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Opening Conversations at the Close of World Breastfeeding Week

In 1991 the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action was formed as a way of responding to a World Health Organization document, the Innocenti Declaration on the protection, promotion, and support of breastfeeding.

Each year they mark the first week of August as World Breastfeeding Week. I can only assume that these campaigns, which are conceptualized as being for an international audience, are created by enormous committees, which usually means that they end up being so generic as to be unrecognizable as relating to many people’s actual lives (case in point: this year’s logo which seems to say that breastfeeding is only for women who have male partners).

But themed weeks like this also provide an opportunity to talk about the things that the organizations themselves aren’t talking about.

Two things come to mind. First is the undeniable but almost entirely unspoken of impact of breastfeeding on sexuality. Even if there weren’t specific hormonal factors worth knowing about so as not to get freaked out by the physical response some people have when they breastfeed, whenever our bodies change, whenever we start using our bodies in different ways, there will always be some potential impact on our sexuality – how we feel about our bodies and ourselves, how we want to use our bodies to both give and receive pleasure, and more.

The other topic I’ve been learning more about lately is Trans* parents breastfeeding. The term Trans* refers to many different kinds of gender identities and felt genders, but in this context I’m talking about learning from parents whose bodies don’t conform to binary expectations of gender.

Most parents who call themselves mom were born with bodies that have a uterus and ovaries, a vulva and a vagina. And most parents who call themselves dad were born with bodies that have testicles and a penis. But that’s not true for all of us. When you add in the question of who has breasts and who can breastfeed, the picture becomes even more detailed and vibrant.

Unfortunately most educational efforts work in ways that only reflect who they are. Since Trans* people are usually excluded they are then invisible in materials, leading many to think that trans people aren’t parents and if they are, that breastfeeding isn’t an option. Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn’t.

If you want to know more a good place to start is with Trevor MacDonald’s blog post on Huffington Post, How I Learned to be a Breastfeeding Dad. You can also check out Trevor’s blog Milk Junkies.

Related: About.com’s Guide to Pregnancy & Childbirth on World Breastfeeding Week

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Source: About.com

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College Stress 101

With school starting soon, there are tons of stressed and excited college students out there. The partying is something to look forward to for sure, but there are a slew of new stressors waiting, some anticipated and some that may come as a s…

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Meditate With Deepak, Oprah, Me, and Thousands of Others!

I’ve recommended the Chopra Meditation Challenge before because it’s a wonderful free resource that can help you to get started with an amazingly helpful stress management technique. Today marks the beginning of a special Meditation Challenge…

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How Will You Celebrate “Exercise With Your Child Week” This Week?

I’m sure most of you read this headline and realized that you’d made no special plans for celebrating “Exercise With Your Child Week,” possibly because you’re hearing about it for the first time. You may have just as quickly decided that you m…

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Celebrate Today!

I recently celebrated an anniversary with my husband–we got married on our third anniversary of dating, so each year we celebrate a wedding anniversary, it’s also an anniversary of our entire relationship–definitely something to celebrate! …

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New Research Offers Evolutionary Tales of Monogamy

If you didn’t catch any of the headlines this week about new evolutionary theories explaining monogamy, here’s a summary.
Two papers were published trying to explain monogamy in mammals. They found different explanations.
One paper, which a…

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Simplify Your Life This Week!

The first week of August is celebrated as ‘Simplify Your Life Week’, and I want to help you do just that! This blog brings information, strategies, and solutions you can implement this week to pare down your busy schedule, clutt…

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Small Changes, Big Results

Sometimes something small can make a huge difference in your day.
Have you ever had ‘one of those days’ where something happened in the morning–you read a frustrating email, you were awoken early by an incessantly barking dog, or your alarm d…

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Wellness Resources to Use This Week

There’s a lot of talk about wellness these days, which is a very good thing. What is wellness? Wellness is not just about the absence of illness, but about making healthy lifestyle choices to promote optimal (or at least adequate) physical, emotional and psychological functioning. The good news about wellness is that there are many changes, ranging from minor to sweeping, that can positively impact our overall wellness in various ways, so while we start from different places on the wellness spectrum, the power to promote greater wellness for ourselves is within everyone’s grasp.

Certain types of stress can be more damaging to our overall wellness than others, though all forms of stress (even eustress, the beneficial type of stress) can take a toll if you face enough of it. The types of stress you should do your best to eliminate from your life completely–the most damaging forms of stress, are those that feel unpredictable or uncontrollable; they’re the hardest to manage, and to bounce back from. If you face this type of stress in your life and can’t eliminate or even minimize it, it’s all the more important for you to have stress relief strategies that can help you minimize the effects and reverse your body’s stress response quickly.

Fortunately, many strategies for wellness have been found to be effective at reducing overall stress. The following wellness resources can give you more information on how to create greater wellness with simple changes in your habits:

  • Stress and Wellness

  • Learn more about how stress can impact your health, and what you can do about it.

  • Healthy Lifestyle Habits
    Why the need for healthy lifestyle changes, and what changes can work the best? Here’s more on the topic!

  • Positive Thinking for Stress Relief
    Studies show that maintaining a positive outlook can indeed increase your immunity to stress. Learn more about how to develop that ability.

  • Social Support: How and Why
    Learn how social support can strongly impact your stress levels for the better, and find strategies to create more social support in your life.

  • What Healthy Lifestyle Resources Have You Benefitted From The Most?
    See what other readers recommend for wellness, and share your own thoughts as wellness resources to help others.

How do you promote wellness in your own life? How would you like to start promoting greater wellness? Add your answer to the comments section or on the About Stress Management Facebook Page. And please pass this article on, to spread greater wellness among your friends and family. Enjoy your week!

Sources:
Baum, A., Cohen, L., & Hall, M. (1993). Control and intrusive memories as possible determinants of chronic stress. Psychosomatic Medicine, 55, 274 -286.
Cohen, S., Frank, E., Doyle, W. J., Skoner, D. P., Rabin, B. S., & Gwaltney, J. M. (1998). Types of stressors that increase susceptibility to the common cold in healthy adults. Health Psychology, 17, 214-223.

Source: About.com

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Stress Basics

Are you new to the site and looking for ways to better understand and relieve stress? This site has a wealth of information on all topics stress-related, from happiness to financial stress to relationship tips to back-to-school game plans. B…

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