Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Stuff of interest to thinking mamas.....

The NY Times gives us two good stories for mamas. See my notes for my opinions (because you sooo care what I think).

I was a breast-feeding mama until about 3 months ago when my son and I weaned at 18 months. So, I don't feel very informed or valid in making too many statements about formula. Personally, I think that only very few babies should receive formula, due to mom's or baby's health issues or some other extraordinary circumstance. I think its great that almost 75% of moms (US) initiate breastfeeding in the first few days, but it falls off drastically from there
(see CDC stats for details). Only 11% of babies are exclusively breastfeed at 6 months.

Why do we stop breastfeeding our babies? Some stop because they don't know how and don't have the right support or education. Some stop because they have to go back to work and don't know how or aren't allowed to pump and store their milk. Some just find it too much work. And some probably feel weird about using their breasts for what they are intended, due to socialization and general ignorance about breastfeeding. But anyway, I know I was supposed to be talking about baby formula.

Similac should be ashamed and held accountable for sugar dosing our babies with sucrose. It's obviously genius in a most evil way. Babies love sweet things (who doesn't) so they will prefer the sweeter (more expensive) formula. And mom and dad will think they are providing their baby with healthy, natural food.

As for the purity balls...they make me feel weird in a deep place. I want to say from the start that I think people should wait to have sexual relationships until they are mature enough to handle the consequences, both good and bad. I haven't met a 15 year old yet who would make a good parent or could deal with the emotional fall out of a relationship gone wrong, let alone the harm to be done to one's reputation and self-esteem. But back to my main point....

There is something really wrong (to me) with a father taking claim over his daughter's sexuality. I thought we were past the time when men own women's bodies and virginities. But apparently not in some subcultures. Nevermind the fact that kids who take these pledges engage in risky sexual practices like anal and oral sex, but maintain that they are preserving their virginity. There's proof that these pledges do not help girls keep their virginity until marriage. Much like abstinence-only education, these practices set up young women to fail by holding them to a higher standard than their male peers, and also neglect to arm them with adequate and factual information to help them make informed choices about the activities they do engage in.

This is a topic of immense interest and import to me, because of my past experience in an HIV/AIDS-related non-profit. I will now get off my soapbox, because I am interested in hearing how others think and feel about these two pretty touchy issues.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.