In today's Telegraph, Anna White (tired mum of twins) coined the phrase 'the witches of breastfeeding' seemingly to describe anyone who advocates for breastfeeding.
I love it!
Rather embarrassingly she has hit the nail on the head. The uncomfortable truth is that in our (still) male-dominated culture, men cannot breastfeed. Formula milk means you don't need a woman in order to feed a baby, and scientists are already on the way to producing artificial wombs which will see to it that women are not needed in order to grow or birth them either. Breastfeeding challenges the status quo - and as a result there's a lot of breast envy about!
Many so-called 'witches' were (in fact) lay-healers - wise women. They helped people when they were ill, attended women in childbirth and they helped them to breastfeed their babies. When the male-only Church became dominant, witches were persecuted and burned at the stake... The male-only Universities churned out male physicians and childbirth became a male-dominated affair. Along the way a huge amount of precious knowledge got lost.
One could argue that the 'breastfeeding witches' are working hard to give some of that lost knowledge about that most womanly of arts back to mothers. Anna White may not have wanted to know about it, but I meet a lot of mums who desperately do.
So I'm a witch?
Bring it on.