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The Breast Milk Baby Doll, 4 Girls and 1 Daddy

One of my favorite photos of me as a little girl shows me at about 2.5 years old sitting on the couch next to my mom with my glasses, blond curls, my shirt pulled up and a baby doll’s face pressed against my chest.  I have the biggest cheesiest smile of a very proud preschooler because I was breastfeeding my baby just like my mom was breastfeeding hers.  That picture is featured in one of our many family photo albums.  I don’t ever remember being embarrassed or thinking it was strange.  It was just me, pretending to be a mommy and as far as I was concerned, that’s just how mommies feed their babies.  To me, it was normal.  (I search for potential warning signs of abnormal in children pretending to breastfeed toys here.)

I haven’t changed much in my opinion on that even now.  That’s just how mommies feed their babies.  To me, it still is normal.

When the Breast Milk Baby first came to the media’s attention state side (I had seen the Spanish version about a year before) I figured there’d be a report or two and then everyone would move on to more interesting topics.  Like, you know, real news.  I wasn’t going to blog about it since I don’t usually write about what’s in the news and my opinion of it would probably seem pretty obvious.  Then I kept seeing it, over and over again, different articles, news talk shows, and loads of blogs.  Everyone was talking about this thing in both positive and negative terms.  Are we normalizing breastfeeding with this doll?  Over-sexualizing young girls?  Encouraging teen pregnancy?  Making formula feeding moms feel guilty?  Making a lasting impact on the future of breastfeeding?  News commentators and bloggers pontificated on the perceived dangers or wonders of the plastic baby.  I thought I’d let them and I’d just continue on my merry way writing about whatever I want instead of the popular hot topic news.  Which is how I like it.

But then I was reading one of those articles and clicked on the video to watch the commercial for the doll.  Over my shoulder I heard “What’s that?  A baby doll?  Why is there a video about a girl playing with a baby doll?”

I invited my young impromptu audience for a viewing of the clip and asked them if I could ask them a few questions afterward.  They agreed and piled onto the couch with me their air crackling with anticipation worthy of a world premier.  It was as if we were attending The Leaky Boob film festival.  All 6 of us.

“What’s that she’s putting on?”

“Just watch.”

A giggle.

“Awww!  It’s a baby!  I like babies, mommy.”

“Is the baby eating the flowers?”

“Why would a baby eat flowers?”

“Just watch.”

A burst of laughter at the baby’s burp.  Bodily functions humor never fails to elicit a laugh from the under 14 crowd.

“Was that supposed to be a burp?”  More laughter.

“The baby burped!” Even more laughter.

“This is a weird doll.”

“I think it’s cute”

“Is the doll supposed to be breastfeeding?”

“Shhh, just watch.”

“That’s silly, babies don’t eat on top of a mom’s clothes!”

“I like it, can I have one?”

“I want one too!”

“Maybe this doll could teach little girls that breastfeeding is good, right mom?”

“The cute baby is eating the flowers mommy.”

“But mommies feed their babies UNDER their clothes, you don’t have to put something special on to feed them.  Moms just use their breasts, right mom?”

“I like the top thing, it’s pretty.  Can I have one?”

“I’m hungry, can I have some pretzels?”

The reaction of my 5 children to this doll was quite entertaining.  The 3 and 8 year old were convinced it was pretty cool and wanted one.  The 10 and 12 year old looked at it suspiciously.  The toddler started pulling at the neck of my shirt and signed milk, then please on my chest.  Not sure if it was the video or the fact that we were sitting on the couch together but she decided to she had to nurse right then.  Their reactions gave me an idea though, I should interview everyone in the family and see what THEY think of the doll and blog about the thing after all.

First up is 3YO Squiggle Bug and the shortest interview ever.  Squiggle Bug was breastfed to 22 months when we weaned due to pregnancy complications.  It was very sad, she did not want to stop and I expected her to return to the breast once Smunchie was born just 2.5 months later but she never really did though she tried occasionally.

TLB: Hey sweetie, what do you think of that baby doll?

Squiggle Bug: Awwww, it’s a cute baby eating bobbies (her word for breastfeeding).  I’m hungry, can I have pretzels.

I was surprised she understood what the baby was supposed to be doing.

TLB: Would you like a doll like that?

Squiggle Bug: *In hysterics.* I want pretzels!

Thus ends the interview and we got pretzels.  I never did find out if she wanted a doll like that but to be fair she said she did while we were watching the video and she’s never really cared about dolls at all.

Then there was Lolie.  The true middle of our 5 girls, Lolie is 8 years old, a big sister of 2 and very much a nurture.  Lolie was breastfed until about 18 months then relearned how to latch 3 months before she turned 5 when Squiggle Bug was born.  She nursed occasionally for 3 months before deciding she was too big when she turned 5.

TLB: What do you like about this doll?

Lolie: What I like about it is that the baby makes sounds.  It cries “waaaa” and the sucking sounds. It’s like it’s real. I like that there is an apron thing you put on.  And I like that it’s clothes are cute and it’s mouth is open.  I like that it eats without a bottle, like Smunchie.

TLB: Is there anything you don’t like about the Breast Milk Baby Doll?

Lolie: No.  I kind of don’t like that it’s plastic and that it would wake you up at night to eat.

I told her I didn’t think it would wake you up at night to eat and she replied “well, that’s not very real.”  Apron thing with flowers for baby doll to “nurse” from is totally believable but not waking at night is what makes this thing unrealistic.  What do I know?

TLB:  What do you think of the name “Breast Milk Baby Doll?”

Lolie:  It’s a cool name, there are breast, it has milk and it has doll and baby.  That’s what it is.  I like it, it’s hard to explain.

TLB: Do you think it’s ok for little girls to pretend like they have breasts to feed a baby?

It’s worth noting that after I asked this question she gave me the funniest look like I just asked a totally asinine question.  She might’ve been right.

Lolie: Yes. (But it sounded more like she was saying “duh” and included an eye roll.) Because you have a baby and it’s ok if you pretend because it’s like you’re a real mom.  Real moms feed their babies with their breasts, with breast milk.  Little girls should pretend to feed their babies with breast milk and bottles because real moms sometimes do both.  I don’t think it’s bad for little girls.  Little girls should pretend they are mommies.  Little kids should pretend they are mommies and daddies.

TLB: Do you want to be a mommy some day?

Lolie:  Uh-huh.  Yes.

TLB: How do you think you will feed your babies some day, when you’re a mommy?

Another weird look.  Seriously mom, what’s with the stupid questions.

