Hayek’s goodwill deed

Well, everyone was going psycho over Salma Hayek breast feeding another woman’s child during her trip to Sierra Leone last week. In the article, Hayek said she did it for two reasons: because the baby was hungry (the mother had no milk) and to dispel the taboo of breast feeding in that part of Africa. I guess not everyone is having a self-righteous meltdown; many women were moved to tears and thought very highly of Hayek. But others thought she was being “disloyal” to her own daughter (who is 14 months old) or made vague, foolish statements like “that’s just wrong”.

I know people are up in arms mostly because she nursed a child that wasn’t hers. But women have done that throughout history. What is the big deal, really? I think more of the problem is that people get so prissy and freaked out about breast feeding. Breasts, both real and fake, are flashed with abandon all over the media. Yet, when breasts are used in what I must argue is really their main function, it’s suddenly weird.

My son is almost nine months and I am still nursing him. There are so many benefits to nursing; immunological protection, no bottle prepping, and it’s free (that’s the part I like)! While more women are breast feeding now, many still get discouraged after the first couple of weeks and start using formula. And I don’t blame them; it can be difficult to get used to in the beginning. Others nurse for the first few months, then for whatever reason start formula.

Nursing becomes a lot easier as a baby gets older and starts solids. They don’t drink as long (although occasionally they may go for 30 minutes) and they become so efficient at it, you barely have to think while they latch on themselves. You can read, watch some TV, or just relax.

I think what Hayek did was great and I think it’s cool that she is still nursing her one year old daughter. People need to just get a grip.