Thursday, January 19, 2012

the Milk truck: A Mobile Breastfeeding Unit. I Can't Believe She Actually Made The WHOLE Thing (Video)

I first read about the completion of this "Mobile Breastfeeding Device" in an article on women's enews last week, saying it has been on display for now, but its owner, Jill Miller, is attempting to apply for non-profit status to allow for full-time usage. I've heard so many different responses and opinions on this, mostly from nursing mothers who ridicule the artwork, saying it does exactly the opposite of what they challenge; making a spectacle out of breastfeeding in public.

I expressed my thoughts on this before, and though I believe Ms. Miller is a well-intentioned breastfeeding advocate, just can't see how this can progress the cause. I still believe it too easily allows for women and other supporters to acquiesce to challenging the stigma of public nursing, is divisive, and does not allow access for everyone who would be caught in a situation where they could use this. Oh, and there's only one of them -- so if there's two hungry babies across town, watch out!

But regardless of what anyone says, there was obviously enough support, since it took over $10,000 in cold, hard cash to get it up and running -- a project funded via donations through  the Kickstarter program, and who knows how many others threw in a couple of bucks, for the over $15,000 of total money raised.

But, if you're in the Pittsburgh area and happen to see this contraption rolling around with a large PINK breast atop, btw, get a glimpse of its fancy chairs and shag carpet, the next thing that may come to your mind is the saying "All that glitters ain't gold!" Or maybe you'll scratch your head and wonder why they don't just enforce their rights on the law that supports public breastfeeding in Pennsylvania. But that's just my take.

Just in case you need a reminder. .

       To posts. 
It's free and there's NO SPAM!

Organic Mother's Milk

I went to the store to buy bread, bananas and a few other things and happened down the tea aisle. I thought a nice hot cup sounded so good, of course, and when I picked out a box of Chocolate Yerba Mate saw the Organic Mother's Milk. I supposed just like the Fenugreek, I got a bit over zealous and thought I'd have some handy. You know, just in case.

Well, it doesn't expire until August 2014, and someone's bound to get thirsty and want to increase their milk supply at the same time, too, right?

What other teas out there are specific to lactation?

Nestle Milk Chocolate MORSELS

This one slipped upon me. And when I say slipped, I mean I can't even believe it happened! 
After I've prided myself on being extremely careful to make sure I steer clear from Nestle products, I was looking for vegan chocolate chips for ingredients for the pie I was making for my review of Vegan Soul Kitchen, and saw these were at least 300% cheaper. They were overstocked and priced to sell and that's what caught my eye. I didn't even realize what I was doing. 

I had been munching on these all along and it wasn't until after several days had passed and as I made my way to the bottom of the bag is when it hit me.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Prescription Infant Formula, and White Privilege and Inequality. OH MY!

Well, apparently I'm a racist, hateful and clueless Bitch, who just doesn't "Get it!" according to the near 60 people who chimed in. Keep in mind this was before one of the admins of the Target Nurse-in page deleted the article I attached to the facebook wall -- which is truly unfortunate, or I'm sure there would have been more 'words of wisdom' with my name doused in blood all over them. And that's exactly what I told them in a second post on censorship, encouraging them to look outside of their normal viewpoint just before that was also deleted, but not before a threat to kick me off of the page entirely. But that's OK, since I guess it's all part of the process. I've been called worse, and being labeled a racist is the least of my concerns.

The blog post last week on infant formula as a prescription and its implications -- which is perhaps an understatement, or I most likely would not be writing a successive on the topic (Something I chose only to do because of a friend's comment, btw. Thanks, L). More specifically, it was an article dealing with infant formula as a prescription -- where someone suggested they were in the process of starting a petition that required infant formula be available only via a Dr. or someone authorized to practice medicine. Yes, Enfamil, Similac, Good Start, Nature's One, K-Mart, Costco -- and any other brand that comes to mind, would require a Drs visit, co-pay, written prescription, a trip to the pharmacy, and any other implications you can think of. But that's not all. They also suggested this medical source provide the 'low down' on the formula to the recipient -- a consultation. Something of that sort.