Lolie: I will feed my babies with my boobies. (Again, more like “duh” and this time with a sigh as though she was accepting that her mother is an idiot.) I want to breastfeed.

We chatted for a bit longer about how wonderful breastfeeding is and how she wants to breastfeed her babies.  There was also a point where she mentioned that she wanted to let the daddy breastfeed too, not like me not letting daddy breastfeed.  It sounded like she thinks I’m really selfish in not sharing the breastfeeding opportunity.  Er, yeah.  Time to talk about gender differences again it appears.

After Lolie I chatted with Earth Baby who, at 12 years old, was trying to be very philosophical about the doll.

TLB: What do you think of this doll?

Earth Baby:  I think it’s cute but kind of strange too.  It says that breastfeeding is right.  I don’t like that she had to put something over her shirt, why can’t she lift up her shirt?  It’s not something that’s part of your body, something attached to her body, like breasts.  It’s something she has to add.  But it’s good, it tells girls you can breastfeed and it’s good and healthy and you don’t have to be ashamed but it also tells them their body isn’t good enough.  I think girls hear that a lot so I don’t like that.

TLB: What do you like about this doll?

Earth Baby:  I already said what I thought, can I go read now?

Alrighty then.  That interview was over.

Next up is The Storyteller.  Ten years old and very outgoing, even though she was breastfed the shortest amount of time of all my children, she is the most outspoken about breastfeeding.

TLB: What do you think of this doll?

The Storyteller: That it’s weird!

TLB: What do you like about it?

The Storyteller: It tells girls that breastfeeding is ok and it’s good for you and it’s the way to a healthy child.  And that nothing’s wrong with breastfeeding.  I think it’s good practice.  So kids can get the feel of breastfeeding.  They don’t need a doll to learn how to breastfeed.  They should practice feeding their baby in public it’s ok too, it’s ok to breastfeed in public because you’re giving your baby food.  I like the movement the doll makes with the mouth.

TLB: What don’t you like about it?

The Storyteller: I don’t like how you can’t… that you can’t… lift up your shirt or something.  You don’t have to have the sounds, you don’t have to.  Why can’t the baby doll know there’s a real nipple in front of it instead of that thing she put on.  The burp was so not realistic, I thought it was funny.

TLB: Would you want one of these dolls?

The Storyteller: It might be fun to play with sometimes.  Maybe.  I don’t know, I probably wouldn’t play with it.  You know what I want?  An iPod.  Can I get an iPod instead of one of these dolls?

TLB: What?  I wasn’t actually offering to get you one of these dolls, just asking if you would want one in theory.

The Storyteller: So how about an iPod?  Or if you want to get me a doll I do want a new Waldorf doll with long red hair.  Ok?

TLB: So, we’re done talking about this doll I take it?

The Storyteller: No, we can keep talking about it.  I really want an iPod…

She went on about an iPod or Waldorf doll for another 10 minutes.  You would have thought I’d pulled out my credit card to order the other doll so convinced she was that I was ready to buy one for her.

So then I thought I should ask The Piano Man.  After all, he’s the father of 5 girls, what would he think about his children playing with a doll like this?  I was particularly interested in his views regarding the perceived potential some news commentators had about oversexualizing young girls are encouraging teen pregnancy.

TLB: What do you like about the doll?

The Piano Man: The only thing I kind of like about it is that it encourages kids to breastfeed their babies.  But that encouragement could so easily come from the parents instead without the extra gear and the extra price tag and without electronically produced sounds.

TLB: What don’t you like about it?

The Piano Man: A doll won’t teach breastfeeding.  The “lesson for life” doesn’t come from a doll, it comes from seeing it done.  It’s also limiting imagination because it does something but it’s limited in what it does.  Generally speaking I don’t like dolls that make noise because in play you’re limited by the sounds the toy can make.  Gone is your opportunity as a kid to have your baby do other sounds, including silly sounds.  I find the whole camisole/apron/tank contraption confusing.

TLB: Do you think a doll like this oversexualizes young girls?

The Piano Man:  What?  That’s just stupid.  How in the world could it do that?  Barbie might but not a baby doll that pretends to do what babies REALLY do.  Where did you get that idea?

TLB: It’s not my idea.  Some news commentators and commenters on articles and blog posts brought it up.

The Piano Man: What’s wrong with these people that they’d even think that?  Seriously, what thoughts were going through their heads when they watched the video?  My first thought is people that would even think that are messed up.  My second is that they don’t have a clue how kids’ minds work and don’t interact with kids enough to really know children.  That’s just stupid.  I think it’s sweet when our girls pretend to breastfeed their babies, when they do what they see you do.  It’s sweet.

TLB: Do you think it’s possible that a doll like this could encourage teen pregnancy?

The Piano Man: *Laughs* Oh yeah, in fact we should ban all dolls because pretending to be a mommy or daddy is going to make kids want to have unprotected sex.  Where do these people get these things from?  Let’s ban play kitchens too because kids are going to want to hurry and grow up too fast if they pretend to cook.  And toy trucks and cars because that 6 year old is going to go try to drive a real car if they play with matchbox cars.  No!  It’s not going to encourage teen pregnancy!  Good grief, want to start a witch hunt for what’s encouraging kids to have unprotected sex?  Look at TV, look at the entertainment industry.  Or any celebrity, clothing style, video game, or toy that tells girls their worth is in their sex appeal.  Let’s look at all the messages we’re sending boys that a woman is only for their sexual pleasure and that somehow they have no control over their sexual urges like men are too stupid to have self-control.  And how about parents and the way they do or don’t talk about sex, let’s look there.  There are tons of legitimate areas to explore first.  Blame a baby doll?  That’s pathetic.

At some point a little later The Piano Man and Lolie started talking about the doll.  I listened in and jotted down some of their conversation.

The Piano Man: Does mommy have to put anything special on to breastfeed her babies?

Lolie: No, she just lifts up her shirt.

The Piano Man: What do you think of this doll needing you to put something on?

Lolie: It’s ok, it’s just pretending.  You have to put it on so the baby knows where to suck.  That’s just the way it works.

The Piano Man:  Would you like the doll the better with or without the top?

Lolie: I’d like a doll without the top better.

Conversation continued to swirl around The Breast Milk Baby for a few days in our house and I was asked a couple times to watch the video again.  It’s been a while now and I haven’t heard anyone bring it up again.

