Monday, February 18, 2008

Breast Feeding

Breast Feeding. In Headline News several years ago, I read that Actress Salma Hayek's daughter Valentina Paloma turned one year old. But like other Mothers before her, Heyek was loathe to give up breastfeeding as Valentina was thriving so beautifully.

Many mothers learned, as I learned when I was breastfeeding my first baby, it is good to wait until the baby can drink from a cup, rather than to wean him/her to a bottle from her/his mother's milk and then from the bottle to a cup.

As most of us have been taught, there are very good reasons to breast feed: It is natural and the very best nutrition for babies, as well as important for bonding and economics, just to name a few.
And most importantly, to remember the first milk in the breast, colostrum is the medication and nutrition the newborn baby needs.

Salma Hayek, a spokesperson for UNICEF, discovered another good reason to keep her breast milk flowing during her visit to Sierra Leone in September 2008.

In an effort to encourage West African women to breastfeed, the actress/humanitarian offered a sick baby boy the greatest gift of all -- milk from her own breast. After she's fed the baby, it was suggested that Hayek had been disloyal to her own baby by sharing her milk? Hayek decides that she has done something good for both babies. "My baby would be very proud to be able to share her milk," she says. It seems that Hayek's unselfish giving of her breast milk is a bit of a family tradition.

She tells the story of her own great-grandmother breast feeding a stranger's hungry child on a street in Mexico. It's a beautiful story made more so by Hayek's own gift to a hungry little baby.

The question asked at the end of the story asked: If you ever found yourself in a position to do so, would you breastfeed another woman's child? Would you allow your child to feed at another woman's breast? My answer is “yes” to both questions. Of course I would!

This story reminded me of a story in my life I had not thought about for a long time. My sister-in-law, Ruth Mitchem Baird and I were pregnant at the same time. My daughter Janice was born on June 3 and her daughter Gail was born on June 14 of the same year.

One day three month old Janice and I were visiting my mother while my mother was baby sitting Gail for my sister-in-law who had a doctor’s appointment. For some reason Ruth was delayed past Gail’s regular meal time. When Gail began to let us know it was getting past her dinner time, Mama turned to me and said, “You can feed her.”

I was young and frankly shocked and looked at my Mother questioning? “Sure it is alright and a good thing to do,” my wise mother assured me. So my beautiful little neice Gail was happy to accept milk from my breast while her mother was away and I had plenty of milk for Janice’s next feeding.


Carol said...

I just LOVE hearing these stories, Mother. Please, please, please keep writing them!

janice said...

I read the article about Salma and was impressed with her common sense. I had never heard the story about you nursing Gail. Thanks for telling us about that, mother. Except for Salma's story we probably would never have heard about your experience and it is wonderful to hear all your stories.

Anonymous said...

thank u........................................

WaltzingMtilda said...

Heck, I wouldn't even breastfeed my own kids.

Having said that...I think this is sweet. If presented with such a need I'd like to think I'd step up to the plate.

Great story! : )