I was driving home from group therapy the other week when I landed behind a car with a few bumper stickers. They read:
“When breast milk talks, people listen.”
“Healthy breast milk is the measure of a healthy world.”
I’m going to pause for a minute now to collect my thoughts, because I have a lot to say about this… Okay, here we go.
1) You may have noticed I used the adjective ‘few’ to describe the bumper stickers, and then only listed two slogans. We all know a ‘few’ implies three or more. Why didn’t I describe the bumper stickers as a ‘couple’? I’ll tell you why. The car was decorated with two of the first bumper sticker. Now that’s just unnecessary.
2) Yes, I suppose I would listen if I heard breast milk talk. I think I would feel oddly relieved. For months now I have felt like I’ve been teetering on the edge of sanity. Convincing myself that my fears are irrational is a daily struggle. If I heard breast milk talk, however, I would know. That I had, in fact, lost my mind.
3) The World Health Organization issues a 175-ish page report every year addressing the global health situation. I haven’t actually read one, but I did search the 2011 document and found no mention of breast milk. So if you have at one point or another used formula, rest assured that you have not sacrificed the health of the entire world in doing so.
In all seriousness, these bumper stickers riled me up. While it’s commonly accepted that breastfeeding is the preferred source of infant nutrition for the first 6 months of life, that wasn’t always the case. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if 10 years from now a “study” comes out saying, “Wups! We forgot about this and that. We overlooked the importance of the other. Looks like you should have fed your babies formula after all.”
In the meantime, why fight for breastfeeding like it’s the underdog? It’s not. Instead, why not support all the women out there who try to breastfeed and aren’t able to for any number of perfectly good reasons? They’re the underdogs. Or maybe we should start slapping bumper stickers on our cars that read:
“When rich people talk, people listen.”
“Healthy white men are the measure of a healthy world.”