As for my personal thoughts on the doll, I certainly don’t see anything wrong with it and agree with most of the points my family made concerning the doll.  The price intimidates me a little only because I wouldn’t be willing to pay $89 for a plastic doll but plenty of people buy $100 plastic dolls for their kids in the form of The American Girl Dolls and those don’t even do anything special.  We already spend about that or more on handmade, all natural material dolls (Waldorf inspired) though so it isn’t exactly the cost that I find prohibitive.  However, I know that would be a major factor for many families.  The doll is a bit odd to me, I don’t like plastic toys, the halter top bothers me and I wouldn’t buy one for me children.  Still, I think it’s great to have a doll that helps normalize breastfeeding and for families where plastic toys are common anyway this doll can encourage positive attitudes on breastfeeding from a young age.  And not just in girls.  Little boys that either play with the doll themselves (I hear people everywhere freaking out at the idea) or at least see their sister or friends play with the doll will have an early precedent set that breastfeeding is just how babies are fed.  I don’t see how that could be a bad thing.  It’s just how mommies feed their babies.  Just like it’s, you know, normal.

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What do you think of The Breast Milk Baby?  Would you get one for your child?  Why or why not?

This Moment

{this moment} – A Friday ritual from Soule Mama, one of my favorite bloggers. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see.

Healthy-Feeding and Older Children, Knowing When to Draw the Line

It’s time to cut her off.

Sure she’s still young and growing and absolutely adorable but we have to end it.  As it is we’ve gone way past socially accepted norms.  I’ve avoided doing it in public for a while now, just couldn’t handle the strange looks we’d receive and people were getting increasingly rude with their comments.  And now that she’s 8 I can’t pretend any longer that she really needs it anyway, it’s just for comfort now and like my mom said, I can’t let her go on thinking she can just take advantage of me, use me like that forever.  I can’t even imagine what my mom would say if I told her what happened last night…

Brace yourself… Lolie actually asked for it. (I’m totally blushing here, don’t judge me!)  She knew what she wanted and she asked for it.  That would really freak some people out!  You know how many times I’ve heard “they are really too old when they can ASK for it!  That’s just so disgusting!”

We were preparing for her birthday, asking her what meals she wanted and she said… (my stomach’s in knots just thinking this!) taco salad!  Homemade taco salad for lunch.  And a veggie and fruit tray.  Spinach and mushroom crepes for dinner.  Homemade cake.  I tried to dissuade her, offered Papa John’s Pizza, Taco Bell anything, McDonald’s, Chili’s, and more but she refused!  All she wants for her birthday is healthy, homemade growing food.  Carrots!

I can hear it now: “she asked for spinach and mushrooms for her birthday dinner?!  Oh. My. Gosh.  Someone get this kid a Happy Meal with extra large fries and supersized Coke STAT!”

I’m pretty sure healthy-feeding her for this long has ruined her.  She’s probably developmentally behind her peers, physically malnourished, emotionally stunted and over-attached to me now.  What was I thinking?  I guess I wasn’t really, it just sort of happened.  The recommendation was to healthy-feed until 6 years old, school age but it just felt so right, so natural that I continued.  I mean, if it was so good for her brain development, bone growth and all that then why would it suddenly stop?  We have our own term for it: growing food.  We were both happy, it worked for us and she seemed to be thriving and even though she was past the minimum age recommended to healthy food-feed, she still seemed so young to me.  So I let it keep going.

But now she’s gone and asked for it?!  That’s clearly not normal, maybe even perverted.  What 7, almost 8 year old child actually turns down pizza in favor of a salad?  Rejects a Happy Meal and prefers spinach and mushroom crepes?  Turns up her nose at a brilliantly colored store bought ice cream cake and specifically requests a homemade cake from scratch?  Or begs for homemade whole wheat bread and doesn’t even know what Wonder Bread is?

I’ve ruined my Lolie!

There comes a point when you just have to stop healthy-feeding a child.  If it’s come from the ground or is fresh, made from scratch and void of branded packaging it can’t be good for the child to continue past 6, certainly not past 8.  Going to 10 would be positively revolting, people everywhere would lose their Taco Bell taco meat product tacos at the thought.  If you don’t stop it how will the child eat in the future?  How do you know EXACTLY what they are eating without a package label?  How will they learn how to feed themselves?  How will they recognize the brands of sustenance?

My friends will be freaked out that she asked for it, that she doesn’t even want junk food.  Some of them had a hard enough time that I even did this at all (after all, they only ate prepackaged and fast foods and they are fine) but this will really be too much.  Once they can open the refrigerator and get their own carrot you’ve got to stop it, right?  I mean, what in the world would happen if kids everywhere thought eating carrots and food that came out of the ground and not out of a box or package was NORMAL?!  Our very economy would be in danger!  It’s not like we don’t have access to other foods, it’s not like we’re uncivilized, right?  It would damage their perspective of the human body and food.  Years and years of therapy would be required for all these confused kids that would think it’s actually good to eat this way.  No, for her mental health and our socio-economic standing I just can’t allow this to continue!  I wonder if our friends will even let their kids play with her any more.  If word of this gets out it could ruin her socially.  It probably will destroy her chances of getting the lead in the spring play… she’ll get kicked out of the ballet studio… summer camps will reject her… no hope of getting a date for prom… Harvard will totally laugh at her… she’ll never find a job… she’ll be living at home eating like this and completely dependent on me forever!

It’s her birthday and I have to cut her off, she’s simply too old.  It will break her heart and I know she won’t understand but how can I let her continue?  I’m so sad just thinking of it but we have to be done, that’s just all there is to it.  Today was the last time, no more.

*sob*

I will tell her tonight as she nurses to sleep.  At least she will still have that, so glad there’s no taboo surrounding breastfeeding.  How sad would that be?

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From the American Academy of Pediatrics: “Exclusive breastfeeding for approximately the first six months and support for breastfeeding for the first year and beyond as long as mutually desired by mother and child.”

It is my hope that mothers continue breastfeeding as long as it is right for them and their child.  The decision to stop should be an informed one, using research and individual considerations of physical and emotional health to determine the best choice for each mother and her nursling.  Whether that is 6 days, 6 weeks, 6 months, or 6 years.  Pressure to stop at some arbitrary date and claims that breastmilk has no nutritional value after a certain age are uninformed and potentially damaging. Instead of telling women what they need to do we need to support them in making informed decisions.  You can find more information on the value of breastfeeding beyond the first year at Kellymom.com.  I believe every woman should have support without pressure or condemnation no matter how long she breastfeeds.

By the way, I’m thrilled my daughter requests homemade food full of veggies and whole grain goodness for her birthday and I won’t be cutting her off from that nutrition for any reason.  Not even if it isn’t normal for a child her age to turn down fast-food style pizza and other nutritionally similar options in favor of whole foods.  Also, in the interest of honest representation, she hasn’t breastfed in quite some time.

