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Experts Examine WHY Breastfeeding is best: We MUST Know!

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Sniffing Language


Cobblers notice shoes, hairdressers notice the other end of a person.  I’m a domestic violence survivor, writer, reader, and I notice (sniff, I observe, I sense dynamic alterations in) LANGUAGE —  the linguistic environment surrounding present and potential policies that might affect the personal survival, health welfare, and safety of my kids, me, or others I know and love, to be quite blunt about this.


I can detail about when and where this started to happen too.  I noticed it, a shift in mental processing of things, a heightened sensitivity to the environment.  This was odd — the less time I could dedicate to planning a rehearsal, or choosing a method or approach to a certain topic — because my life was totally dedicated to the safety and survival issues at hand, and seeking ways to ensure them, change the dynamics, and safely set a distance from a man that I simply couldn’t get the courts to give me a restraining order on, or enforce an existing court order of ANY sort, upon.  Nor could I get any social group to communally put some pressure on the guy to get real, get a job, or get lost.  Or, as I say here, “get honest” about any number of manners.  So, I didn’t do the usual things I formerly was taught lead to good rehearsals leading to good singing.  I had to get the general idea (as in, repertoire), get in there, go on instinct, respond to the singing I heard in the situation, and just lead.


The odd (and disturbing — at least to certain theories about how things work) about this was, they started singing better.  Rehearsals were more dynamic, and skills and sound improved.  In more than one group.  Go figure!  Hmm. . . . .  


I came to understand that the habit of being dynamically sensitive to my environment, and little details in it, had carried over into the rehearsal situation.  And in the arts, this is GOOD, because they come from the spirit and soul within.  I had no time to be cerebral, cognitive and detached, I had to be present, open, and responsive.  And that was EXACTLY what the job required!


The exact opposite of this approach to life and relationships can be seen in the detached, categorizing, labeling, and pronouncing language of some of the social sciences.  I do not think the entire field should be tossed, but I think that there are serious loopholes when doctrine is made in a laboratory, without understanding that people (adults, children, and others) really DO behave differently under observation, for the most part, than when not.  If the family law system acknowledged this, I think custody evaluators would probably be done away with.  You can’t really evaluate someone who is doing a performance for you, come on!  And if anyone is GREAT a “performance” it’s a family, or an individual, caught up in the cycle of abuse, incest, or domestic violence.  Or, alcoholism, for that matter.  The whole DEAL is about keeping up the pretense, not talking about it.  


A woman’s or a child’s safety could be literally dependent upon how good a front she puts up for public, once the abuser knows he’s being looked at more carefully.  I know about this. 


For more on this hypersensitivity, see the book “Animals in Translation” by Temple Grandin, an autistic (or autims survivor?) animal behavioralist.   I understood, after reading this, how my mind had begun to behave more like a deer in the headlights, after a few years post-restraining order, mid-family court, weekly-exchange of kids-wise.  I had lost the sense of predictability in our daily schedule, and I had lost this because EVERY weekend, and leading up to it or recovering from it, I had to deal with a potential incident with the father of our children regarding picking up or, if I was able to, retrieving our children from exchanges.  This was one of the most insane custody orders post restraining order I have EVER heard of, but it was all we had to deal with.  This also relates directly to why I no longer work in a certain field, in which jobs happened on weekends.  The two became so associated in my brain that engaging in in the one, to this day, reminds me of that trauma.  This can be great on certain arts, and hell on the rest of life.


PREY animals notice more and interpret less.  This is why sometimes horses wear blinders, when pulling a taxi in traffic, for example.  Humans are designed to interpret more, and once they have  got a label, enabling mental filing, notice less.  However, a teacher (or conductor) must both keep the goal in mind AND notice, and reconcile the balance.  They learn how to do this (for survival).  


Theorists, on the other hand, may continue to get a government funding grant, whether or not their theories are true, work, or help or hurt people.  There is a considerable distance between funding and performance.  I notice, therefore, cognitive detachment in linguistic descriptions in some of these topics.  


Sometimes this “noticing language” habit is entertaining and fun. Sometimes, it’s disturbing and annoying.  HOWEVER, I think that society might do well, in general, to listen to some of the people on its outskirts.  We are the canaries in the coal mine, and certain things we have to say might contradict (in fact generally WILL contradict) the experts.


Of course, the experts are the ones who have the platform, even when their opinions contradict each other — they seem to carry more weight than anyone whose degrees are not as high or deep (Ph.D.) as others.  Remind me, next decade, to go get that Ph.D., maybe it will help…..



That’s one way of explaining that I happen to notice language.  And there is a style of talking about basic human behavior (of which stalking happens to relate to hunting, which is sometimes followed by a kill, which is why I don’t like being the one followed, or told by people I report this to, you’re exaggerating.  No, I’m not….  I trust the instinct in this one.)  I’m almost getting to the point that I don’t trust language that doesn’t take into account some basic human instincts and realities –ONE of which is, soon after birth or after giving birth, making the nipple connection, and nursing — or allowing it to take place.


. . . 




Is there really a war on fatherhood?  Or is it on motherhood?  Where’s Mom?



Consider this word:




When, where, how and why did it become so odd a human behavior that it required research papers to be published, to examine — or safeguard — it?


What is now called breastfeeding used to be (culturally, and universally) commonplace.  



Trailer words associated with the fact that both a breast and getting fed happened to be involved, included:


Nursing, Cherishing, Protecting, Imparting,

Loving, Knowing,

Gentleness, Compassion, Confidence one is loved and wanted,

just  being there and looking at each other, or nudging each other in a relaxed, nondemanding fashion,

were formerly normal, healthy human behaviors, and not only right after sex.