As I said before I'm sure this person was nothing but well-intentioned, no doubt. But expressing distaste for this was not a very popular thing to do, as many let on. At least not through the lens I did it. And to top it off I "had the audacity" to bring race into an area "where it doesn't belong," according to one comment  -- as if no one's ever talked about breastfeeding and race before. But apparently I was the only one who decided not to gloss over the situation and cut straight to the chase about the outright injustice in this suggestion -- or saw how such a measure would not work towards liberation, getting us to a place of true justice and equality and allow us to make informed decisions, but would only support a micro scope of the underclass, with a power dynamic fueled largely by the system of racism, sexism, classism, and white supremacy.

Now, I'm not apologizing for -- nor do I for one moment regret writing that article (let's not get it twisted), but I found it interesting that from all the racket generated, not one person examined the underlying content before they started in on the attacks, fueled by their emotions, or paused for one second to see how they continuously support it -- the unbalanced power structure. No one mentioned how this increasingly institutionalized system is fortified with our awesome ability to overlook what's right in front of us. And how this intersects the realm of breastfeeding, which inevitably plays a part in who does and does not have access to this natural benefit they're so passionate about; one they protested for when their right to do so freely in public spaces was threatened -- a stand I also took, which is what brought us all together in this cyber meeting place.

Not one person mentioned the social scale that operates under the auspices of whiteness, one that measures everyone by a white aesthetic, and how this is normalized in our society and internalized by countless others. No one mentioned how white bodies have been predominately celebrated in society, and how white women have historically and contemporarily been lifted on a pedestal and signified as the one true marker of beauty even in the breastfeeding realm and breastfeeding texts -- while women Of Color are constantly demoralized, our infant feeding traditions made invisible, and our bodies stigmatized. Or how Black women continue to be regarded as unworthy and immoral -- along with our so-called inability to find husbands, and keep a partner. No one criticized the role whiteness plays in affording unfair advantages in society dealing with education and employment, access to resources and other "privileges" such as not facing such types of discrimination which leads to jobs, and those jobs lead to access -- health insurance, which would cover the cost of infant formula and those other "luxuries" associated with it like co-pay, transportation, gas money. No one talked about how the demonization of NON-whites extends to our households and how this racialized oppression affects who is even in the homeand renders who is afforded the ability to sit around and think about nothing more than nursing a baby. Or who'll be vilified when the culmination of personal stress from social hardships and other disadvantages that hinders a woman's ability to provide breastmilk, when infant formula becomes commodified, then contraband. Or not stopping to think of how these favoritisms based on race and class is what allows someone from such a privileged positionality to even suggest such an request, and stopping to gauge just who could make such a suggestion and who can't. Who this would benefit and who it won't. Which communities this would affect most and which ones it won't. And went "too far"?!

Constructing an image of a privileged white family from this hypothetical law on infant formula provided the opportunity to open up dialogue on the way our society is fueled by color and culture contention, injustice and inequality, and how this affects our overall breastfeeding outcomes. I'm not saying everyone can identify with an image of privilege to such an extreme as driving around in a BMW, living in a large home, having a maid and not having to work. Nor am I saying many who face hardships cannot advocate mother's milk. I'm not even suggesting that women and people in these communities Of Color are not staunch breastfeeding proponents who do not have access to resources or who may even be in favor of such a measure, as some are, I'm sure. But what I am saying is the role race and privilege play outside of the breastfeeding arena is dealt the same hand inside, with discrepancies that would weigh heaviest on the most vulnerable members of our population -- the people who fall the furthest OUTSIDE of the so-called 'normalized trajectory'. And overlooking this does nothing except continue a cycle of domination that will not enable us to work at the foundation, leveling the playing field, making it possible for all to have equal access to resources and information that would enable everyone to become agents of their own change; these changes which would lead down a road of true empowerment that increases our knowledge and understanding, breasfeeding rates and inevitably the holistic health of our communities. Being pro-breastfeeding does not mean anti-formula. We must look at a larger picture