This Moment- Mommy’s Lap

{this moment} – A Friday ritual from Soule Mama, one of my favorite bloggers. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see.


A Journey Through Breastfeeding and Visitation

This post is one I am most proud of and I didn’t even write it.  A guest post from a dedicated Leaky, I am honored to share the story of Charity and her nursling Keegan and his relationship with his dad.  Desiring to protect and preserve the breastfeeding relationship she worked so hard to establish with her son, single mom Charity explains how they navigated the murky waters of parental visitation with his father.  Demonstrating how important community is as not only support but in challenging us and providing resources, Charity details her journey from resentment and anger towards her son’s father to flexibility and sacrifice to be sure her son receives what is best and normal.  Knowing that The Leaky Boob community was a part of her story encouraging her along the way brings me great joy.  I’m so grateful Charity was willing to share her story with us, it is my hope that as she found support and encouragement from so many through The Leaky Boob, her words will now be passed on to support and encourage others as well.


I remember the strange guy walking up to me with paper’s in his hand. I had known in the back of mind this day was coming.  I had hoped and prayed it wouldn’t.  I even had my self almost convinced it wouldn’t, but here it was.  He asked for me by last name, but it was my married name, I told him no it wasn’t me.  Almost as if it would stop this moment.  Like it wasn’t happening.  Then he asked with my maiden name.  “Yup that’s me”, “you have officially been served.”  And he got in his car and drove off.  I didn’t even have to open the manila envelope I held in my hand, my world was crumbling around me and I couldn’t move.  I sat down on the ground right there, and cried.  I have two older children by a different Father so this should be easy. I have been through it before.  What made this so different, some may ask.  This baby had been raised differently than the other two.  This was my Attachment baby.

I started to go back to the very 1st moment, sitting right there on the ground.  It all started with an email.  And then a drive to meet him.  He was cute, really cute.  We were both nervous but really liked each other.  So I stayed the night.  And then the next day he said he loved me and I believed him.  He moved in not to long after.  We looked at houses to move into and talked about getting married.  We also talked about having a baby.  I wrapped the pregnancy test in a little box with a bow and he came home from base and opened it.  He wasn’t as happy as I had pictured he would be.  But I pretended he was.  Well that didn’t last long and he was gone.  I got the it’s not my baby.  He saw me once or twice while I was pregnant and then he was born.  I called him and told him and he said he might try and make it up.  So I sent to two text messages with pictures of the baby and he came up.  He teared up a little or maybe that’s my brain playing tricks on me.  He looked just like his daddy.  He told me he would come back and see him before we went home.  The baby ended up in NICU the next morning and he never showed back up.  So I brought my little man home and decided I would forget about the daddy.  I could do this on my own.  I had done it before.

I breastfed exclusively, wore him in a sling, co-slept, and didn’t let anyone watch my precious little man.  I had lost a baby 6 months before getting pregnant with him and so I wasn’t going to share him with anyone!  But I started to wonder once in awhile if his daddy ever thought about him and when he was 3months old I called him up.  He met me at a restaurant held him for a few moments and told me if I wanted to move out of state he wouldn’t stop me.  His words “I have screwed up your life enough, I won’t screw it up anymore”, hit me hard.  What screwed up my life?  You gave me the most amazing child ever.  And that was that.  He walked away.  That is until Child Support got started.  I got the it’s not my child a lot.  When Keegan was finally 6 months old we had DNA testing done to prove to him he was his.  He was.  I still wasn’t worrying about visitation.  He would pop in when he felt like it and I let him.  I figured as long as we weren’t fighting everything would be ok.  But then it happened.  We fought.  And then we didn’t talk at all, for months, no word.  Next I am sitting on the ground crying.  I called my mom and my dad, and a couple of friends.  I was grasping any emotion I could.  Anyone to tell me what I wanted to hear.  I wanted to hear this wasn’t happening.  I wanted to hear he couldn’t do this.  That wasn’t happening.  Why wasn’t that happening.  And then I started thinking, what about our breastfeeding relationship.  What about our co-sleeping relationship.  I have never left him with a sitter for more than an hour or two. He dosen’t even know this man.  I don’t want him to know this man.

One of the first things I did was email the creator of The Leaky B@@B.  One of my favorite Facebook pages.  I thought my fellow Leakies could help out.  I wanted to know how to stop it.  I wanted to know how I could get it so he didn’t get to see him.  I didn’t want to have to hand over my baby.  I still didn’t want to share.  I wasn’t ready to share. I also started on a frenzy calling attorney’s that dealt with attachment parenting cases, especially breastfeeding cases.  To my surprise there wasn’t one.  I don’t live in a huge town but it isn’t small ether, and I couldn’t find one damn attorney that would back me up the way I wanted them too.  So I found the one attorney that calmed me every time I talked to him.  Yup I said HIM.  His wife was a fellow breastfeeding, co sleeping, baby wearing, cloth diapering mama. He had this way about him that was so soothing.  And then Jessica posted my question anonymously on The Leaky B@@B Facebook wall.  It was bitter-sweet when I started reading the comments.  I didn’t hear most of what I wanted to hear.  I still didn’t want to share.  But I did get some AMAZING links.  And advice.  I also spent the next couple days staring at this amazing little boy I had kept to myself.  I only wanted to do what was I felt was best for him.  I wanted to shield him from the big ugly mean world.  And this big mean daddy that had hurt his mommy.  He was an asshole in my book.  A looser.  I had Keegan’s best interest in my mind.  Or so I thought at the time.

I had a Focus on Children class I had to attend through the court system in a couple days, and my 1st thought was the paper says NO KIDS!  Well that doesn’t apply to me, I am Exclusively Breastfeeding. I never leave my baby with anyone.  How am I supposed to go to this 3hr class and leave him.  So I did what any irrational person would do. I called the court house, and argued with the lady in charge of the class.  Of course I got the, honey the rules are the same for everyone, NO KIDS.  She did let me know it was my choice to show up to the class and if I chose not to I would be the one with the contempt of court charge.