(If you’re unclear, see “google images” for some visuals)







Now the relationships between some of these must be studied, so as to better predict [and manage] outcomes



I predict that studying what used to be normal, healthy human behaviors (but have been dismantled by various institutions, and industries in “developed’ countries) will soon become the normal human behavior.  It certainly appears to be a healthy way to make a steady income, healthier than most. these days, including producing food, if you’re a small farmer, or milking cows.


Asking, well, was it GOOD or NOT good?  If it was good, WHY was it good?  How can we duplicate it, or better yet, multiply it, without dismantling, if possible, some of the institutions that formerly dismantled, or put some pretty weird warps, in the human family situation.  


Who funds these studies and poses these questions?  Typically, a government, or a private foundation funding either the government, or some nonprofit, that has an agenda, or some combination of all of the above, as we find in the Fatherhood Movement’s cooperation between many entitities, casting its wide and technically superb  (inter)net (presence) over the human, well, language, eliminating the usage of the word “mother” in order to restructure society into a different image.  I am going to post another time about a former (not very reputable) campaign from the heart of Fatherland America, which trumpeted the virtues of “motherhood, virtue, patience, temperance” and so forth.  And what they did to whoever they thought wasn’t promoting these.   


WHY is Breast Best?  Well for one thing, anything so many men are fixated on can’t be all that bad.


Just kidding — WHY is breastfeeding best?  Why not ask a Mom?  (Where did Mom go, anyhow??)


Nursing is normal.  Did I know much about it before I began?  Honestly, no.  I just, well, there was this brand new kid on my tummy, and it seemed the right thing to do. 


Seems to me that slavery was one thing that used to break up families, intentionally so.  Hmm.  SOME folks got educated, but others weren’t supposed to be.  They were to be educated to the limit of their job prognosis.  Hmmm.  


I also predict that with the womb to tomb categorization of humanity, from the moment they are born, caught, extracted, or brought forth (depending on how literary you are feeling) and begin to wiggle, the measuring WILL not stop, we will forget what a normal human, bonding relationship WAS.  We won’t have living examples of it to learn from.  


Now that ATTITUDE worries me.  I have been worried about this for many months, as I began to examine where my justice went, especially this last year.  Where my children went had already been determined, and I had also correctly looked up that the correct label for the manner in which they went comes under the category “child-stealing.”  The next question was, why was there no concensus on what the law already conceded, and what could I do to get them back?  I looked around with wonder and amazement to see that with flip of the coin, what in one situation was a felony, in an entirely different one (see title of this blog) was interpreted as initiative to be rewarded with custody.  SURELY a father who would love his children enough to steal them, and harass their mother with court case after court case must have been motivated by love and concern.  And SURELy a mother who actually resisted this, and attempted to retain an emotional connection (let alone visual contact) with BOTH her children AND her livelihood (profession) through choosing an alternate educational arrangement must have an unnatural attachment thing going on.  Now, I didn’t have one set of kids I DID nurse and one set I DIDn’t for comparison, but I do know that, even absent from them, there’s an attachment there, and it’s weird every day to have it suddenly aborted.  Yes, I did use that word.



In my last post I looked at “Where’s Mom?” in a website representing our national direction, and suggested that the ship of state may have lost its moorings, possibly by ignoring the obvious:  So far, technologically, you DO need a Mom to actually get a family, even if it’s dis-assembled shortly after birth.  




Where’s Mom? is a very relevant question, I thought.

So, here’s an article that came across my (virtual) desk, my Inbox, on some astonishingly new and revolutionary perspectives on WHY breastfeeding is best, at least up until a judge decides she’s doing it for the wrong reasons, to get even with an ex. . . . . and sets a limit on how long this parental alienation can be permitted.  The things judges must know these days . . . .


We noncustodial Moms (yes, we converse with each other about how and why that happened, and we research and blog, and vote and call our Congresspeople, and write, and support each other, because the court system sure ain’t…..) were happy to find one that counteracted some of this “father-absence” hypocrisy.  YEAH, a lot of fathers are absent.  Now let’s talk about WHY! and stop scapegoating an entire gender!  


This article supports the premises that for an infant to have a bonding time with Mom growing up (which may or may not contradict our present government’s wish to push things in a different direction, send Mom to work and give us those babies; we have Ph.D.candidate Human  Behavioralists needing a grant-funded slot at the local Head Start outfit, think about their job futures, OK?  If they do not publish, they might perish!  It’s your civic duty to produce low-income babies (or neglect staying home if you’re not low-income) for them to study.) 


It IS interesting too, it talks about more than the nipples and what spurts out of them, it talks even about more than the cuddling.  It looks at subsequent behaviors.  So do I, at the bottom.  I picked a few well-known names.  


(Did I mention it’s written by women, also?)




Research paper no. 43

Breastfeeding and infants’ time use (title is link)

Jennifer Baxter and Julie Smith

Australian Institute of Family Studies, June 2009, 48 pp. ISBN 978-1-921414-09-1. ISSN 1446-9863 (Print); ISSN 1446-9871 (Online)

Being breastfed during infancy is known to improve developmental outcomes, but the pathways by which this occurs remain unclear. 



Research Paper no. 43:  “Breastfeeding and infants’ time use.”



(More commentary on what governments are studying these days…..)


