Izzy (and Mama) Eat: The Gourmand Grows up...

Tales of Empty Nesting ...The Next Chapter

Sunday, March 2, 2008

A Rare Afternoon Without Izzy: The Business Of Being Born

Izzy was off frolicking with his Papa while I went to see a local screening of Ricki Lake's compelling new documentary film, "The Business of Being Born." Her personal experiences with a hospital birth and then a home birth were the impetus for her to produce this important work. She wanted to explore the birth options women have and expose the sad state of birth in the United States.

What, you ask, does this have to do with Izzy eating? Well watching it reminded me of how one's birth experience can directly impact an infant's ability to breastfeed. Breastfeeding may not be easy at first as a result of certain birth experiences but I encourage mothers to persist in their attempts. Breast milk is nature's perfect food and should be considered as the best option whenever possible.

In the same way that many women can't conceive of the idea of natural childbirth, they also may not consider breastfeeding. Our culture is duped into believing that hospital births and formula are what's best for babies, when nothing could be further from the truth.

Breastfeeding is ideal for all babies. Aside from the bonding aspect and the well-known health benefits for both mother and child, babies who are breastfed are being exposed to more flavors than those who are formula fed. The taste and consistency of breast milk vary, depending upon what the mother has eaten. Formula, on the other hand, is one dimensional, never wavering in flavor or consistency. Breast milk is the clear winner when it comes to shaping a child's palate. If you eat garlic, the baby tastes it. If you have fish, they taste that too. What better way to expose those young tastebuds to deliciousness?

The movie brought back memories of nursing newborn Izzy, knowing that despite the pain, I was giving him the best food on earth. I had a very difficult time with breastfeeding but I was determined to make it work. Feeding was my greatest expression of love and still is, as I strive to ccok and provide Izzy with healthy, good-tasting foods.

1 comment:

Joseph Bayot said...

This is a great post for any mothers and especially for those who believe that formula is an adequate substitute.

It's something my sister (and I because of her) feels strongly about, not only because of the health benefits but also because of the closeness and connection it brings with one's child.

It's something Michael Pollan writes about in his latest book (a great read by the way). He writes that it's the prime example of industry's failure to imitate a natural food. They keep trying to add on vitamins and minerals but have never gotten it right, just like many other food-like products.