So I got my sitter and, pissed off at the world especially the asshole making me leave my son to go to this stupid class, I headed out to the Focus on Children Class.  When I walked into the court room I thought “what a joke.”  This is such BS I have to be here.  The 1st speaker got up and started talking.  I of course was too pissed off to listen, until they brought in the family court judge.  Our judge.  He went on to explain that it was in our children’s best interest to settle out of court.  What?  What was this guy thinking.  I didn’t want to settle I wanted to fight, I was looking for a fight.  He poked the momma bear and this momma bear was mad.  He started to tell us why, sharing the effect an ugly court battle had on the children involved.  I have never cried so hard in front of people.  I was not going to let my little man go through this.  And then he said it loud and clear.  It was almost like the walls shook, “If the case ends up in court NEITHER parent gets what they want. We make sure of that.”  The best interest of the child is now in the hands of a stranger.  A STRANGER.  Is that what I had thought Keegan’s best interest was, a stranger’s choice?  This stranger didn’t carry him all day in the sling.  This stranger did feed him at his breast till he feel asleep.  This stranger didn’t wakeup 12 times a night making sure he was still breathing.  He didn’t know what was best for him.  I did.  I was his mommy.  I was the protester.  We watched a video that featured children in it talking about schedules and visitation and some were crying.  Heart broken their parents were fighting every time they got picked up and dropped off.  They asked why couldn’t they just get along for that moment.  I remember the most amazing thing I heard in that class: “Kids know a rock when they’ve got one.”  He explained it as there is almost always one parent that is the Splitting parent.  The parent that calls the other one names, wants to know what is going on at the other’s house, and having the child be a message carrier.  When your child grows up they will turn to the rock when in crisis and in need.  They will know that rock is always gonna be there for him/her.  I had decided at that moment that I wanted to be that Rock.  I didn’t want to be the splitter.  I wanted to be the bigger person.  I  wanted my son to be happy.  I didn’t want to have to hand over a screaming child.  I learned that almost any parenting schedule will work for children whose parents are cooperating.  That’s when I decided that’s what I wanted for my son.

That night  I went home and nursed my little man to sleep and the next day I went to see my attorney. He wanted me to write down three things. One was the visitation I wanted to give my son’s father.  Two the most visitation I would give him, and three the least amount of visitation I would give him.  Well I had a hard time doing that.  I still didn’t want to share, but I had some paperwork for my attorney.  I had printed off a couple articles that had been suggested to me through my question on The Leaky B@@B.  One was from  La Leche League International about the breastfeeding relationship and visitation.  AMAZING article.  I loved it.  A must read for anyone facing visitation with their breastfeeding child.  One huge thing I took from it was they are only little for so long.  Five years go by so quickly.  Why is the other parent insistent on every other weekend?  Is it because that is the norm?  Well In my case it wasn’t going to be.  Remember, I wanted the best for Keegan, not just what I wanted or what his father wanted.  I just had to convince his dad to feel the same way I did.  Ha!  You mean the guy I hadn’t talked to in months?  The guy that broke my heart?  The guy that took me to court instead of coming and talking to me!!  Yeah that guy. That same article talks about the kind of parenting style the mother has done with the child under visitation plans.  Read it, and then reread it again.  Make sure you memorize it.  And then just when you think you have it down.  READ it again.  Because it’s just at that moment when you find something else you were missing.  So I highlighted all the points in this article I felt pertained to my situation and gave it to my attorney.  Then he brought up the question I had been waiting to hear.  I knew it was coming.  You know he is a year old now and the courts aren’t huge believers in extended breastfeeding, so when do you plan on quitting so we have a time line we can work with.  Well I don’t plan on quitting.  I am in this for the long haul.  I am going to let him self wean.  And I brought a letter for that too, a Letter for Court Cases in support of extended breastfeeding by Katherine A Dettwyler, Ph.D.

I left the office that day feeling pretty good.   Keegan had to have surgery and per the court papers I had to let his dad know of the surgery and when it was and where it was.  Now did I want him to go, HELL NO.  I wanted to be the bigger person.  I really did.  But that didn’t mean I wanted to face him.  That didn’t mean I didn’t want to rip his eyes out.  I hated him.  He was taking me to court!  For my son.  My son.  I tried to send the email 5 times and all 5 times I hit cancel.  But I didn’t want to screw up the case so on the 6th time I hit send.  I got an answer very quick.  Thank you I’ll be there.  NOT the words I wanted to read.  So the night before the surgery I of course didn’t’ sleep at all.  It wasn’t because I was scared of the surgery.  Nope that didn’t scare me at all. This would be the second time we went through this.  I was scared because I had to face him.  I won’t lie, I prayed all night he wouldn’t show up.  I thought in the back of my mind how bad it would for him if we had to go to court.  I wished his car would break down on the way.  We got there, no dad.  They called us back, no dad.  Ten minutes to surgery and I heard the nurse say I think they are right here.  I swear I almost puked on myself when I saw him walk into that room.  And when I was asked who he was I squeakily answered this is bio-dad.  Not that he had another dad.  But I sure as hell wasn’t gonna give him the credit.  They took my little man back and this time I didn’t cry.  I was too pissed off that he was there.  So we were sitting in the waiting room and I tried to not say anything at first but I couldn’t my stupid mind had played tricks on me, I didn’t hate this asshole that had broke my heart, I still loved him.  So after surgery we were headed out to the car and I said “If you would like to come and see him you can.”  He said “I would like to sit down with you and talk about the visitation if we can.  We don’t have to go to mediation, if we figure it out together.”   I said we will see.

We sent a couple emails back and forth about not going to mediation.  He couldn’t afford the 120.00 hr. and I only could because I didn’t’ have to pay for it.  So I talked to my attorney and he said do it.  It will let us know what he wants.  So I wrote up what I wanted and printed off the same paper work I gave the attorney, highlighting everything he needed to read.  Grabbing the book Focus on Children, it was time for me to convince him everything I felt.  I showed up to the library and we sat down.  I had asked him to write down what he wanted and asked him for it and he said he didn’t have to write it down he wanted every other weekend.  Yeah, NOT!  No way I am thinking to myself.  One thing I learned from the Focus on Children Class was that in the state of Idaho, in most cases no judge will just hand a child over that does not know the other parent.  So I handed him my paper.  And it read as follows:

One hour a day for two weeks you must come to my house to see Keegan.  This is the fastest way to get a child to know someone.  This is on the child’s territory so the child feels safer.

At first he said no and then my tongue moved faster then it ever had. I was quoting the pages I had highlighted. I really didn’t even know I had them memorized.  And he got it.  He understood that Keegan would only be little for a short time.  That soon he wouldn’t be breastfeeding and needing mommy all day.  He understood that he needed short frequent visits. He understood that with breastfeeding until Keegan he self-weaned and the attachment parenting I was doing was what was best for Keegan.

After 2 weeks: for 6 months you get Keegan-Tues and Thurs from 5-7pm.  I will drop Keegan off at your house.