While I’m glad this study DOES support the concept that breastfeeding is good, as when judges in Canada and Australia have to decide on whether or not to agree with the obvious, or respond to the gentle tug on THEIR consciences from the “But Dads are Nurturers TOO!” demands, Moms (Noncustodial ones, through family court matters) were happy to read this, I still have to ask, WHY do we have to even ask?  I mean, in what kind of world are studies needed of this?


Here’s what kind of world:


IN a world of ever-shifting psychological and spiritual plate tectonics, it’s only human to want to be oh so sure about the obvious.  WHY do we need to be oh-so-sure?  (Using the word “we” loosely, I am not in that mix)


WHY is how to develop and serve “humans” and “families” really necessary??  What are they, food?

Why not leave them alone to figure it out? Why not treat them as animate beings with spirit, soul, body, desires, individuality, and what’s more, hopes, goals, and a variety of pathways in which to wend their way through life, like their hunter-gatherer ancestors?

That is, FYI, what they are — not slabs of flesh, inanimate, passive, waiting to be directed, injected, detected, and projected upon the motion picture screen of some faraway government policy!  Unless they (translation:  WE — ALL — begin to see each other in this manner, the only logical consequence is more and more literally inanimate, and in fact lifeless (or is it comatose?) slabs of flesh, and there may not be enough slots to store us in.  Please, PLEASE, remember Auschwitz, and the ATTITUDES that preceded this, and stop the stereotyping and detached, detached, well thank God it ain’t ME, emotional noninvolvement with other human beings, when it comes to running nations and large enterprises.

People have been born for many, many centuries and millennia.  Nations (if not religions, unfortunately) and empires have come and gone.  


(And these two are related).


With each new empire, history, and culture, is often re-written, by the winners.


They can crumble over germs or steel, over oppressing people so bad they simply well up and oust a regime, assassinate a dictator, and/or each other.  Or assassinations, oustings and regime changes can happen for other reasons.  In this world there are now, and have historically been famines, floods, fires, and wars; there is cruelty and prejudice, there is waste and greed.  These are qualities that, as far as I can see, have been around a long time, and are not going anywhere soon.  And I ABSOLUTELy don’t believe they are going away by government fiat, design or study.


Given that generic assessment of history, I have to ask, then what exactly are were DOING in this profession of Human Behavioral Sciences?  What were its origins, what are its purposes and why are “we” doing these things?

I’m a researcher, in fact both my parents were too, one a scientist, the other a librarian.  I’m a SEARCHER, I’m curious about causes.

One thing in my searchings I have come to conclude:  some of the worst damages to human rights, and people, has been in the name of theories (or doctrines) similar to the ones I’m reading about now, in our country.  I think it’s an ATTITUDE thing, to study human populace as if they were rats, or mice, or microbes.  I’m not anti-medicine, nad I do appreciate knowing things about molecules, hormones, and, say, that what just happened to me when that stalker called, again, may relate to adrenaline or cortisol, and has some sense behind the chemistry of it.  

However, I think in the social sciences, it’s gone off the deep end into crowd control.   I think it is a clear indication of caste-maintenance, which ain’t supposed to be in the USA, but is.

Who’s developing this master race and utopia? 


Didn’t we learn anything from Hitler, or any other genocides?  Didn’t we get embarrased enough by the study of “phrenology”  (measuring skull sizes, to assess intelligence) which to me has an uncomfortable sense of sociology. 


Anyhow, this study may be supportive of more maternal time.  Governments have already determined it’s Breast is Best, but what to do when a couple can’t keep it together til the kid is weaned?  Then there have to be policies, judges have to decide, and these judges need experts. W ell, experts are just handy to have around.


Are there any MOMs around who have actually seen children grow up that they nursed (and haven’t been incarcerated for this on the basis of unnatural attachment theory)?  


Isn’t smarter, healthier, loved and having been held by Mom at least several times a day enough to know?  Apparently not.  I tend to wonder if this isn’t because another artificial nipple, breast, nurture and cuddling experience is in the mix, and will need justification.  OR, it’s been challenged, and then a study is needed to maintaing a semblance of nature in nurture of infants.



Given what I’ve been reading about our Present Administration’s Parenting Advice (yes, that spells “PAPA”), motherhood is no longer acceptable.  It has a conflict with Early Head Start and propping up a seriously design-flawed educational system that neither nurtures nor educates adequately, and was based on producing factory workers who don’t take orders or think too much.  Crucial to this is boxing them up, and mediating all experience through the teachers and textbooks (which are highly censored).  


I just watched the video of Michael Jackson recently, being interviewed about  his father’s severe abuse of all 5 Jacksons, including having them perform with him sitting in his hand with a belt, and ironing cord, using Michael, the youngest, as a role model to chastise the other children, mocking his facial features (you didn’t get it from MY side) and a fairly normal adolescent thing called pimples, about how he didn’t want to grow up (and the uncanny transformation of his own face into something that looks like his hero, Peter Pan), about how his dermatologist nurse (and another surrogate Mom) gave him 3 children, which were snatched at birth (never got to nurse a drop), although by agreement, and now they are going to live with — either Grandpa (that same one that would’ve/should’ve been arrested in our day and time) or Mom (who volunteered her womb and viewed human beings as presents, not people).


The most common sense reason for nursing I can think of is that it APPEARS to be part of the design plan for human beings, and a host of other animals also.  Take it away, and they’re sucking down something else for a lifetime perhaps, substitute attachments.  I don’t know.  It just kinda makes sense.  Give the Mom and baby a chance to sit together and make a physical connection. It works together, it helps her womb return to normal size right faster, it’s overall a good arrangement unless she’s been on something harmful which would get into the child.  LIfe is rough.  Give’em a break!



