I will Not “Chill Out”! And you CANNOT touch my belly!!

I just read an article written by Sarah Naomi Clark and shared on jennifermargulis.net titled “Go Ahead, Touch My Belly! 3 Reasons Why Pregnant Women Should Stop Complaining About Belly Touchers” and I was left with my jaw on the floor.

What this article did was give excuses why unsolicited touching of a woman’s body should be celebrated simply because ‘pregnancy belly’. That pregnant women need to “CHILL OUT” when someone touches her and that we shouldn’t complain.

No. Just no.
NO! NO! NO!!!

Sarah, You will not turn pregnant women into petting zoo exhibits. You will not give reasons why we should toss aside our privacy and our bodily autonomy simply because my belly is thriving with human life. ITS STILL MY BODY!!

Still dont get it? Let me do a quick visual for you. 322182_2045987505135_1796609495_o

Lets talk about the word “Permission”. Because no where in your write up did you mention it. Permission is defined as the “authorization granted to do something; formal consent: to ask permission to leave the room. 2. the act of permitting.”

When you tell women to “CHILL OUT” and let strangers or even family touch them, you are telling them that another persons inability to comprehend the word ‘permission’, overrides a mothers rights to not have her belly pawed by these strangers. Where did manners go now days? Boobs make men happy, they unite women who breastfeed, should we “chill out” when people walk up to us and touch? NO! You’d probably get smacked in the face if you did that to someone without permission!!!

And you are also forgetting the thousands of sexual abuse survivors (like myself) who have been working overtime to get our bodies back from being a petting zoo exhibit from someone else who didnt understand the word ‘permission’. Thats my biggest complaint! WE OWN OUR BODIES AND IF WE WANT TO COMPLAIN ABOUT PEOPLE TOUCHING THEM FOR WHATEVER REASON, WE WILL!! You dont get to tell us what we should and should not deem as acceptable behaviors from others. You didnt even take us into consideration before writing your insulting post!

I dont really care if “Not that many people touch the belly”. I hated being touched. Touch made me squirm like I was bathing in a pool of maggots.
I dont really care it “People are EXCITED about your baby”. They can be excited and not put their hands on my belly. Or at least until they ask permission.
I dont really care if “the joy of a new life united humanity”. So does the joy of having the rights to tell people when they can and cannot feel that life inside me through belly touches.

“How can we be irritated when people love that you are pregnant and want to touch your growing belly to acknowledge this miraculous cycle of life?” Im not irritated at being loved when Im pregnant and people wanting to acknowledge the cycle of life. Im irritated that people cannot respect my space and rights to be asked before they touch me.

You close your blog off with “Go ahead, touch my belly!” giving permission to the world to go ahead and fondle your beautiful pregnant belly. Go you! Thats what YOU are comfortable with.

I close my blog off with…

If you see me on the streets, and you want to touch my belly, ASK FIRST. If I say yes, Go ahead, touch my belly! But if you walk up to me and start to grope my stomach without asking, I will probably scream ‘STRANGER DANGER’ and embarrass the shit out of you!!

[Poll] Are you involved in the Genital Integrity Awareness Movement

I am trying to get a rough estimate of how many people in today’s society are involved in the Genital Integrity Awareness movement.
This is for both male and female genital integrity worldwide.

If you could take a moment and place vote, I would greatly appreciate it!

Please pass it along so that others may vote also. Lets see how many men and women out there are fighting for the rights of children, men and women to remain whole and unharmed!

Thank you and have a beautiful day!

 

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Awakening

I cant even come up with a good title for this blog.
How does one think of a title for a story that breaks my heart every time I think back on events that have lead me up to even writing this?

Before I even begin, I want to say something about this blog. This is MY story. This is MY SONS story. This isn’t ME bashing or telling anyone else they are wrong for the choices they have made for their own children. We each come to a crossroads in our lives when the truth catches up with us. It took 10 years for me. It may take more or less for others. The goal is to EDUCATE and not hate. To share our stories with one another so that we can open ourselves up and see that we are not alone. That our ways of thinking can be changed with the wave of new information that comes before us. That we can do better for our children. Our awakenings are important. To us as parents and to our children who we try to do right by.

If by chance you find the topic of infant circumcision makes you want to burst out in anger because you don’t agree with me and what I say here, don’t read my blog. Don’t reply to this blog. Move on with your day and I wish you well. Its that simple.

Ill continue now. Please be respectful of my requests here and I will be respectful of you.