I chose this time because my older daughter has gymnastics and I would love to be able to watch her once in awhile.  That is also one of Keegan’s most well behaved times of the day. Also, I had learned that if you drop the child off then it is less traumatic normally because the child doesn’t have to stop what they is doing to leave.  That is when most parents have problems.  A child normally doesn’t ever want to stop what they is doing.

Every Sat. from 10-2, time to increase at 6 month intervals (10-4, 10-6).

I know this seems like a lot to some and not much to others.  The whole point of a phased in visitation schedule is so the child gets use to going with the other parent.  The other point of so many days was young children don’t have the longterm memories us adults do.  After 3 or 4 days a very young child won’t remember as well.  Then every six months the sat. hours went up.  10-4, then 10-6.  They stayed at 10-6 till he SLEF WEANS.  That was written in cap’s through out  the parenting plan.  His dad didn’t want every sat. as he has drill weekends and needed at least one weekend to himself.  So in the end we ended up with Tues and Thurs and every other Sat.

All it took was one email sent out and we were in agreement.  It started with one person being the bigger person.  One person saying “I’m sacred to death to talk to this person, but I have to think about the child involved not my feelings.”  It took the other person following the lead and saying yeah it is about the child.  You can’t use the excuse well I don’t know his number or how to get a hold of him.  If you got served your attorney can get his number, email address.  If you can’t put your feelings aside for the sake and well being of your child then you can’t say you want whats best for your child.  A child knowing and interacting with both of their parents is one of the best things for them.  I say lets grow-up, lets take back our parental rights and leave the courts out of making the life changing decisions for our children.  Put your excuses away!!!  So Keegan went to his dads house for a couple Tuesday’s, and Thursday’s and he just cried and screamed when I dropped him off so his father and I decided for the time being he would come to my house to see Keegan.  I can say that sitting in the same room with Keegan’s father kills me every time as I still love him, but we have a happy, healthy 18 month old son and his happiness is what matters to us.  We will make the sacrifices necessary to do what is best for him.

Breastfeeding, My Daughters, and Body Image

I breastfeed for my daughters. At first glance, this would seem obvious: I have all girls. We all breastfeed or formula feed our children for them, it is what you do as a parent; feed your child.  And this is of course true for me as well.  After all, breastfeeding is the biological normal way to feed a human baby and thankfully my body can do it just fine.  But over time a new aspect of breastfeeding has emerged for me.  I don’t breastfeed only to feed and bond with my daughters any more.  In this age where an impossible ideal is held up as desirable for the female form, when airbrushing celebrity figures to make them “perfect” is the accepted norm, when a woman’s worth is presented as being entirely wrapped up in her sex appeal, when women’s (and men’s) bodies are used to sell things, when objectifying a human being for their body is lucrative, one of the reasons I openly breastfeed my babies is so my daughters can see something different. Initially this benefit of breastfeeding wasn’t on my radar. I was focused, like most new moms, on doing what was best for my baby and “breast is best.” (My views on that saying and it’s impact on breastfeeding have changed after all these years.) Attractive qualities of breastfeeding such as statistically higher IQ levels in breastfed babies, lower risk of obesity in adulthood, super-power like immune system boosting, and faster/better recovery time after birth all sounded good to me and I was drawn in by these dreamy sounding sale pitches that no other product could truly replicate.  I felt my daughters deserved the best and I would do everything in my power to give them the very best I could.  Though not impressed with myself for breastfeeding my daughters, I was pleased, even if I didn’t really think about it too much with my first three girls.  It was just simply something you do as a mother: push baby out, expel placenta, breasts get the signal to produce milk, put baby to breast, and the rest, as they say, is history. It changed though.  While I knew the wonders of breastfeeding I began to see myself and the world a little differently as I watched my girls grow.  Earlier than I ever imagined possible it seemed little girls were encouraged to flaunt their sexuality with clothing options that seemed better suited for “girls” about 4 times their age and no, I’m not joking.  Advertising, toys and cartoon characters jumped out at me suddenly as more messages to little girls (and boys) as to what a woman was supposed to look like and what her purpose was.  Suddenly even my favorite Disney princess from my own childhood concerned me as I considered the sexual overtones of her character and clothing.  I wanted something different for my daughters and I found myself becoming increasingly concerned with the messages my young girls were hearing regarding their bodies and what they should look like.  The messages they were hearing of their purpose and function. Of their worth and value. When Squiggle Bug was born nearly 5 years after Lolie, my 3rd, my girls were fascinated with my changing body during the pregnancy.  They loved the midwife visits and The Piano Man and I considered having them present for the birth.  To prepare them for that we started watching birth videos with them.  Long an open family about bodies, the differences between boys and girls and openly educating about sex, we encouraged them to ask questions.  Watching them watch a baby being born in these videos was beautiful, they were in awe of the whole process and I was reminded of the wonder of birth.  Seeing them take in breastfeeding and learn how it works, I marveled in a way I never had before over the incredible design.  Then a conversation with The Storyteller caused me to marvel in my own body when she said “You can do that?  You did that for us?  That’s amazing!  Mommy, your body is awesome!” I had never, ever in my entire life seen my body as awesome. I have not been good friends with my body.  Unfortunately, much like other women, I have struggled with body image.  In my head I can acknowledge beauty that wouldn’t be considered magazine worthy and I love and applaud representations that fly in the face of western societies expectations of what is desirable.  Yet for myself I hold a different standard.  Growing up I saw beauty defining images that depicted something pinched, poked, pushed, and painted.  And I liked it, wanted to look like that.  Complicating it further was my family’s very conservative faith views of modesty and during the very formative years of puberty I was bombarded with messages that if I dressed a certain way I would be responsible for making men and boys lust… or worse.  As I got older I heard people imply that if a woman was raped to look at how she was dressed, she was probably “asking” for it.  I always felt that any unwanted attention on my body was my own fault.  I wasn’t even sure if my body was something I really had any say over.  The struggle the conflicting messages I received contributed to me being insecure and I was afraid of my own body.  Should I hide it?  Should I flaunt it?  Would it cause my guy friends to stumble?  Or would it make me popular and admired?  Whatever it was, it wasn’t good.  Either way my body wasn’t good enough, beautiful enough, sexy enough, big enough, small enough, soft enough, hard enough, safe enough, innocent enough, protected enough, modest enough, pure enough, it would never be enough.  My body failed everything, every standard set.  And I didn’t know how but I felt it was all my own fault. These feelings impacted my relationships including my relationship with my husband and my children.  I struggled with pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding in part due to these feelings.  Breastfeeding Earth Baby, my first, was no walk in the park for me emotionally. With time though I started to feel like maybe it wasn’t my body that failed, maybe it was society that had failed me though I wasn’t sure how.  Childbearing and breastfeeding did give me some respect for my body while at the same time confusing me further as to how motherhood could be so beautiful but drive being beautiful even further out of my reach.  Pushing back wasn’t easy and to this day I still struggle with internal voices telling me I’m still not enough.  With my daughters though the failure was glaring.  How I was failed was muddied by my own destructive behaviors but how my daughters were failed was unfolding before my eyes.  Surrounded by images, stories and marketing aimed to sell them something my daughters were drawn to artificial depictions of beauty just as I was.  I knew this wasn’t what I wanted for them.  We could have fun with dress up, make up and doing the pretty thing for ourselves but I didn’t want them to become consumed with aspiring to some artificial standard they could spend all the money in the world to reach and still fall short.  Early on we started rejecting toys and entertainment options that glorified a version of the female form that nobody really has any hope of reaching and choose selectively options that featured more realistic or simple characters.  We chose to be a Barbie-free home, the Disney princesses were regulated to a minor role, Saturday morning cartoons are a rarity and I stopped reading fashion magazines.  Still, I couldn’t help but notice that the girls were intrigued by this image of false female perfection. So we talked.  A lot and often.  Sometimes serious, sometimes casual, always open.  In the course of dialoguing with them I began to realize something: if I wanted this for them I had to want it for me. Getting rid of the fashion magazines was one of the best things I ever did for both my daughters and myself.  Learning to love and accept my body on an ongoing basis, embracing the struggle of my conflicting feelings is part of empowering them.  Letting them see me use my body for feeding their little sister and my choice to do so without shame and without covering in public, to embrace my body as it functioned naturally instead of imposing an unnatural standard of beauty or being controlled by fear helped them to accept their bodies now and as they grow and change in the future.  It also helped me.  Their questions, fascination and awe at the amazing things my body could do humbled me to tears.  They appreciated something I had never had the courage to truly see.  Today my older three daughters think breastfeeding is great and will easily say as much without blushing or giggling, just honest enthusiasm for something so magically normal.  My daughters are clearly comfortable around breasts and breastfeeding, which is good since, you know, they’ll probably have both some day.  I want them to appreciate and value their body both then and now. It is my honest hope that my older girls will remember me breastfeeding and these memories will be a part of empowering them to accept their bodies, to be fascinated and enjoy the power of their bodies and to embrace a much fuller and honest definition of beauty and their growing sexuality.  For my younger girls I hope that we continue to have friends that breastfeed their babies so my daughters will see and ask questions like their big sisters did, developing the same awe and confidence in the female body, including their own.  From this place they stand a greater chance of a healthy body image, generating confidence and self respect.  I’m still working on this for myself and I won’t stop because I’m not only doing it for me, I’m doing it for my daughters.  For me I am learning that my body, indeed my whole self is more complex than advertisers and parts of society would have me believe.  And I’m claiming it back.  For me.  For my daughters.  For women everywhere. As Earth Baby grows into her body as a young woman we have more and more frequent conversations about breasts and I love seeing her views develop.  Many times our conversations happen while I’m breastfeeding Smunchie and as she expresses her thoughts and concerns, voicing her questions that are both practical and philosophical, I marvel at the beauty of this moment.  Normal.  Healthy.  Beautiful.  I am breastfeeding for my daughters. (Photograph by Jack Potts, Bohemian Photography)