In the US, we have HHS.



IN Australia, it’s “AIFS”

Australian Institute of Family Studies.

And has these clearinghouses:



Research and clearinghouses


Like over here, they publish, they serve, they have resources, and they have events.  That’s nice…



The natural human response, anyone with some spirit at least, is to resist being managed, and only put up with so much as is necessary to get by.  People are MOST human and I say most happy, really, pursuing things — that they CHOSE to pursue.  Ask an adolescent male.  Ask a stalker.  Ask a Mom or Dad going to night school.  There’s something about the pursuit of it, not the having it served up in a soup line.  There’s something about making one’s own personal goals, that brings out the best in a person, or when it’s in a community, that community.  When it gets too large, we lose the human element.


There’s not much more intimate, at the start of life, than what’s now called “breastfeeding.”  And there’s not much more tenderizing to a Mom, when it’s in a supportive environment especially, and producing a feeling of well-being, etc., than nursing.  I do not mean to idolize this, but I do mean to call attention to this.


I think this term must have come up when other ways of feeding began to compete with it.  It’s not just about FEEDING.  It used to be called NURSING.  Now, Nursing has become a profession (and a great one, I acknowledge), and I hear there’s a shortage of it too.  Perhaps if we could give people better EMOTIONAL and PHYSICAL support near the beginning of their lives, they wouldn’t need so much – or go about getting so much in other, unhealthy ways — later on in life.  Many diseases and compromised immune systems have origins, it’s coming out, not only in antibodies not received as a kid, but sometimes emotional abuse and trauma — the exact OPPOSITE of nurturing.



So, here’s an article that came across my (virtual) desk, my Inbox, on some astonishingly new and revolutionary perspectives on WHY breastfeeding is best, at least up until a judge decides she’s doing it for the wrong reasons, to get even with an ex. . . . . 





Research paper no. 43

Breastfeeding and infants’ time use

Jennifer Baxter and Julie Smith

Australian Institute of Family Studies, June 2009, 48 pp. ISBN 978-1-921414-09-1. ISSN 1446-9863 (Print); ISSN 1446-9871 (Online)

Being breastfed during infancy is known to improve developmental outcomes, but the pathways by which this occurs remain unclear. 


Well, God forbid the us not knowing by what pathways developmental outcomes can be improved?  We are, after all, in the business of improving development.

One possible yet unexplored mechanism is that breastfed infants may spend their time differently to infants who are not breastfed. 

Please — PLEASE tell me, some institute is not about to intervene with that Mom’s growing relationship with an infant, and either put a video in the home for later analysis, send a social worker with a note pad to take notes, or ask the MOm, self-reporting, to distract her attention from that little being, to documenther time use.  Give them a break!  They’ll be in school before age 5 (at least in the US) all right already.


This paper analyses infants’ time use according to breastfeeding status in order to help inform the debate about how breastfeeding leads to improved child outcomes.


“improved child outcomes”



OK, well that sounds desirable.  I’m just not used to the terminology yet.  It sounds odd on my tongue.  It sounds like a process that might belong more in an auto assembly line. 

Now me, I’m more practically minded.  If it works, keep doing it, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.  That’s what my ex used to tell me when our children were sleeping, and I’d go to adjust something, make them more c omfortable, more covered, more something.  “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”  

If it works — keep doing it.  If it doesn’t work — as, for example, pushing fatherhood on an entire nation as a response to violence against women and/or feminism, appears to be gettingi more women and children, and men, killed — THEN I’d think this should be closely examined.  But why breastfeeding works ???


The analysis uses infants’ time use data from the first wave (2004) of Growing Up in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC), derived from diaries completed by the parents of almost 3,000 Australian infants aged 3-14 months. It explores how much time infants spend in activities such as being held or cuddled, read or talked to, or crying, using data on whether or not infants were still breastfeeding, and taking into account other child and family characteristics. It also compares time spent in different social contexts. Finally, the paper uses the time use data to analyse which infants were still breastfeeding, and what factors are associated with differences in time spent breastfeeding.

The results show that breastfed infants spend more time being held or cuddled and being read or talked to, and less time sleeping, or eating, drinking or being fed other foods.  {{Well, in America, Obesity is a major issue}}

They also cried slightly more, and watched television slightly less {{I’d say that’s positive}} than infants who were not being breastfed. Those who breastfed spent more time with their parents, and in particular, almost one additional hour a day alone with their mother compared to non-breastfeeding infants.  {{This beats being ignored in a daycare situation.  This gives baby and Mom some down time, which she could use also!}}

These findings have important implications for how children grow, and show the value of time use data in exploring pathways to development for infants and young children. The possibility that cognitive advantages for breastfed children may arise from their distinct patterns of time use and social contexts during the breastfeeding phase is an important area for future research using survey data such as from LSAC.



Being breastfed during infancy contributes to positive developmental outcomes, as well as to good nutrition and health. Expert guidelines for optimal infant feeding recommend that infants be exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life (National Health and Medical Research Council, 2003) and, along with appropriate complementary foods, continue to be breastfed for up to two years and beyond (World Health Assembly, 2001).