I'll post this over at the Target Nurse-in page of course, and they'll get mad and call me names right before they delete it and me, no doubt. However, I'll stand firm on my belief that it is only through the continual examination and critique of the ways racism, class elitism, white supremacy and any other system of oppression that lurk deep at the foundation of our society and interferes with our ability to appreciate other people, colors, and cultures outside of our own, is when we will truly be able to make greater strides in our breastfeeding endeavors. And, as Zora Neale Hurston, a woman who I have come to know and fiercely admire, once said and something I have internalized; "If you are silent about your pain, they'll kill you and say you enjoyed it." I won't stop talking!

The Breast Milk Baby Doll (Video)

I always like to find the male perspective on breastfeeding -- or in this video, on the Breast Milk doll. I just think it provides a viewpoint from perspectives on those who are usually not seen as interested in, or who many believe are not supposed to be concerned in breatfeeding or breastmilk. And regardless of anyone's opinion on this creation, I have to say he makes a point. For all who oppose, is it not strange in the first place to view a child as a parent?

Why would we enculturate our children with the normalization of infant formula instead? What are your thoughts?

Would you allow your son/daughter to play with or have one of these?

         To posts. 
It's free and there's NO SPAM!

The Nipple Milk Jug?: Oh. Em. Gee.!!

I won't even post an image here because I'm just all kinds of grossed out! So here's a link and you can see for yourself the hideous thing that gave me goosebumps and forced me to have a shot of rum. There's even a video on YouTube, where you can sit around and watch it drip milk in the presence of kittens, which I guess is part of the stimuli said to trigger the production.

Well, it's definitely unlike any other, and I would love to know what possessed its designer, Christine Chin, to come up with a pitcher/jug complete with nipples surrounding the piece -- its even got hair at the bottom. To me, it's not one of things that make you go "hmmmmm," but "what the hell was she thinking?" I'm almost sorry I found this while on the feminist site minding my own beeswax, just before I clicked. But apparently I'm not the only one whose skin crawled, since ca designs called it "The absolute WORST, most horrifying, ugliest product we've seen possibly in our entire lives"-- and the feministe blog uttered something along those same lines, and I agree. It's so disgusting I can't even stop laughing. Ya, I support mammary glands and milk production, but come on now, a nipple milk jug?  Really? Well, I'm sure someone attracted to this God-awful thing will get a kick out of it, but that someone just ain't me. For real. Seriously, though. yuck!

Sunday, January 8, 2012


THE DANCE CLAIMED ME: A BIOGRAPHY OF PEARL PRIMUS, is written by professor of dance, Peggy Schwartz, and Literature teacher, Murray Schwartz, who are well-qualified to write on behalf of this icon, since their personal relationship with Ms. Primus, meeting her at the University of Massachusetts, is what prompted this story of her life. In it they tell of a phenomenal woman, whose determination to impact those around her was unveiled unshaken.

Peggy Schwartz recently said everyone should know of Pearl Primus' life, which is what this husband and wife duo set out to do, as they gathered stories from friends, acquaintances and of course drew from their own precious memories to construct this timeline. They share pictures and images from their own personal collection as well as others, showing Pearl in childhood, in dance, and throughout various sectors of her personal and private life.

This text is carefully crafted and arranged in a chronology that takes us on a journey from Pearl's birth in Trinidad and Tobago through her childhood and family's migration to New York, her education and influence, trips around the world and finally her death and "Return to Sea." THE DANCE CLAIMED ME also allows readers to almost feel the rhythm in Pearls dances and the beautiful, grueling dance rehearsals.