Through the eyes of a child


For World Breastfeeding Week I was excited to host “Perspectives: Breastfeeding through Children’s Eyes Art Prject.” The original plan was to take submissions for a week and then select one to be printed on note cards, a collaboration with Paper Mama, the sales of which would go to benefit Best For Babes Foundation. We were and are all super excited. But we want more submissions.

In an effort to get more submissions, we’re going to extend the contest deadline to September 15th. We have some great submissions so far and love seeing how your little ones view breastfeeding. We are looking forward to even more. Spread the word and ask your little ones to share their artistic expressions of their perspective of breastfeeding!

To submit, send a scanned copy of a high quality photograph of your child’s piece to theleakyboob @ theleakyboob.com by September 15th with your child’s first name, age and anything they had to say about breastfeeding and their submission. You may submit as many as you’d like.

We are looking forward to all of the submissions and hope to help a good cause and I’d love to show that children seeing breastfeeding is not a sexually perverted act and is in fact a positive in not only the lives of the mothers and babies but the children exposed to such beautiful nurturing as well.

Earth Baby on Breastfeeding

by Ophélia Martin-Weber

05.15.16 Editor’s Note: Today, this author is 17 years old and while much of her perspective remains essentially the same, she has matured in her views as well. This young lady now articulates that for her, just seeing breastfeeding so often from her mom, family friends, and on social media, makes it seem like no big deal and just what you do when you have a baby. Though she doesn’t intend to have children for a long time yet and is passionately pursuing a professional career in ballet, Ophélia has expressed that should she have children she fully intends to breastfeed… like it’s just what you do.

To learn more about what Ophélia is doing today, go here where she shares her latest adventures and is currently seeking crowd support in reaching her body positivity goals in dance.

____________________

For our WBW blog carnival on “Perspectives: Breastfeeding From Every Angle” we are pleased to host guest posts from various contributors. Today we are honored to share a guest post from Earth Baby, sharing her perspective on breastfeeding as the 11 year old girl, oldest of 5 sisters, all breastfed.

Jessica (The Leaky B@@b) breastfeeding Earth Baby in the hospital November 1998


I don’t remember being breastfed, but I know that I was.

I am not a professional when it comes to breastfeeding, at least not since I was a baby and I don’t remember that, but I do know some things about breastfeeding: it feeds the baby; it keeps them healthy; you don’t need to hide to breastfeed, it’s natural; it gets moms closer to their babies and helps the babies to know their mom. Last week I learned that the boobies can change temperature if the baby is too hot or too cold. The mothers need to eat a lot (not to make themselves fat) to produce milk; and we all know that babies love their mommy’s milk!

I am happy that my mom is breastfeeding but will I want to breastfeed my own children? Right now I think I would but I am not sure if I will approve of it when I am older. But I think I will. The reasons why I would breastfeed are because it is safe. It is healthy for the child and the mother. In other words, why did God make breasts? Is it for men to admire them? No way! It would let the babies have a chance to trust us. I think I will breastfeed my babies because God made us to do so, so when they are close to me they can trust me.