{{I did this for one child.  I couldn’t for the other, but there were intervening factors (like Dad hitting me, and I know this affected the hormonal balance) intervening.  Neither child has ever had an issue with intelligence or obesity, and they were healthy growing up.  They weren’t clingy and they weren’t overly aggressive either, until years later, and this was when they became property fought over, and in the light of this, they were institutionalized again — at least their education was.  I know that in our case, this was not aimed to help their education, but to break their bond with me.  I cannot speak for every case.}}


While being breastfed during infancy is known to improve developmental outcomes, the pathways by which this occurs remain unclear. Components of breast milk are known to be important to brain development, but an important question remains as to whether the observed developmental advantages of children being breastfed also represent unobserved differences in the early life experiences of infants who were breastfed compared to those who were not. For example, there may be aspects of the breastfeeding mother’s behaviour or her interaction with the infant that differ from the non-breastfeeding mother. {{I KNEW THAT!}}  One possible yet unexplored mechanism is that breastfed infants may spend their time differently to infants who are not breastfed. Time use research provides a potentially useful tool for further investigation of this issue.

A possible link between time use and children’s outcomes has a basis in the literature on infant development – for example, attachment theory – which indicates that positive interactions with caregivers have implications for secure attachment and socio-emotional development. 

CAREGIVERS are mother-substitutes.  They are not in the original plan.  If you believe in plans.  The word is longer.  The short word is “MOM.” or “MOTHER” (pick your language).  

I know, from the family law experience, that my behaving as a protective or educated mother was not wanted by certain other partiesMy children themselves did not have a problem with this until we went into court, which even the mediator documentedIt was a manufactured problemThe mantra, the ostinato, the continual claim was that by refusing to worship the government education factory (based on its performance), I was a heretic, and eccentric, and those kids were going to grow up weird and isolated.   It was viewed with suspicion, and it was STOPPED.    I have often thought that is children were simply allowed to be in their families (and the families were not violent) for as long as the individual kid was ready, before going to schools, schools would be far better.  They do not need to be clingy and run in packs and herds, hurting each other or (when older) their teachers, and vice versa.  They might have a sense of identity and belonging, and being loved.  Unfortunately, this is NOT part of the economic development plan for “developed” countries.  

Children’s development opportunities may therefore be affected by who they are with across the day, and where they are. Further, associations between somewhat older children’s time use and their development have been explored, with some relationships apparent, which lead us to question whether such relationships may also be apparent for infants. In addition to exploring the association between breastfeeding and time use, this paper also provides a broader examination of infants’ time use, to help understand the possible development opportunities for these infants.

And so forth.  You can read it.   I would just like to end with, after breastfeeding has been properly explicated, I suspect the conclusion would be the same:




Just like after the interrelationship between domestic violence and custody in family law settings has been properly explicated, I suspect that the CORRECT conclusion would be, as to domestic violence.



and as to when this is mixed with custody







I expect that after I’m a long gone (which I hope will be a long time away)  that family law system will still be around, and attempting to dilute and explicate the truth, that it just don’t make sense to say a person can beat another person (or have sex with a minor child) and be a good enough role model for custody, let alone visitation, let alone supervised visitation.  These things — giving custody, visitation or supervised visitation, to a person who has not addressed this problem, called criminal behavior within the family — are going to naturally confuse a child about what’s right and what’s wrong, not exactly something I’d like the next generation to be confused on.


I’d like to end with what I’d consider a common sense and practical outlook towards human development, both in the womb and immediately after birth:  this is a healthy attitude towards onesself, I believe.  It just makes sense:

While all these things are wonderful to understand, and be aware of:

List of tables

  1. Overview of infants’ activities
  2. Who infants were with
  3. Breastfeeding time use
  4. Effects of breastfeeding on infants’ activities after adjusting for other characteristics
  5. Effects of breastfeeding on children’s social contexts after adjusting for other characteristics, different estimations compared
  6. Infants’ activities in minutes per day, OLS results (coefficients and [95% confidence intervals])
  7. Infants’ social contexts, OLS results (coefficients and [95% confidence intervals])


Can I summarize this?


Psalm 139

12Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.

13 For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.

14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.

15 My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.

16 Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.

17 How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!

18 If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.


Those are the words of a man who understands he is in relationship with Someone who loved him, wanted him, knows him, and that he knew was constantly thinking of him, that would never leave him alone.  What better model for this than, at the beginning of life, being held, loved, and nursed by a mother?  That act of nurturing and loving is at times attributed to God who, although He is portrayed as a Father, has also these characteristics:


Isaiah 14: 1 Listen, O isles, unto me; and hearken, ye people, from far; The LORD hath called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name.


These are the words of someone who had a sense of purpose in this life.


2 And he hath made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of his hand hath he hid me, and made me a polished shaft; in his quiver hath he hid me;. . . .


Isaiah 49

14-15 But Zion said, The LORD hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me.   Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee.



Nursing and compassion go together.  It’s not just about the baby!  It’s about the relationship.  Not forgetting . . .  Not having compassion for a child one has nursed MAY happen, but it’s not the norm.

Here’s another verse about “cherishing” like a nursing mother, Paul (who takes a lot of heat for his supposed views of women):

I Thess 1: Nor of men sought we glory, neither of you, nor yet of others, when we might have been burdensome, as the apostles of Christ. 7 But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children: 8 So being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because ye were dear unto us.


These are from before the days of Enfamil, and babies were nursed by another human being.  For the most part.  It wasn’t always Mom, but it was a woman. Why?  because there weren’t factories, cubicles, etc., to the extent we now have them.  And it was common knowledge that this was a cherishing, tender activity, and associated with it, the desire to give to that child, because the child was precious.  