But Peggy and Murray both show us that Pearl Primus was more than simply a woman on stage, through garnering such respect and making such an impact that rendered her powerful -- at least enough for an investigative launch by the FBI, even as she continued to face difficulties that included having her body stigmatized and told on several occasions it just wasn't the correct type, and a fascinating gender switch, allowing her to dance in a specific culture.

THE DANCE CLAIMED ME: A BIOGRAPHY OF PEARL PRIMUS is without a doubt certain to impact women, Black women, anthropologists, non-anthropologists, dancers, and countless others.

I had trouble writing this review. In fact, it was difficult, and has been the most challenging reviews I have written so far. To try and extract what I believe the most relevant and intriguing information to bring to my audience, was complicated. Pearl Primus (November, 1919 - October, 1994) had a fascinating life. In her brief 74 years she managed to accomplish what some could not in two, maybe three lifetimes. And looking at what she did and how she did it only adds to the sense of wonderment felt towards her. Secondly, Pearl was a perfectionist. In her dance and form it must be one hundred percent in her dancing, even refusing to allow their duplication if the exact inflection could not be extracted and conveyed by dancers. Finally, it would be cruel to view the life of Pearl Primus, astonished by her many adversities and enthralled with her accomplishments and label her another "Strong Black Woman". Yes, that would be at the very least tragic, which may be the reason I began this book, read half-way though and set it down, only to return to it some time later.

I didn't know much about Ms. Primus before I read this text. The limited amount I did knew came as a result of moderating Black Feminist Anthropology's Facebook fan page where, after searching for articles to post, came across information, but it was still very limited. As Johnetta B. Cole spoke of looking for other Black women in the discipline, our "Sheroes," I knew what she meant. But if it wasn't enough to find a Black woman in a discipline where our numbers are few, there's a feeling I get when I learn of someone who puts forth such an effort to positively impact society. This feeling is intensified of course, when this person is a mother, an academic, a world traveler, an influence, a teacher, "Grandmother of Black Dance", while still to many remaining an enigma.  
Dance is my medicine. It is the scream which eases for a while the terrible frustration common to all human beings who, because of race, creed, or color, are "invisible." Dance is the fist with which I fight the sickening ignorance of prejudice. It is the veiled attempt I feel for those who patronize with false smiles, handouts, empty promises, insecure compliments. Instead of growing twisted like a gnarled tree inside myself, I am able to dance out my anger and tears.     

Dancing is not a luxury. It is a weapon. In Pearl Primus' case, against injustice and to produce more cultural awareness and understanding. Pearl Primus has a remarkable story; one we may not have heard had it not been for so many willing to share their memories, and for two friends who obviously care a great deal about her. To reiterate Peggy Schwartz "Everyone should know about her life!" And I agree. Pearl Primus is a Shero! One who has not only transformed anthropology, but academia, dance, culture -- lives. And while I criticize the racism that hindered her from pursuing her initial dream of becoming a medical doctor, I wonder if she would have touched lives the way she did. I am thrilled to be part of a discipline where such a woman preceded me; uncompromising in her beliefs and unyielding in her efforts and determination. And as I aspire to add my contribution towards a great level of justice I can only hope to be as impacting as someone who said "I dance not to entertain but to help people better understand each other. Because through dance I have experienced the worldless joys of freedom, I seek it more fully now for my people, and for all people everywhere." I am thrilled to have had a chance to learn more about her through this text!

Year: 2011
Cloth: 35.00
Genre: Biography
Pages: 352
ISBN: 9780300155341

Thank you, Yale University Press, for providing a copy of THE DANCE CLAIMED ME: A BIOGRAPHY OF PEARL PRIMUS, for this review.

Note: All opinions are my own and honest, and I am not compensated by the publisher!

Trade Books for Free - PaperBack Swap.


VEGAN SOUL KITCHEN: FRESH, HEALTHY, AND CREATIVE AFRICAN-AMERICAN CUISINE is a cookbook written by Eco-chef and food justice activist, Bryant Terry, who is also author of the newly released THE INSPIRED VEGAN: Seasonal Ingredients, Creative Recipes, Mouthwatering Menus, and co-author of Grub: Ideas for an Urban Organic Kitchen.

