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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Breastmilk: The Movie - A Review

I put off watching Breastmilk for some time, suspecting I would feel all the things I ultimately felt after watching it today. I knew it would stress me out, fire me up, break my heart, and get me doing that weird thing where I talk to the TV like those in it can hear me.  I wanted to be wrong.  Sadly, I was right.

The experts were fantastic. Ok, so there was one community health worker, Patrece Griffith-Murray, who bugged me when she spoke of those who breastfeed as needing to have fiercely competitive personalities in order to muddle through. That was crap and, while I know what she was trying to get at, I feel it did more harm than good. The rest of the experts, though, were super. I fell in love with Dr. Fiona Giles, author of Fresh Milk: The Secret Life of Breasts. That woman is a fearless, truth-speaking badass! I could've watched a whole movie with just her.

Some of the moms broke my heart. In particular, Colleen, who is a biologist along with her husband. She wanted it. She wanted it bad. She researched, she studied, she was (mostly) confident in her body's ability to do it. She fell into some typical "booby traps" and ended up not breastfeeding in the end. Her heart was broken over it and her husband had zero empathy. He was the one to whom I yelled. Telling her how she should feel was just more than I could bear. Turd burglar. Then, there was another dad who pressured the mom to formula feed, because he didn't like the time breastfeeding took. Screw him. I wanted someone to step in. I longed for the experts to at least address each of these behaviors (and take those dads down a peg or eight), but it never happened and there are all the more heartbroken moms and babes in the world because of it.

I cannot even tell you how much it irks me
that the nipple is blacked out.
I was thrilled to see the inclusion of a lesbian couple who both breastfed and a gay couple whose child subsisted on donor milk. What a boon on so many fronts! Well done, Dana.

Would I recommend it? That depends. If you are already well-researched and educated, confident in your body, and beyond the fears that society foists upon us then yes, I recommend it. Unfortunately, the film doesn't do a good enough job of debunking the myths that the women followed state repeatedly for me to recommend it to anyone else. Regardless of which category you fall into, I recommend reading The Politics of Breastfeeding instead.

Overall, it was a good start, but I was left wanting more.

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