Earth Baby and her mommy, 1999

Babies being healthy and happy makes me feel happy. They are chubby, cheerful, and sweet after being fed. Feeding your babies can help soothe them if they are troubled, or to get smiles. The best part of breastfeeding is…cuddling! I’m not sure if it is true but whenever my mom breastfeeds, they seem to be snuggled close together. I love that.
Earth Baby, a chubby, happy, breastfed baby, June 1999


Some people don’t feel comfortable with moms breastfeeding in public or around them. But I think they don’t realize that they were once breastfed. I feel completely comfortable that my mom or myself, when I am grown up, can breastfeed anywhere, around anyone, or anyplace. My mom breastfed me and has breastfed four other children ever since I was born. I don’t mind, I had to be there when my mom breastfed my sisters. I am used to it. 

There is this question that has been stuck in my head for a while, what would I do if my husband didn’t agree with me breastfeeding? I would tell him that it is important to do it and I will not hide from him or public. We decided that we wanted children. I was pregnant for nine months. I did it, not him. I gave birth to our child, he didn’t, even if he helped me. I did all of the hard work of bringing a child to us. Then I would say to him that I get to decide what to feed our child because I gave birth to her/him and it is my body. If he disagreed with me and told me what to do, I would tell him, “we need to keep our baby healthy. You like to get smiles from our child. She/He smiles after I nurse her/him and you like it.” Then I would give him the baby and walk away but when she/he cries he’d want me to come back to breastfeed her/him and I would tell my husband he made a good choice.

The author today, 11 years old.


I have had my times where I am scared when my mom breastfeeds in public. I feel like I might be mocked for breastfeeding when I was a baby. I am also scared that after if someone points out my mom breastfeeding they will have a little fight with my mother and that then she will give up and I don’t know what to do. My little sister needs her breastmilk. I’m scared it will also happen to me, that people will judge me that I shouldn’t breastfeed my baby someday in public.

It seems a little strange that my developing breasts are going to be bigger, full of milk with a nipple and a baby on top of it someday. I really don’t want to have big or little boobs when the time comes, just something just right for breastfeeding. 

Earth Baby

Don’t Ever Want To Forget

For our WBW blog carnival on “Perspectives: Breastfeeding From Every Angle” we are pleased to host guest posts from various contributors. Today we are honored to share a beautiful poem from Alex and her memories looking back at her child-led weaning experience when her daughter was 3.5 years old.


Don’t Want to Forget

I don’t ever want to forget

That she called them Waa, and then MommaWaa, and then Yummies, and finally they were her Yums.

That she named them Jack and Jill, and she loved them.

That when I laid her down, the imprint of her ear would be pressed into my arm just below my elbow and I always wanted to be brave enough to get it tattooed there.

I don’t ever want to forget

Her sleep eating.

How angry I felt sometimes, and how I had to learn to listen to what both our bodies needed.

How I thought it would never end, and then it did.

******
A Child-led Weaning

It’s been happening slowly and organically, just the way I had always hoped. Less and less often with occasional bouts of tornado like nursing, reassuring herself, I think, that all was still good in her world.

The day before yesterday I thought it might be coming to an end, this amazing relationship, and I soaked up the warmth of her – the weight in my arms, her ear pressed into the bend of my elbow. The stillness that only belongs to that moment. Then today, when she nursed (due to the natural rules of demand based supply) there was nothing. And miracle beyond all miracles, she was ok!

I told her that her yummies say she is big enough now, she doesn’t need their milk anymore. And so she stood up to check how big she was and then asked if she could hug them outside their bra. Her smile was so happy and full that I had to take pictures. And so we were done.

We baked a cake last night, and Daddy grilled steaks. We put every candle we had on the cake, and we blew them out together, the three of us. It was a group effort all round, this breastfeeding thing.

I do feel as though I have lost one of my tools. What about her runny nose? What do I do next time she has the flu? Dehydration? I’ve never had to worry about that!

And I feel proud! Proud of her and me and us. I was scared from the get go that breastfeeding wouldn’t work for me. My body lets me down sometimes, and I feel like I don’t stick with things that are hard. But I did it, and it really is empowering. I feel as though I have birthed again. An end to one stage, one I cannot go back and revisit, but with it the sure knowledge that I have done a good thing and she is full.

Baby Belle Girl, I wish that all your transitions could be this good. That I could know that you have had your fill, are completely satisfied and are ready to go. I hope I can always let go and know that now I’ve done what I needed to do. Mama’s so proud of you.

Alex’s Daughter.

Perspectives: Breastfeeding through Children’s Eyes Art Project

Yesterday I had an idea. That idea has turned into something I’m very excited about.

Children see and understand more than we give them credit for. They are also more accepting, curious but uninhibited in their quest for understanding. I love that about kids. It can also be a little bit maddening but when I take the time to really see and try to experience the world from my children’s perspective I am overwhelmed at the simple beauty they take time to appreciate but I often rush by.


As adults, we love to wax poetic on the things that are important to us. So much so that we can go on and on and on about our favorite topics and we won’t be happy until we’re sure we’ve shared it with everyone in the world. Not only shared it, but have them agreeing with us, telling us we are absolutely right. Children also love to talk about their passions but they move on quickly, finding other ways to connect with their passions including creative play and art.


This week we are taking a look at some of the many different perspectives on breastfeeding and one that we want to hold high is breastfeeding from the perspective of children. Using art, any medium, any form, children of all ages are invited to send in their art work expressing how they see breastfeeding, what they think of breastfeeding, and how breastfeeding makes them feel. It can be abstract or literal, a painting or a sculpture, comic strip or a dance. Take a picture (or video if it is a dance or song) and send it to theleakyboob {@} theleakyboob {DOT} com. Visual art will be entered into a contest as we search for a child’s artwork to be breastfeeding note cards. The winner will receive a set of their note cards and additional cards will be available for sale through The Leaky B@@b and Paper Mama to benefit Best For Babes.

children on breastfeedingWe want to see any and all artistic expressions of breastfeeding your child creates but here are the guidelines and some tips for an entry to be considered for the contest.

  • Colorful images work best and are most eye catching.
  • If possible, scan the original artwork on a scanner. If that isn’t possible, take as high a quality photo you can with natural lighting, no shadows, and crop to eliminate distractions in the background.
  • Bigger may be better as it is easier to scale an image down than to make it bigger and we want to be able to see your child’s work well.
  • Only visual art, not performance art, can be considered for the contest but please don’t let that stop you from sending in a poem, dance, or song your child creates about breastfeeding.
  • Multiple submissions by the same artist and family are welcomed.
  • The deadline is August 9th for a submission to be considered for the contest but we will gladly enjoy seeing your child’s art any time.

Waldorf crayon drawing breastfeedingI look forward to seeing the world of breastfeeding from your children’s perspective.