This week’s Breastfeeding News (BFN) – Ice cream and Condo boards

Breastmilk Ice Cream from the Icecreamists in London has been making the news this last month:

  •  First startling people because it existed (which I think can be seen to fit within the larger issue of breasts, mothering, and womanhood being brought out of the private sphere, and into the public sphere, but that’s a whole other can of worms),
  •  then being confiscated for being “potentially hazardous” (duh- they had already checked it!),
  • Finally Lady Gaga threatened to sue/is suing for misusing her name and being “nausea-inducing” (a statement which is must be an ironic joke. Lady Gaga – have you watched your own music videos? Born this way? Really?)

And now, the woman who donated the breastmilk responds!  Victoria Hiley, qualified breastfeeding helper, wrote this truly fantastic piece about the “burlesque” of breast milk, cultural responses to breastfeeding, and how she became an internet celeb.     I spent the last week at a Breastfeeding and Feminism Conference – so this point is one that I particularly think is interesting:

“Breastfeeding is artificially polarised between those who claim that it is revolting and outmoded, “like still using an outside toilet” as someone said to me recently, and the largely fictional “crunchy mama” brigade with beaded armpit hair offering “bitty” to 10-year-olds. But most breastfeeding mothers are like me. “

Also in the news: the iconic store for breastfeeeding moms in Manhattan – The Upper Breast Side (how much do I love puns?) – is facing difficulties with their condo board, as reported in the NY Times. Owner Felina Rakowski-Gallagher has licensed the store as a community facility – hosting breastfeeding clinics and offering support, while the condo board claims that they are a retail facility – which is unallowed by the condo’s code.  Again – it seems like some of this dispute has to do with the fine line between breastfeeding, motherhood, and the public and private spheres. (did I mention I went to this conference on breastfeeding and feminism!)