Bryant Terry believes a plant-based diet can be beneficial in health and social justice, and encourages readers to make an attempt at this, while sharing the ideas from a book that he says is not health, but "Real Food." In this text he explains the inspiration for these recipes stem from his Memphis, Tennessee upbringing and world travel, with dishes centered around traditional African cuisine, which are reworked with "African, Caribbean, Native American and European staples."

 Each recipe in VEGAN SOUL KITCHEN is easily described, crafted with care and lists a music and art selection, along with a small autobiography. VEGAN SOUL KITCHEN is not a text that requires an extensive knowledge of culinary arts (whew), and offers ideas that are pretty simple and easy to implement. 

When I was growing up, holidays were not holidays without soul food, and I always anticipated the moment dinner was done and mustard and collard greens, hot water bread, fried catfish, baked turkey, my grandma's dressing, okra, banana pudding, sweet potato pie, and lemon cake arrived at the table. I haven't had that food in a while, but I can almost smell it now. But even when I removed meat from my diet for nearly10 years (vegan for a short time), it never occurred to me there was any such thing as vegan soul food (And apparently I wasn't the only one who thought this)! So I was both surprised and excited to find this book!

In mid 2011 -- June, I embarked on a conscious-raising endeavor by returning to a plant-based vegetarian diet. My thoughts and reasons for returning to this lifestyle were much different than in previous years, and my efforts to look at food and social justice -- food justice, as it relates to access, the environment, and cross-cultural awareness were at the forefront. And of course examining these through a holistic viewpoint was unquestionable, even while exploring this text. But often when I hear the words 'food justice' and 'vegan' in the same sentence, I tend to get a bit skeptical. OK, I tend to get a lot skeptical! I don't think my skepticism is unfounded, since in my opinion, it seems that folks talk about the idea of "eating towards justice" but fail to recognize or to acknowledge the role social inequality plays in access to these resources and lifestyle they promote -- so this food justice, in my eyes, becomes "Justice for who?" Although this text was not filled with full segments on these topics besides some brief information before the recipes, my initial appreciation for Bryant Terry's approach came before this book even arrived -- through a brief conversion via Twitter, where he, (@bryantterry), acknowledged that food choices and practices are not a "one size fits all" approach, when I decided to share some of my thoughts along with a bit of that skepticism on food choices, cultural traditions, social inequality and how all of that relates to exactly who is eating what.

From what I have experienced, it is rare from someone who promotes a plant-based lifestyle to look at more holistic circumstances. It seems more often than not vegans display a linear outlook, and outside experiences are not too often taken into consideration; too many too often disregard the differences in perspectives, capabilities, cultures. Bryant Terry's explanation allowed an appreciation for his relative standpoint, recognizing people and their experiences vary -- "No single way of eating is perfect for everyone." He also acknowledged that although in some cases a vegan diet has been shown to be beneficial in health and social circumstances, it is not everyone's ideal and definitely not a "fix all" approach to the many social and health disparities that exist. VEGAN SOUL KITCHEN encourages readers to fix this up in their own way, even adding meat products if they desire -- something I may have done if I was a big meat eater, but I'm not.  And even though I wanted to try just about every dish, I didn't, and I also stuck to the original recipes for a lovely, what was called in a restaurant I once work in, "Soup, Salad, and Bakery," followed by an awesome dessert. But I couldn't help starting with something from the "Sound Bites: Appetizers. Starters. Snacks" section, and although I put the name of tracks that were recommended with each dish in this review, I must admit Tracy Chapman was playing most of the time I was in the kitchen!