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2013 Big Latch On Event – Culpeper, VA

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Photo credit: Amanda Dilday

I had the pleasure of attending and participating in this years Great Latch On event here in Culpeper, VA at Yowell Meadow Park with my nursling.  Despite the rain, we had an AWESOME turn out!

The total count for moms was 50.  The total count for breastfeeding babies was 52(virtual high five that mommy for breastfeeding not 1, not 2, but 3 babies!! Triplets!!! Go Momma!!).

It was simply amazing to see so many people come out in support of Breastfeeding awareness and in support of one another.

If you attended the Culpeper Latch On event you can view photos here that were taking by Candice Davidson De Jesus of Storyteller Photography and here taken by Molly Peterson of Molly M. Peterson :: Documenting Life. Please respect that these photos are for Latch On participants to remember this day by. Please ask the photographers for permission before use of any of the photos.

This is exactly what breastfeeding support looks like.  Women helping, encouraging, educating and having the courage to help normalize breastfeeding in public!

As a mother of 4 breastfed children.  All who either self weaned, I weaned and 1 still breastfeeding, are thankful for YOUR support. Without the support of other women,  women like you and my family members,  I dont think we would of made it as far as we did and have.  Support and education is part of the key to breastfeeding success for mothers and their babies.  Many mothers struggle alone sometimes in their breastfeeding journeys and I know what a lonely dark place that is.  Which is why I do what I do.  Which is why I attend these events.  To let others see that they are not alone.  That we as women are never alone.  Its important to show others, not just other moms, that breastfeeding is natural, normal and let them know we will not hide in corners and we will not lock ourselves indoors to conform to their comfort or disagreement of public breastfeeding.  We encourage education to rid this world of the stigmas that come with breastfeeding so that women can do it without shame and without harassment from those who do not understand or want to understand.

Breastfeeding is an important issue in my life, the life of my children and the life of my poor husband who got dragged into all this.  Luckily he hasn’t kicked and screamed to escape but I’m sure he has felt the need to run from time to time :)

I want to throw a HUGE thank you to today’s event hostess and coordinator,  Cindy Curtis who is a Registered Nurse and Lactation Consultant.  She also runs Pink Cocoon which provides breastfeeding support groups, education and support for pregnant mothers in the area.  Cindy spent a lot of time getting this event together and making sure everyone was comfortable, happy and motivated!  She did an amazing job setting up raffle gifts through different vendors and making sure each momma got a goodie bag filled with information and treats!  So will everyone give a big Thank You to Cindy with me for being an awesome hostess and coordinator and to her 18 amazing volunteers:

Thank You Cindy!!!!! 

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Photo Credit: Amanda Podgorski

Worldwide Breastfeeding Week will be over in a few days. BUT, Worldwide Breastfeeding Month will go on through August.  I look forward to being a part of your Worldwide Breastfeeding Month (and beyond) of education and support!

*Raquel*

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A Fully Informed Choice… Part 3

**Part 1 can be found here and Part 2 can be found here**

Along with vaccination injections, there are immune globulin (made from the plasma of volunteers) and anti-toxin injections. They are available for many of the diseases for which vaccines have been produced (e.g. Rubella, RSV, hepatitis B, tetanus, diphtheria, measles, varicella etc.). Such injections can be given either prophylactically (pre-exposure) or therapeutically (post-exposure).

This medical aid can be given irrespective of vaccination status. We have antibiotics readily available to our population that while over-prescribed and over-used – for example, given for viral infections when they are able to treat bacterial infections only – can also be lifesaving when needed. While medical advances such as these may not always be effective, they are readily available along with other treatments such as hospitalization if necessary (e.g. for breathing support, IV fluids etc.). The treatments we have available to us in hospitals now makes severe adverse events from disease far less common, and occurs mainly in those with predisposing health conditions or weakened immune systems.

Interestingly, there is medical literature which suggests that vaccinated populations are not only at greater risk of health issues (such as recurrent infections, allergies and autoimmune conditions) but also that some vaccinated populations suffer greater levels of complications from disease when they contract it after receiving (or develop it from) vaccination. This is not the expected outcome if vaccination were protecting the at risk populations from severity of disease. This literature is freely available, but not made public knowledge. The idea that vaccination rates must remain high for community protection (termed ‘herd immunity’) seems sound in logic. But there are major flaws to this belief. Firstly, the general population at any one time is not up to date with vaccinations to the number we are told is necessary for protection. This concept of herd immunity began when observing herds of cattle. But it was to do with naturally acquired disease, for which lifelong immunity is expected.

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