I understand this.  I nursed my children.  I don’t see them, I still would like to give, and have been prevented from doing so.  Even though they’re almost grown, they were not full-grown when the sudden breakoff of that relatinoship (by a felony act called “child-stealing,”) was a radical disruption to what I was doing with my life which was called imparting good things to my kids.  I do not think that I was inbred — in fact I was a practicing music professional in my communities, and as networked and integrated into other people’s and community institutions as most people are (if not more so, being self-employed).  I most certainly had an independent soul, personality, and preferences — something I had to fight for during marriage (where this wasn’t welcome), and rebuild after it.  I had close and long-term personal friendships, also.

But the primary one was with my children, because they were not yet grown up.  They were not in college.  And some crucial life struggles and issues were still in process.  So, that’s what my life was centered around.  This was part role model part provision, part demonstrating, by providing, that they were worth sacrificing for, but that a mother was not to be “used.”  

A major part of this struggle (in our case) had been to assert a simple right to leave abuse, and as such, that this did not entail suddenly entering a childlike incompetence (in fact it was the opposite) and inability to make decisions, or face a challenge.  . . . .  An assumption was made that my daughters were a BURDEN that needed to be relieved, and dumped in a school, so I could get about my REAL life, which was not (as I had been at the time), a profession, but actually making sure I found a 9-3 job, (or a 9-5 job with daycare) and left the real education to the real experts.  . . . Well, that was nonsense.  The insult was that, I should view children as a burden to be dropped off.  I found the attitude odd.  And it was coming from people who did not themselves have kids.  I have since come to the conclusion (or opinion, really), that these people, like I was at one time, were relationship-starved, despite all the art, all the literature, all the work, and all the adult friends they maintained.  I think they were bored and lacked purpose in life. And I had the misfortune to come near their radar screen with children in hand.  The assumption was that I could not POSSIBLY walk and chew gum, or work and have kids, and what was worse, HOMESCHOOL them too?  This was based on an incredible ignorance of almost all the above topics.  

And I was forced back onto the welfare state, needlessly, and told to be thankful.  I’ll tell you how I feel about this.  I HATE it because I know how it happened, needlessly.  It’s abusive, it’s insane, and it communicates a pervasive distrust of me as a person, and bottom line assumption is of incompetence.  Oddly enough, the factors driving me to this point also made the same assumptions.

I HATE having choice being so taken away from me, but whether to take a handout, or not, resulting in an unnatural relationship.  I HATE the insanity that a government would come in and because of Food Stamps be forbidden to buy vitamins, toilet paper, or cat food, lest I might really be buying cigarettes or booze.  I can go and buy candy and sweets or potato chips, til I get diabetic with the same money, so why not a little choice?  the real reason is the need to have something to measure.  At the same time, they do not take kindly to being measured themselves, lest they come up a little short.

Back to this topic:

Noncustodial mothers, and I know many, do not understand why there is such a national drive to disgrace us and scapegoat us individually, and collectively.  Individually, we have some pretty good ideas why this happens, but nationally, I’m here to tell you, this thing ‘mother’ is important, along with “father.”  Any version of “fatherhood” that cannot pronounce the word “mother” alongside it is a bastardized version of the real thing, a caricature.  Good grief. We are cruel enough already, why add to this?

The word “nurse” in the last reference doesn’t mean the one in a white uniform with a crisp cap (and hypodermic in hand), but the mother (“her own children.”)  It’s a noun used only once in the Greek NT, “trophos” (transliterated), but the verb it comes from “trepho”, means is “

A primary verb (properly, threpho; but perhaps strengthened from the base of trope through the idea of convolution); properly, to stiffen, i.e. Fatten (by implication, to cherish (with food, etc.), pamper, rear) — bring up, feed, nourish.

Here’s one more:

Matthew 23:37 (ERV)
O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killeth the prophets, and stoneth them that are sent unto her! how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!

The image of Jesus as a mother hen is not, I admit, the most common one, but the gathering and healing/helping, soothing, stopping the fighting  activity (see context) obviously was not..

These verses referring to this common activity: nursing, cherishing, being gentle, imparting, caring, not forgetting, wanting a person (to have a child be WANTED is a big deal!), gathering the kids together and settling the squabbles, before they kill each other ! is not in the competitive context and as opposed to females we find it today “Dads are Nurturers Too!” but was simply part of a natural part of being a complete human being.  

These are from the psalms of David, who was a major figure in the Bible, Old Testament and new, whose exploit with giant-slaying (“David and Goliath”) as well as with women (“David and Bathsheba”) as well as his progeny (Jesus Christ is sometimes known as the “Son of David” although there were many generations between the two recorded) and he was able to overcome having to flee, and live in caves and dens, but then fulfil his destiny to become a king.  Isaiah (the second quote) was also a key player, and Paul — who takes a lot of grief in some circles, in case you didn’t know — over the supposed, “woman shut up in church!” thing –and is heavily relied on for this same reason by a lot of churches that never see MY face any more — in practice, well, I just don’t seem him acting terribly dismissive of women in the book.   

Another major figure in the Bible is Moses.  His story is, during a time of oppression and state-mandated male infanticide to get rid of the potentially upstart slave population’s potential men (and rebels), the midwives were instructed to kill the males.  They didn’t.  Moses was hid by his parents, and as it goes, they sent him down the river where Pharoah’s daughter (wanting a son!) picked him up, and raised him as her own.  Well, I guess she had a figure and a schedule to maintain, and a wet nurse was hired, which ended up being Moses’ true mother.  That worked out neatly, and I will bet that sometime during those months or years in which she got to nurse her own son, she also talked to him, and let him know who he was, and his heritage.  40, 80 years later, he is a national hero, confronting his own (surrogate) father and leading millions out of slavery.  