Black-Eyed Pea Fritters w/Hot Pepper Sauce
Soundtrack: "I.T.T., Pt. 2" by Fela Kuti from The Best Best of Fela Kuti

The instructions are to soak the peas overnight, and agitate them while submerged in water and allowing the skins to rise to the top. I would really love to get some advice on that because that did not completely do the trick over here, though when I think of it the next day the peas were no longer completely submerged in water, so that could have been the culprit. But I doubled this recipe, which calls for one cup, so as you can imagine hand-skinning all of those individual peas was no joke! It was a grueling task that seemed to take forever, but with a little help from my sister, I traversed! I think I got a little excited with these and accidentally added the orange pepper (instead of green) and the cornmeal to the mix before processing. Fortunately things worked out!

Skinned peas
Black-Eyed Pea Fritters after processing -- before frying (in coconut oil)
Making Hot Pepper Sauce
They were 'Da Bomb!,' according to everyone who tried them!
Uncle Don's Double Mustard Greens and Roasted Yam Soup From the section "Top Six Good Eats: You Gotta Remind Me" (Because you must make at least one of the author's favorite dishes)
Soundtrack: "I Can't Stand the Rain" by Ann Pebbles from Brand New Classics

Uncle Don's Ingredients
Simple Stock soup base ingredients on the stove 

Chilled And Grilled Okra, Corn, and Heirloom Tomato Salad 
Soundtrack: "Relax Max" by Dinah Washington from The Swingin' Miss "D"
From the chapter "Mix Plates: Salads. Slaws. Dressings" 

Sweet Cornmeal-Coconut Butter Drop Biscuits
Soundtrack: "Turn Left" by Little Dragon from Little Dragon
From the chapter "Daily Bread: Biscuits, Cakes, Cornbread."

Even when they were in the oven, they smelled like they would taste heavenly. And I was right! Though my only critique is the cornmeal -- I could really feel the hard particles when I chewed, and I'm sure I followed the instructions, so I'm still wondering about that. These flew off of that plate faster than I have probably ever seen anything EVER! And on the night I made these, I put my 6-year-old nephew to bed and while doing so (I didn't even mention these biscuits, btw), he asked if he could have more in the morning. That says a lot!!

Lavender Lemonade 
Soundtrack "Lavender Woman" by Nat Adderly from Live at Memory Lane
From the chapter "Hydro Game: Drinks"

I really enjoyed making Lavender Lemonade! I love with all things lavender but had never actually had a food product made from it. The subtle hint of the herb made it just enough to make this an exquisite drink, but I would recommend adding just a tad more simple syrup than the recipe calls for, and according to my sister, leave the wedges out of the final batch since to her, it made the mix sort of 'rindy' tasting when the lemonade was refrigerated overnight. But everyone was so impressed with this and talked about it days later!


And a yummy treat, of course. Chocolate Pecan Pudding Pie 
Soundtrack: "Pillz" by Jaylib from Champion Sound
From the chapter "Sweet Thangs: Desserts. Candies. Ambrosial Treats."

Social consciousness without fundamentalism, along with recipes that are not only easy to make, but often with ingredients that are usually in my kitchen means I have no 'beef' with this book.  Pun intended! I am so happy for the chance to have explored this real cookbook -- filled with delicious "Bright, Bold, and Sexy Soul Food," and I can't wait to cook from his other texts.

AuthorBryant Terry
Publisher: De Capo Press
Year: 2009
Paperback: 18.95
Genre: Nutrition/Cookbook
Pages: 256
ISBN: 978-0738212289

Thank you, De Capo press, for providing a copy of VEGAN SOUL KITCHEN: FRESH, HEALTHY, AND CREATIVE AFRICAN-AMERICAN CUISINE, for this review.

Note: All opinions are my own and honest, and I am not compensated by the publisher!

Trade Books for Free - PaperBack Swap.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

'b' is for BREASTFEEDING: A Call For Photos

I am looking for women of African Descent and their supporters to submit photos of themselves while engaged in the act of breastfeeding. It can be any photo you'd like, from the past or a current photo -- the time period does not matter. You are also able to send images of someone you know (a family member, for example) so long as you have their permission to do this. Please send images of you feeding your infant by yourself, with a partner, spouse, significant other, or another situation you'd like to incorporate into this project.

