What has breastfeeding got to do with Jamie Oliver?

through the eyes of a breastfeeding support group

So, following his recent win on the sugar tax, Jamie Oliver has turned his attention to breastfeeding – see here.
What has breastfeeding got to do with him, you might ask? It seems that’s what everyone is thinking. But why shouldn’t it have something to do with him? Is he not a fellow mammal, human and parent? And one with a keen interest in infant nutrition at that?

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Please stop now with ‘breast is best’


hate this phrase.

I’m a huge breastfeeding advocate but this drives me insane. Whether or not it has any truth is irrelevant to the argument. It incites so many bitter feelings, so much anger and rawness, that it is simply not useful to anyone any more.

Breastfeeding is important, but we don’t need to convey that any other option is ‘bad’ or ‘inferior’, even if breastfeeding offers benefits to mother and child that may not be achieved elsewhere.

Here are some more pleasant alternatives to ‘breast is best’:

  1. Breastfeeding is normal. It is the biological norm. This is a simple fact. This isn’t condescending. It isn’t an opinion statement, it is true. For most babies, the milk of their mother or from another human donor is the most nutritionally complete food they can consume.
  2. Breastfeeding can be easy. Don’t get me wrong; its hard sometimes, its really hard…

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Fear of women, attachment to schooling.

Sophie Christophy

this-day-in-world-history-9-22-11-photo-witches Edited thanks to reader feedback: this shows a ducking stool, a punishment used when women talked back to their ‘master’. Women suspected of witchcraft had their ankles and wrists tied together, and were thrown in a pond. If they sank and drowned, it showed they  were innocent, if they half-drowned or swam, they were guilty and burnt to death.  

School is necessary. Or is it?

It was the demands of the Industrial Revolution that resulted in mass state schooling. Now we all take it for granted and it shapes our understanding of childhood, teaching and learning. We’ve all been through the system, we accept the system, we believe it’s necessary. We believe that learning and education requires school.

Except that an increasing number of parents are questioning this. In the same way as people are questioning many aspects of parenting and the parent child relationship, so too are parents applying critical thinking to education…

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International Women’s Day.

BeHome Blog

By Joanna Roughton.

Well ladies, it’s not getting any easier.

As I sit writing this blog on the eve of International Women’s Day, I’m staring at two fiercely contradictory studies, both published in the space of a few days.

One hails from one of the ‘big four’ accountancy firms – PwC – the book-keepers formerly known as PriceWaterhouseCoopers.

It states that Britain’s economy could get a £170bn boost if only it were able to mimic Scandanavian levels of female workplace participation.

Specifically, stuffy, patriarchal Blighty, could witness a nine per cent increase in GDP if female employment rose to match Sweden’s.

In a country, like the UK, which has a problem getting its productivity up, that is a hefty hike in nationwide wealth. You can see why the Treasury is so keen to keep changing rules on tax and benefits to encourage more of us to ditch the apron and…

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