Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Breasts: By Any Other Name....

Jugs, tatas, boobies, boobs, tits, gazongas, fun bags, dirty pillows, milk factories....the list goes on. I don't think any other body part has as many nicknames. Maybe penis does, but I think breasts win the name game.  Breasts have been on my mind *a lot* lately. Not least because we're getting close to a year after my cousin passed away from breast cancer, but also because I have a friend who was recently diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer. She's just completed round 4 of chemo and is kicking ass. I've recently started reading Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History. L still nurses multiple times per day/night. As approaches the 18 month mark, I wonder how much longer we'll have before she decides to be done. This morning, I saw this on Facebook, and it got me thinking.

I've been breastfeeding for over 3 years, all told, between J and L.  I hope to get at least 3 more years in between L and future-baby-to-be-adopted. Between the breastfeeding and giving birth (which supposedly also lowers risk by 7%) I've lowered my risk by 29%. Not bad, really.

Then I saw this awesome article on I Am Not The Babysitter (the blog of the mom on that infamous Time magazine cover): Worldwide Average Age of Weaning. According to this article (actually written by Kathy Dettwyler, an anthropologist who has studied breastfeeding in cultures around the world) the global average age of weaning is between 2.5 and 7, but there are a number of challenges in calculating this, especially when including the US in the calculations. I'll let you read the article yourself, as it's very well done.

Here are some other links I've come across in the past that I've been meaning to share, but hadn't gotten to it yet.

On Beyonce breastfeeding, and why it's important:

More from Kathy Dettwyler: 

An interesting article about "how old is too old?"

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