My friend, an artist and expert in collage-making, and I have decided to make a collage celebrating women of African descent and our breastfeeding traditions throughout history and up until our current times. The project will be posted to this website, so you can see your contributions of course, and the actual art work will be on display in areas where we work at encouraging more breastfeeding among our community members.

I encourage you to send your name along with a date or approximate date of the image (so you'll be in the credits, if selected). I also encourage you to share a concise story -- no more than one paragraph, detailing the contents of the image for my best attempt to gather and present the collective story through photo elicitation.

Please note: I will NOT accept images copied or suggested from the internet unless you own them! 

Disclaimer: By submitting an image to: lactationjourney(at)hotmail(dot)com, you certify that you own or have permission to distribute the image. I am not able to provide any compensation, nor make any guarantees that any particular image will be selected or not selected for the project. You also must be OK knowing your image has the potential to be featured on a blog, website or other type of public display. 

You are beautiful and so is your story. Please share it! And please share this post!

All images are to be addressed to: lactationjourney(at)hotmail(dot)com.

Deadline is April 5, 2012.

Even The Buddha's Son Nursed

I watched a documentary on YouTube called Buddha - A Documentary About Buddhism, that showed the life of the Buddha. Among the story of his venture from boyhood and being sheltered, to adulthood and finding his spiritual path, I was surprised to find this man was married AND that he had a child! It never occurred to me to place this figure in a father or husband role before. Well, inevitably there were images of the Buddha's family -- his wife and child, Rhaul -- and the part of the story right before he left everything, determining his quest for truth and search to alleviate suffering was imminent, of course caught my attention. His wife lay there peaceful with their son at her breast, as he looked upon the sleeping two just before his journey. Whether this is exactly the way things happened or not, is very powerful and telling, and of course merited me pausing the documentary and taking the screenshot that you see here.

As for the Buddha, according to this documentary his mother died during his infancy when he was just one week old, so he did not nurse from her for long, if at all if she was ill and unable to do so in the meantime. There was no infant formula 2,600 years ago when he was born, and as far as I know no other types of supplements. This got me wondering more about the story of him as a baby, and what wet-nursing was like at that time, because of course I wondered where he received his milk.

Fenugreek at Freddy's

I did some grocery shopping at Fred Meyer the other day, while buying ingredients to make recipes with a friend. As always, the bulk section saved my life but as I was measuring and writing down price codes and labels I found something I wasn't even looking for -- Fenugreek! I decided to purchase a small amount.

I've heard of many women talking about it, and according to, "Fenugreek is a medicinal herb that may help increase the production of breastmilk for nursing women and may help lower blood sugar levels, according to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. This herb may help increase breastmilk because the glands that produce milk are modified sweat glands and the herb may increase sweat production"

I have no immediate use for this, but I guess in the back of my mind I'm secretly hoping if someone ever complained about low milk production, and asked me about it I would have some on hand. Then I'd follow one of the many instructions found here for preparation, and viola -- a happy baby and mama, right?!

Maybe that will happen. Maybe it won't. One day, I'm sure. But for now I'm not going to sit around wondering about it too much. It'll be here if anyone asks.


A couple of hours after I finished this short post, I came back to admit I am omitting information, which somewhat skews the purpose of my Fenugreek purchase. The truth is I did just happen to see the Fenugreek at Fred Meyer in the bulk section as I was shopping for ingredients to make dinner with my friend. I was surprised to see it there since I had never dealt with this herb before. As I saw it and picked up the bottle to scoop out and measure my purchase, I had in my mind that if I was lucky enough, someone I know who just had a baby just a few months ago, and who is bottle-feeding because of a low milk supply, would benefit. I did not actively look for remedies and I would never just bring it up to her for fear that I would seem as if I'm not trusting her position or her judgement that she knows what is best for her situation. I do not know what she deals with or how she feels about the situation and her feeding choice is not my call. I also worried that I would seem pushy. I was hoping that while seeing her we would somehow get on the conversation of her low milk production and I would have Fenugreek on hand so she could try this remedy and initiate re-lactation and provide her new baby with her milk. But so far this has not happened.

