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Raw new ad shows the reality of early breastfeeding in all its messy, exhausting glory

Over my own 20+ years of motherhood, I've written a lot about breastfeeding. My mom was a lactation consultant, I breastfed all three of my children through toddlerhood, and I've engaged in many lengthy debates about breastfeeding in public.

But in all that time, I've never seen a video that encapsulates the reality of the early days of breastfeeding like the Frida Mom ad that aired on NBC during the Golden Globes. And I've never seen a more perfect depiction of the full, raw reality of it than the uncensored version that bares too much full breast to be aired on network television.

The 30-second for-TV version is great and can be seen in this clip from ET Canada. The commentary that accompanies it is refreshing as well. We do need to normalize breastfeeding. We do need to see breasts in a context other than a sexualized one that caters to the male gaze. We do need to let new moms know they are not the only ones feeling the way they feel.



First Breastfeeding Ad To Air During Golden Globeswww.youtube.com


But there's something else this ad calls to mind.

There are many people who think breastfeeding in public is inappropriate, especially around children. Undoubtedly, some people had that same reaction to this ad. To me, that's totally backwards.

I want my kids to see babies breastfeeding. I want them to see it so often and in so many places that they internalize the fact that breasts serve an important purpose and aren't primarily a sexual body part. I want them to see breasts being used for feeding a baby so they don't grow up being weirded out by the idea or always seeing breasts as "inappropriate" due to the over-sexualization of breasts in our society.

Hiding away the reality of breastfeeding as if breasts are shameful while plastering advertisements with barely-covered breasts all over the place is a societal choice we've made. I'd honestly much rather show my children the full version of this ad below, bare breasts and all, than an ad for sexy lingerie that makes itself palatable by not showing nipples.

Nipples are how babies eat. We're so accustomed to seeing nipples as sexual and therefore inappropriate to look at that we have created a society in which breastfeeding moms have to bend over backwards to avoid showing even a flash of nipple when feeding a baby. That's ridiculous.

My hope is that people might see this ad and understand why making a fuss over breastfeeding in public is cruel to new moms. This ad shows not just the physical reality of learning to breastfeed (which is often harder than people expect), but also the flood of thoughts that go through your head at the same time. All of that is enough for new moms to deal with. Adding undue concern about not showing anyone any part of your breast when you're away from home and baby's hungry is an unnecessary layer of stress that nobody needs.

The double, fully bare breasts during feeding is something many new moms do at home for various reasons and I'm not suggesting that should be the norm in public. What I am suggesting is that having to make sure no one sees any breast or nipple at all, ever, is silly when this is the reality of breastfeeding for many moms.

(If you really can't handle seeing breasts at all, you'll want to go ahead and skip over this video.)

Frida Mom | Stream of Lactationwww.youtube.com


I have been through every single argument anyone could possibly make about breastfeeding in the presence of others, and the bottom line is always this: If you don't want to see breastfeeding, you don't have to. You have eyeballs that move freely inside your head, and if someone is feeding their baby in your vicinity, the easiest thing to do is for you to move your eyeballs a quarter inch. That's it. No one is ever forced to watch someone breastfeed, ever.

If a breastfeeding mom wants to find a private place or use some kind of covering to make herself more comfortable, great. She should totally do that if it helps her feed her baby more comfortably. But if she feels compelled to hide away or cover up because she feels pressured to do so by a society that can't differentiate between using breasts for sex and using breasts to feed a baby, she shouldn't. We use our mouths for sex, too, and no one has a problem seeing people talk and eat with their mouths all day long, right?

Good for Frida Mom for making such a realistic commercial reflecting the truth about new motherhood and the early weeks of breastfeeding. It does get easier (usually) but it's so important for everyone to understand the reality and see what it really looks like. Having a baby is blissful and beautiful in many ways, but it's also overwhelming and exhausting. Since the challenges of this stage of motherhood are rarely seen from the outside like this, let's remember that support for new moms—not just from loved ones but from society in general—goes a long way.

All images provided by Bombas

We can all be part of the giving movement

True

We all know that small acts of kindness can turn into something big, but does that apply to something as small as a pair of socks?

Yes, it turns out. More than you might think.

A fresh pair of socks is a simple comfort easily taken for granted for most, but for individuals experiencing homelessness—they are a rare commodity. Currently, more than 500,000 people in the U.S. are experiencing homelessness on any given night. Being unstably housed—whether that’s couch surfing, living on the streets, or somewhere in between—often means rarely taking your shoes off, walking for most if not all of the day, and having little access to laundry facilities. And since shelters are not able to provide pre-worn socks due to hygienic reasons, that very basic need is still not met, even if some help is provided. That’s why socks are the #1 most requested clothing item in shelters.

homelessness, bombasSocks are a simple comfort not everyone has access to

When the founders of Bombas, Dave Heath and Randy Goldberg, discovered this problem, they decided to be part of the solution. Using a One Purchased = One Donated business model, Bombas helps provide not only durable, high-quality socks, but also t-shirts and underwear (the top three most requested clothing items in shelters) to those in need nationwide. These meticulously designed donation products include added features intended to offer comfort, quality, and dignity to those experiencing homelessness.

Over the years, Bombas' mission has grown into an enormous movement, with more than 75 million items donated to date and a focus on providing support and visibility to the organizations and people that empower these donations. These are the incredible individuals who are doing the hard work to support those experiencing —or at risk of—homelessness in their communities every day.

Folks like Shirley Raines, creator of Beauty 2 The Streetz. Every Saturday, Raines and her team help those experiencing homelessness on Skid Row in Los Angeles “feel human” with free makeovers, haircuts, food, gift bags and (thanks to Bombas) fresh socks. 500 pairs, every week.

beauty 2 the streetz, skid row laRaines is out there helping people feel their beautiful best

Or Director of Step Forward David Pinson in Cincinnati, Ohio, who offers Bombas donations to those trying to recover from addiction. Launched in 2009, the Step Forward program encourages participation in community walking/running events in order to build confidence and discipline—two major keys to successful rehabilitation. For each marathon, runners are outfitted with special shirts, shoes—and yes, socks—to help make their goals more achievable.

step forward, helping homelessness, homeless non profitsRunning helps instill a sense of confidence and discipline—two key components of successful recovery

Help even reaches the Front Street Clinic of Juneau, Alaska, where Casey Ploof, APRN, and David Norris, RN give out free healthcare to those experiencing homelessness. Because it rains nearly 200 days a year there, it can be very common for people to get trench foot—a very serious condition that, when left untreated, can require amputation. Casey and Dave can help treat trench foot, but without fresh, clean socks, the condition returns. Luckily, their supply is abundant thanks to Bombas. As Casey shared, “people will walk across town and then walk from the valley just to come here to get more socks.”

step forward clinic, step forward alaska, homelessness alaskaWelcome to wild, beautiful and wet Alaska!

The Bombas Impact Report provides details on Bombas’s mission and is full of similar inspiring stories that show how the biggest acts of kindness can come from even the smallest packages. Since its inception in 2013, the company has built a network of over 3,500 Giving Partners in all 50 states, including shelters, nonprofits and community organizations dedicated to supporting our neighbors who are experiencing- or at risk- of homelessness.

Their success has proven that, yes, a simple pair of socks can be a helping hand, an important conversation starter and a link to humanity.

You can also be a part of the solution. Learn more and find the complete Bombas Impact Report by clicking here.

via UNSW

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


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via Tod Perry

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