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February 07, 2009

Hollywood's Breast Celeb

Breastfeeding I love stories of heroic boobs. Like the mom who breastfed her preschooler in addition to her baby to keep them while stranded in a snowstorm.

But last night I got a new breastfeeding heroine: Salma Hayek. I'm feeling well-disposed toward ABC's Nightline at the moment, too.

Before I post the link, though, I should warn you that this Nightline segment contains some upsetting footage of a baby dying of tetanus.

Check out this video of Hayek breastfeeding a sick baby in Sierra Leone (it's toward the end of the story). I love that she did this -- it's a total Grapes of Wrath moment -- and I love that ABC actually showed it in a world where some people think the sight of nursing is too scandalous even for the Internet.

And speaking of breastfeeding, one of the things that came up in Nightline's report is that mothers in Sierra Leone don't do it much, because their husbands discourage it. Turns out the local belief is that you can't knock boots with a lactating woman.

Interesting to learn that we are not the only society with crazy, harmful myths about breastfeeding. It throws into sharp relief how harmful such beliefs can be. Even seemingly mild taboos, like our culture's dislike of nursing in public, or the belief that nursing woman should completely abstain from alcohol, caffeine and Prozac, have the effect of reducing the prevalence and duration of breastfeeding.

The duration recommended by doctors in Sierra Leone, by the way? Two years.

Original Chicago Moms Blog post. Carrie Kirby has detailed her own boobies' heroics at My Funny, Funny Family, and writes about other frugal ways to feed the kids at Shoplifting With Permission. Photo by timtom.ch via Creative Commons.


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