         To posts. 
It's free and there's NO SPAM!

Prescriptions REQUIRED for Infant Formula? Say WHAT?

Someone from the Target Nurse-in facebook page that was created as a meeting place for the recent nation-wide protest that happened last week, made a suggestion. The suggestion, one I'm still trying to wrap my brain around, was that infant formula be available only via prescription, and this person not only believed formula be available only through a doctor's order, but has already initiated a process to get this in place -- she said she was in the process of getting a petition together to begin gathering signatures. Now, I won't immediately go into my ideas on this one since to be fair, I'm sure she had all the best intentions in the world.

I'm sure she's a nursing mother, or someone who has nursed one child or more and knows the benefits of breastfeeding and the bond it creates. That's fair to say, I'm sure. Good for her! Maybe she knows that infant formula is unfairly marketed to women, often in lower socio-ecomic statuses, communities Of Color, and that its ingredients are no match for mother's milk. Yes, this is all possible. As the staunch breastfeeding advocate she is, it is not unreasonable to assume this.

Here are just a few other details I can imagine.

She is probably a white woman. A heterosexual white woman married to a heterosexual white man. She is probably a stay-at-home mother, and her formally educated husband, no doubt, goes to work everyday -- well, Monday through Friday at least to you know, bring home the bacon. Every morning he probably pulls his sports car, maybe a BMW, from their three-car garage attached to their nice big house that sits inside of a gated community -- probably in the hills, and drives to his job. On the way he makes several cell phone calls to discuss things like rates, finances -- interest, before arriving at the office where he sits behind a computer all day and drinks wine and expensive meals at lunch time, engaging a corporate business partner on ways to increase profits and productivity. Probably.

This beautifully crafted white family with a stay-at-home mother and a formally educated husband probably have people helping out who have English as a second language, probably have Brown skin or darker, and come on a weekly or more frequent basis to mow the lawn, and help the stay-at-home mother tend to her children, leaving their own in the care of others. The beautiful white family eats dinner together -- a meal not prepared by the stay-at-home mother. Oh no. She is there on the sidelines -- in the background of whoever it is making this dinner. She may be off sewing, nursing her children in another part of the nice big house, out shopping or who knows, maybe she's at a breastfeeding support group, where all of the other women -- the other stay-at-home mothers whose husbands are also at work, sit in a circle and talk about how wonderful it is they can nurse their babies. They've never had any issues with a baby not being able to latch, low milk production, or any other social or health barriers. Great!

This couple probably has top-of-the-line health insurance -- the best one you can think of, and an extremely small co-pay, if one at all. If there's ever an emergency trip to the hospital they have no problem paying a deductible, or even GETTING to the location of course, since their fancy, fast car usually parked in their three-car garage attached to their nice big house inside of the gated community that sits on a hill, can be used at any time. They need not worry about waiting for a specific time of day or a schedule for the bus, walk long distances to the pharmacy, call and wait for an expensive taxi, or worry about the high cost of gas, since funding for all of these are taken care of by the labor of those workers in a rank lower than the husband's, and others -- those who more than likely cannot afford the nice big house in a gated community, sports car that would get them anywhere at any time -- even to the Dr's office, top-of-the-line health insurance -- the best one you can think of, the money for the co-pay or deductible, just the same as this beautiful white family with a stay-at-home mom, her formally educated husband who has a great job, top-of-the-line health insurance -- yes, the best you can think of, with little or no co-pay, and lives inside of a nice big house in a gated community in the hills, with a fancy, fast car parked inside of their freakin' three-car garage.