My perinatal schooling has begun! I am enrolled in Dougals College's Breastfeeding Course for Health Care Providers, Tuesday evenings from 7 to 10 pm!! My first class was last Tuesday. I LOVE IT!!! I love the reading, the homework, the vast swathes of information, the project, the idea of clinicals, EVERYTHING! I'm a little, tiny bit excited. You may have noticed.
Hooray for milk!!!
p.s. for our group project presentation, I'm going to make cupcakes and decorate them with this symbol above, which is the international breastfeeding symbol. Anything to make people pay attention!!!!
I'm trying to choose between these two ideas for my project:
(1) The effects of sexual abuse and trauma on the breastfeeding relationship
[many women who have survived abuse find breastfeeding difficult]
(2) The benefits of extended breastfeeding for mothers and toddlers
[obviously a topic I'm interested in!]
I am more interested in option #1, and believe it to be a multifaceted situation with many variables and much potential for healing affects OR retraumatization, if mishandled. But it is BIG, I'm not sure how much research is out there on this topic, and it is sobering. Presenting this topic in class could be a pretty heavy undertaking. But the topic REALLY captures my attention. Isn't it awful that sexual abuse and trauma can continue to traumatize for a woman's entire life? It makes me angry that perpetrators of this type of violence can steal away a woman's ability to initiate or sustain a breastfeeding relationship in some cases, and take away an infant's human right to breastmilk.
For some women birth and breastfeeding can be a healing way to take back ownership of their bodies and selves after surviving abuse. I would love to discover how to make that experience a more frequent one.