…Contemplating the Core Elements of a Modern Breastfeeding Lifestyle
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Pamplona Memories: I’m Bullish on Breastfeeding

I had always wanted to go to ‘the Running of the Bulls’ since I first read James Michener’s novel ‘The Drifters’.  I finally made that dream a reality when I went with two of my brothers and my sister-in-law during The World Cup of 1998.

Today is the first day of the feast of St. Fermin, the patron of the festival which runs annually from 7.7-7.14 in Pamplona, Spain.

Pamplona Memories flood back to me.  I vividly remember cheering for Holland with the legions of orange clad fans that followed their matches in the local pubs.  Now, 12 years later, the Dutch have made it into the finals of the World Cup.  Spain plays Germany in the semi-finals on this auspicious Spanish feast day for the other slot.  This 2010 World Cup will be an all Europe final falling within the week of ‘the Running of the Bulls’.

Leather wine flasks, Botas, were being used by many of the festival goers.  My teaching mind saw an immediate and workable analogy between the human breast and those popular items of the festival of St. Fermin.  It occurred to me that the breast also expands and contracts with the volume of milk within it.  Both a wine sack and the breast are never really empty, but will always have some residual left at the bottom once filled with liquid.  To new moms who might be tempted to think of their breasts in terms of being full or empty this new frame of reference makes much better sense and alleviates much unnecessary anxiety.

As you may have noticed in the video above, the assembled crowds all got the memo and were unified in wearing a garb of white and red.  It was difficult to distinguish ourselves among the sea of people dressed the same way.  People were assembled from all over the world.  We were all part of one big family, more alike than different.  A unity that should also apply to breastfeeding.

The notion of solidarity by costume or color is not new.  Pink is for Breast Cancer awareness.  Purple is worn by those who support research for Alzheimers.  The lactation consulting world has made efforts to make Gold be the color of breastfeeding promotion to represent the liquid gold of human milk as the gold standard of infant feeding.

I watched from the sidelines while my brothers joined the ranks of those actually running with the bulls. I may have been a mere observer for those runs, but the same thing cannot be said about my participation in breastfeeding promotion.  I am steadfast in my efforts to inspire, educate, support and empower mothers to revel in the grandeur of their bodies which are so perfectly designed to nurture their babies for 9 months and beyond through the miracle of breastfeeding.

I envision the day, in the not too distant future, when the same fervor I witnessed for the running of the bulls of Pamplona will be expended on being bullish for breastfeeding.

Won’t you join me?  Be part of the change we want to see…Be Bullish for Breastfeeding!

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