These major players in Bible history:  in approximate order:  God, Moses, Isaiah, David, Jesus, and Paul  (most of whom have been portrayed in statue and paintings by artists also — in fact, I think Michelangelo did at least David, God, and Moses) — all freely referred to the characteristics of nursing, cherishing, caring and in short, the supportive bonding relationship as a human need.  

I would quote from a different sacred script, but this happens to be the one I know best.  Please feel free to comment, if you wish, and if you’ve got some additional (relevant) quotes, I”ll incorporate them into the post.

Nursing was taken for granted as part of human life, and verbs and adjectives were associated with both nursing, and the word mother.

How did these people do such great, history-changing things without expert analysis of WHY breast was best?  

Can we say nursing is a good deal for both mother, child, and the rest of us? Yes, it’s not always possible or advisable, but i DO wonder what we’re in such a rush to get rid of it for (pre-, pre-, pre-school in the US) and then, from afar, examine, pronounce and compare it with something else (is there something else superior?) as if it were a foreign thing?


Let’s compare the language used to describe some of this one more time:

Psalm 13913 For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.

14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.

A soul that knows he has a place in this world and was KNOWN.  Assurance, reverence, awe, and praise.  This psalmist went on, being the youngest and often treated dismissively by brothers, and father, to defend and protect his sheep (he could nurture), to slay his giant, to also do music (the psalms), to survive being a fugitive from jealousy, and to go on to be king. When a prophet came to anoint the future king, the littlest one was ignored, not being thought worth a mention.  Older, bigger, better smarter? ones were paraded in front of the prophet, but finally (as it goes) this one was brought out, and anointed officially, prophesied over, and then (apparently) the troubles and jealousy began.  Oh well.  Who would have predicted that?  The best of predictions and analyses go wrong sometimes.

Was he himself breastfed?  Did he have parenting time?  Was he, as a shepherd, familiar with the life process of conception, child(lamb)birth, protection of young, leading, feeding, and staving off dangers from the flock?

Another thing, incidentally, he was famous for was humility — when caught in some serious wrongdoing (adultery, and deceitfully getting another man killed so he could have the wife) and confronted, he admitted it.  This is called repentance, and was commended.

  It’s all in the attitude.

Now, for contrast, a phrase from Study #43 on why, seeking to better perfect human growth patterns and predict, and, and, and . . . . 


These findings have important implications for how children grow, and show the value of time use data in exploring pathways to development for infants and young children. The possibility that cognitive advantages for breastfed children may arise from their distinct patterns of time use and social contexts during the breastfeeding phase is an important area for future research using survey data such as from LSAC.

.These data are then used to investigate the central issue explored in this paper: are the days of breastfed and non-breastfed infants spent differently, to the extent that differences in how breastfed infants spend their time could explain their more positive developmental outcomes? 


The analysis shows that infants who were still breastfed spent significantly longer in the day being held or cuddled (32 minutes more) and being read, talked or sung to (27 minutes more), after taking into account other child and parental characteristics. There was a small positive effect of breastfeeding on spending time crying or upset. Breastfed infants were more likely to have been reported to have spent some time crawling, climbing or swinging arms/legs, and some time colouring, drawing and looking at books or puzzles. Breastfed children, on the other hand, spent significantly less time sleeping (40 minutes less), other eating, drinking or being fed (54 minutes less) and watching television (9 minutes less).

Breastfed infants spent longer with their mother (57 minutes more) than infants who were not breastfed, including more time alone with their mother (45 minutes more). Breastfed children also spent somewhat more time with their father (15 minutes more), although this was related to time that the mother and father were together, as breastfeeding was not associated with a difference in the amount of time the child spent with the father alone.


(It’s a RELATIONSHIP THING, I told you!)  I wish our countries (respectively) would get OUT of the business of designing (measuring, comparing producing, evaluating and predicting, etc.) families.  I really do.  OR, alternately, worshipping them as a national ideal.  I think this can backfire, too.


As a word of explanation, I am not writing to discredit the authors, or the study.  Their credits are below.  My point was in the larger context of, my own wonder and awe not at, well, being fearfully and wonderfully made, but at the whole industry of studying human behavior with a view to predicting, developing, understanding, justifying, and possibly controlling it.  This is actually a positive contribution to the understanding that MOTHERING is important.  Not SMOTHERING.  

In my readings about the history of some of the larger social institutions dedicated to studying children and families, it came up that one cause of this was the tremendous amount of orphans caused by war, specifically World Wars I and II.  It was both a problem and a ready source of oobservation of what happens to kids without families.

Along these lines, and based on my experiences (and associations, readings, etc.) I am personally very disturbed by the nationalized, so-called “public education” system.  Over the long haul — and my life is five decades long, plus some — I was an academic success in a public school, but some of the values problems, and the absence in this context, of solid human connections with more than a few teachers, of discussions about the meaning and purposes of life was absent  Though smart, smart was not appreciated in our high school, in fact it was  social detriment.  Though smart as a kid, I was also picked on as a kid, and my main memory of elementary school was this.  I’m not complaining, I’m thinking here.  It never occurred to me to tell my mother (or father) about the bullying, which went on a long time; I was very young, and the entire schoolyard was involved at playtimes.  I still remember.  I had everything handed to me, excelled here and there, and came to life around high school because of music, and I know this was because of the communal experience of doing something worthwhile other than sitting in a classroom, bored, and waiting for the bell.  

