Thursday, April 8, 2010

Latching On

In follow up to my post about the dismal US breastfeeding statistics reported in the Washington Post, there is a new documentary film out titled, 'Latching On'. I haven't seen it yet, but it is a brilliant idea. She discusses her sister's experience as a breastfeeding mother, beginning in Germany where she delivered her baby and where women breastfeed anywhere and everywhere, and ending in New York City, where spotting a breastfeeding mother is as rare as spotting a unicorn.

I'm always proud of my Muslim sisters who overcome sometimes great odds to breastfeed their children. When I travel to the Muslim world, I am also surprised at how openly women in these modest cultures breastfeed their children. Even in the stricter countries, where gender segregation is imposed in public, breastfeeding is still the norm. This study from Australia compared breastfeeding rates amongst Australian, Vietnamese, and Turkish women in Australia. Turkish women had the highest rates of breastfeeding initiation. I pray that this is a legacy we can leave the world with, that breastfeeding children, is a norm and a divine duty of the mother, and that it does not have to be difficult or even hidden.

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