I am bemused with scientific studies. There is one out now stating that the “myth” that bras promote breast cancer has been refuted.
Apparently this was based on the fact that breast cancer is more common in developed than developing countries.
Seems far more likely that the tendency of women to have fewer children and eschew nursing would be a more significant marker.
I fact the healthiest thing for women is the following:
Have children before 30
Have many children
And nurse on demand for greater than one year per child.
Many mothers in developing countries do all these things, nursing children to 2 years and beyond and nursing far more years than women in industrialized countries.
One study said that every 12 months of nursing reduced breast cancer risk by 3-5 percent.
And that is only the benefit to mom. Babies who nurse on demand get countless advantages from the process.
Of course I have wracked my brain about this–has it always been there?
Have there been generations of attachment disorder kids? I don’t think so. I think that RAD is a mostly modern problem, ushered in with the advent of formula for infants, ushered in as quickly as nursing mamas have been ushered out.
Up until the invention of fake breastmilk everyone had assumptions about the survival of infants: for at least the first few months someone with breasts was required.
We see nursing mothers (and surrogates) in great art and ancient sculpture. The baby who survived survived at the breast, able to spend crucial hours close to the face of love.
Attachment disorder is the opposite of that.. At the very most crucial time in a baby’s life, detaching a child from a consistent, nurturing presence is deadly–if not for the body, then absolutely for the soul.
Lots and lots and lots of people have been nurtured and loved and bottle-fed. But make no mistake–the advent of bottle-feeding is at the heart of the change that has robbed our poorest and most vulnerable babies of the love that would grow their souls.
The easiest way to “solve” the problem of attachment disorder is to make nursing a priority in our culture, and start valuing the power of nurture–breast or bottle, babies need snuggle time and a regular source of love.
There is no substitute for love.
This was years ago. We were at a Christian summer camp and two of the camp nurses took me aside and chastised me for nursing (under a nursing shield) in sight of campers.
They said I needed to retreat to a bathroom so as not to…offend people.
I find this story itself replete with ironies, but none more than this–
The camp is connected to a chain of stores that sells inappropriate magazines at the checkout stations.
I contacted the headquarters to complain–no one should have to run a gauntlet of trashy magazines to buy milk. I kept the emailed response–
at least it was not frontal nudity.
The media rep responded.
Our society has a serious disjunct. Get coeds to tart your wings in skimpy outfits? Hurray for capitalism and feminism! See a woman discreetly nursing a child? Be offended!
God forbid we should use our breasts in public…wait for it…for the one completely life-giving thing they were designed to do.