As to bonding with one’s children, there is a bond.  I can’t help thinking about Michael Jackson’s 3 children, basically kids for hire, given up AT BIRTH (I don’t think any one of them got a single sip from their mothe’s breast, and the 3rd, he related, he took away right away, placenta and all, as soon as the cord was snipped.  The stunned reporter, well, was stunned.  Putting this together with Michael’s stories of his threatening domineering father (they practiced with him sitting by with a belt) and when relating it, Michael put his hand over his mouth.  His features were mocked, blaming it on the Mom.  Fantastic wealth, fame, and musical success, yet this person, I looked at him on TV, had tried to turn himself into Peter Pan, he did not want to grow up.  What did he have for his mother — a woman who was as chastised as the Dad?  His own children didn’t know mother, at all, and ALL of them are going to go now either to abusive grandparents (let’s hope that’s changed), or a mother who gave them up at birth and viewed them (the first 2) as a “present” for Michael. They might be fought over, they probably won’t be hurting for food (one never knows) but what would be their place in the world?  And what identity?

I am also looking at all the GRIEF in my own home, and life — first the bastardized version of “fatherhood” and “headship” that I lived with in marriage, which entailed also being domineered and, when necessary to make a point, assaulted, in the name of this ideal– and then, after I left that, the closest handy male who himself ALSO had not become a father, or raised a family, tried to catch up on lost time, with the assistance of his wife, and united with husband to remove the children from my care on the basis that i CERTAINLY couldn’t run a life without a man’s direction.  The real basis, I believe was their need as people, despite all success, to have a meaningful relationship with young people they were related to.  It just so happened they were short two, and mine were on the radar, and basically, that was that.

I don’t mean to give a hard time to people who can’t or don’t keep children with them longer.  It can work out.  

I do believe, though, that when it comes to national policy, it would be suicide to practice the disappearing Mom act.  It’s the beginning of life, and it sets a standard. Leave those children alone!  And let them bond with their Moms.  Support that standard, and many other things will do better — it might make for better mothers, too, if we allow them space and time to do it.  NOW, I have got to say, I think that the educational system exists in relationship to the job system.  They are intertwined.


And i think sooner or later when we look at educational failures, and human behavioral failures (which domestic violence, and associated things ARE), we have too look at conceptual failures to acknowledge some basic human truths. And one of those is that MOST of us don’t like being treated like cogs in a machine, or parts in an assembly line.  MOST of us would like some decent relationship with a sane human being that knows us, appreciates us, thinks POSITIVELY of us (which many school programs, alas, do not), and does not have an ulterior motive – job stability, money, sex, power, fame, prestige — etc. in there competing with why we are being raised as we are.  

Human beings need a raison d’etre, a purpose in life, too.  A friend of mine likes to say, all we need is:

  • Someone to love
  • Work to do.

One way to be able to love someone else is to have some self-respect (skills mastery, accomplishment, service, function in a community) oneself.  A sense that one is unique, not just a point on a bell-curve.  Let’s have a little motherhood in here, it’s a great start to other endeavors.  That nursing baby NEEDS Mom, and to be held.  That Mother/baby situation NEEDS Dad to protect it, and enable this situation.  If, however, Dad has become inappropriate because of violence, or absent by choice, or incarceration, then they need a little space to grow up.  Neither of them needs to be around violence or poverty and no child certainly should be treated as a piece of property — which is EXACTLY how too many institutions are indeed treating them, no matter what the sign on the doors.    

How complex is that?  In this regard, I think many institutions have got it wrong in trying to give people what they might rather earn or learn themselves.

Sorry to be so long-winded today. 

Here are the women who did the study; it’d be great to read the entire thing (link up top):


About the authors

Jennifer Baxter is a Research Fellow at the Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS), where she works largely on employment issues as they relate to families with children. Since starting at AIFS, Jennifer has made a significant contribution to a number of important reports, including the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA) Social Policy Research Paper No. 30, Mothers and Fathers with Young Children: Paid Employment, Caring and Wellbeing (Baxter, Gray, Alexander, Strazdins, & Bittman, 2007) and AIFS’ submission to the Productivity Commission Parental Leave Inquiry (2008). She has also contributed several Family Matters articles and had work published in other journals. Her research interests include maternal employment following childbearing, child care use, job characteristics and work-family spillover, breastfeeding, children’s time use and parental time with children. She has made extensive use of data from the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC) to explore these areas of research.

Jennifer was awarded a PhD in the Demography and Sociology Program of the ANU in 2005. Her work experience includes more than fifteen years in the public sector, having worked in a number of statistical and research positions in government departments.

Julie Smith is a Research Fellow at the Australian Centre for Economic Research on Health at the Australian National University (ANU). She has published over 20 articles on public finance and health policy issues in peer-reviewed journals across several disciplines. She has authored two books on taxation (Taxing Popularity and Gambling Taxation in Australia), and received an Australian Research Council Postdoctoral (APD) Fellowship and Discovery Project funding for her research on the economics of mothers’ milk. She conducted a significant national survey of new mothers’ time use in 2006-07. Her research interests include: economic aspects of breastfeeding; the time use of new mothers <www.acerh.edu.au/programs/Time_Use_Survey.php>; non-market economic production and the care economy; taxation, tax expenditures and public finance policy; economics of the non-profit sector; tobacco control; and health financing. Julie was previously a senior economist in the Australian and New Zealand treasuries, and a Visiting Fellow in the Economics Program at the ANU Research School of Social Sciences. She was awarded a PhD in Economics (ANU) in 2003.



Written by Let's Get Honest|She Looks It Up

July 1, 2009 at 1:16 pm

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