now, Jack was so helpful, going straight out and buying the formula, that calmed me down.... *begins wailing once more...*"
"In your own time, caller."
"Okay, I was wondering if you had a helpline about eating disorders?"
"We do... although...."
"... because clearly, with both babies being anorexic..."
"Well, you know, with both babies not needing food.  Just lying there, silent, and awake, for hours and hours and hours on end, and not once crying for food.  It was just so obvious that they had an unnaturally suppressed appetite.  It doesn't make sense otherwise.  I mean no one even checked a nappy!"
"Although, of course, that wasn't the most obvious trauma, as a viewer.  Programmes just don't take their responsibility to the viewers, and their real lives, seriously... *sob*"
"That's why we are here... do you..."
"Do you have a helpline number for early signs of dementia?"
"Uhm, yes, ..."
"Oh good, that got me really upset, Roxy's memory loss."
"I'm sorry...?"
"When she was told that baby Tommy had died, and she completely forget the 5 minutes it took to get past Ronnie, as she was sure Ronnie was telling her baby James was dead, and then she stood there crying, and couldn't bear the pain.  To forget that overnight... will her storyline develop about her early onset memory loss do you know..?"

"Ehm,.. no, sorry, we don't have those details."
"Pity.  *cries again*  This is really helping you know, talking it out.  do you have a helpline for those unable to process sizes?"
"I'm sorry, I don't understand..?"
"You know, market stall holders who sell one size baby grow for a preemie, and an 8lb whopper term, and they both fit and no one can see the difference..?"
"Ehmm,, no.... "
"Pity.  I suppose that's just a silly one though.... *hysterical tears*"
"There are no silly ones, caller, all our feelings are valid...."
"That's so nice for you to say.  I feel better now.  I think I can actually talk about the really upsetting bits now."
"I'm listening...."
"For instance... do you have a helpline for Lochia Anonymous?"
"Oh, I know it's silly, but I look at those two wonderful women, Kat & Ronnie, and I feel ashamed about my own experience.  I mean there they are, in the same clothes, for over 14 hours, and they've slept in them, or run through the streets of London with a hospital gown on.. and they've not had to change their bleeding pads once."
"I'm sorry caller, we ask you not to swear, or use abusive language on calls."
"Please don't talk about *bleep* pads.  Did you mean iPads?"
"No, I was talking about how ashamed I was, that I leaked after childbirth.  It's obviously not normal."
"Do you want a childbirth support line...?"
"No.  I'd rather just talk it through a bit longer, if that's all right with you?"
"You're in charge of the call, caller."
"Oh good.  I was wondering 'tho... "
"Yes, caller...?"
"Do you have a helpline for those with sight impairment..?"
"Yes, but, again, I'm not sure..."
"Nothing, I suppose I'm being silly again.  Maybe I need to step back from the events and look at it as TV?"
"If you think that will help you..."
"Well, it does.  Do you have any helplines about TV?
"About TV...?"
"Yes, you know, maybe a Todorov Syndrome one?"
"I'm sorry caller...? "
"Well, Narrative Structure Failure then? You know, beginnings, middles, ends, not knowing what way they should go, not knowing when to actually move onto the next scene and stop looking at the same character for too long. Emotional Pornography and Soaps Helpline..?  Have you got one of those?"
*frantic key pressing* "Ehm, sorry caller, not quite sure ... just give me a moment...."
"Or maybe something to do with Cause & Effect? Logic and rational thought abuse?"
*ping* "Ah, we do have something here... the Spock's Smile Society.. they help you deal with plot twists that break inner logic for a cheap shot ending, would that help?"
"Maybe.... "
*clicking of keys"  "Mmm... not sure that's your best bet actually, another file is opening up.. never found this part of the system before... We do have a few on Delayed Ejaculation... how long can you overshoot the shot...?"
"That sounds like we're in the right area.... "
*excited*"Caller, I think I know which helpline you need!"
"Really?  Oh Good, which one?"
"We have one named Support For Pig Shit Ignorant BBC Programme Makers.  It's internal, so I can put you through directly."
"Oh, that sounds the right one, please put me through."
"Certainly.  Good Luck, I hope we've helped this evening. Transferring now."

"Welcome to the BBC Support for Pig Shit Ignorance Helpline.  Please listen carefully to the following options.
If you are a middle class professional, who wishes to write drama about subjects you have no research in, and no interest in, please press No 1, and leave your contact details.  We will contact you shortly.
If you are a female middle class professional, willing to defend in print, all BBC storylines about how hard it is to be a career women and be taken seriously as a mother, and I formula fed, CIOd, naughty stepped and left my baby with a Nanny 18 hours a day...  and all my children are just fine and we have a wonderful relationship when they come back from boarding school... press 2 and leave your husband's contact details.  We will check with him if the 90 hour a week workload we'll expect of you, is fine with him.  Unless you are divorced, in which case hang up.
If you are not middle class, and you are phoning to complain about a factual accuracy contained in any BBC programme, please press 3 and leave your contact details.  We will get an adult literacy scheme to contact you, and they can teach you to read and write.  Then you can understand our programmes betterer.
If you are a person who has experienced, directly, a situation portrayed in a BBC programme, and wish to complain about our accuracy or ridiculous attempts to shoe horn plot into any shape we desire... please hang up and eff off.  We don't make programmes just for you.  Try to think of the rest of the nation.  You are not qualified to understand Good Drama, dickhead.
Thank you for calling the BBC.  A thought before you go: have you paid your licence fee?"

all images copyright the BBC 2011 and are used for satirical purposes only