Wednesday, February 11, 2009

What Would You Do?

Salma Hayek was in Sierra Leone on a humanitarian issue, along with representatives from Pampers. Her trip was documented on Nightline last week.

The purpose was to promote Pampers One Pack = One Vaccine, where for every pack of Pampers sold, they will pay for one tetanus vaccine. Tetanus is a completely preventable disease which is in part responsible for the region having the highest infant mortality rate in the world.

The main culprit? Malnutrition. Women are discouraged from breastfeeding for more than a few months because, according to local beliefs, their husbands won't have sex while their wife is still nursing their child.

In part to take away the stigma of nursing, Hayek decided on doing something that's led to an explosion of international reaction: she breastfed a week-old sick boy, whose mother was unable.

What I thought was amazing is she never hesitated. Her only thought, for a moment, was whether she was being disloyal to her one year-old daughter, who she is still nursing.

It was a genuine moment that simply reminded us exactly what our breasts are for - and where their real power is. And in the process, also showed how natural nursing is.

The obvious question: would you do this for another child?


Jen C said...

First, thank you so much for posting this as I hadn't heard about it until now.
Secondly - Wow! I'm not sure what to think. It's going to take me a moment to digest all this. What a profound experience though isn't it?
I have to say on one hand I'm (and this is the small and crazy germaphobe part of me) a little icked out by it. I mean I'm sure Salma wouldn't nurse a kid if she (Salma) had something wrong with her but still.
On the other hand however, I mean these kids need good nutrition and what's more nutritious?
While I love Salma I do also wonder about it being taped for a segment. It seems a little contrived. I did however find her great grandmother's (or was it her great great grandmother?) story beautiful and organic.
I think I'm just so far removed from a situation where I would need to nurse another mother's child (plus I'm not lactating anymore) that this is so hard for me to fathom.

Cheryl said...

I think it was only contrived in that, when she had the opportunity, she knew she could do it to hope to take down the stigma. I don't think it was on the intenary. It's also probably the most nutritious breastmilk the baby will ever have. I also wonder how many celebs would've done that?

Jen C said...

I can see the taking down the stigma part.
It would have to be an extraordinary circumstance for me to nurse another woman's child.
What about you? Did you mention if you would do it or not?

Cheryl said...

Well, you know, if I didn't have poisonous breastmilk, I'd offer to feed the world... ;) But yes, I would do it if I was able, in an extraordinary circumstance like the one Salma Hayek was in.

Diana said...

I would nurse another woman's child in a heart beat!

I don't understand what's so gross about it. If I was lactating, and there was a child in need of my brest milk, I would give it to him/her no doubt about it.

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