After Mayim Bialik, Dr. Jay Gordon and Jamie Lynne Grumet were interviewed by Anderson Cooper, Jennifer and I had a chance to ask Mayim a few questions about breastfeeding:
i-Breastfeed.com: How did you develop the kind of trust you have in yourself and your baby?
MB: Not easily! I had to find enough people like me in order to not only trust myself but to also let go of needing everyone to trust me and believe in me. Some people (even in my own extended family) never got on board with even letting me make the decisions that were best for us, especially regarding breastfeeding, bedsharing, and gentle discipline. Having a supportive pediatrician and team of nurses and lactation experts was particularly transformative since they helped me trust my body, which led to me trusting my soul!
i-Breastfeed.com: Talk about your experience of long-term nursing.
MB: There is no way to put into words the power and profundity of breastfeeding on demand and with child-led weaning guiding you. Breastfeeding is a lifestyle that does not have to end at 6 months or a year, and the discipline taught at the breast, the calmness, the education that occurs, cannot be overstated. Breastfeeding is normal, natural, and beneficial immunologically, nutritionally, psychologically and developmentally. Older babies and children thrive at the breast and their mothers do too. The family benefits from extended nursing as well as a child is encouraged to seek comfort and sustenance from the most constant and beautiful source: the breast.
i-Breastfeed.com: How did you think the Anderson Cooper interview impacted the audiences view on long-term nursing and attachment parenting?
MB: I feel like Dr jay and I had to speak in snippets; the TV attention span is very short! But having a doctor talk about this topic is critical in a society that worships medical experts, so that was great. Seeing a mom with a sense of humor and a doctor with one too dispels the myth that we are uptight all or nothing militant hard nosed inflexible activists. We are real people who live this life; we don’t just talk about it for our own benefit. It’s for everyone’s benefit to learn about breastfeeding!
i-Breastfeed.com: Our mission is to change culture to restore the phenomenon of the nursing mother. What would that look like to you?
MB: Educating women about anatomy. Teaching the normal physiology of the breast and the meaning and purpose of breastfeeding and normal mammalian parenting. Not equating artificial baby milk with breastmilk. Teaching the benefits of extending breastfeeding not to make everyone do it if it’s not right for them, but to normalize breastfeeding and place it in its rightful place in our minds and hearts.
Click on the links below for more from Mayim:
—title not chosen by me: about nursing my 3 yr old: http://www.kveller.com/blog/parenting/it-may-be-time-to-wean-my-three-year-old/
—title not chosen by me/erroneous: I didn’t wean, we stopped nursing at night when Fred turned 3: http://www.kveller.com/mayim-bialik/how-i-weaned-my-3-year-old/
—-TV clips of me responding to the TIME debacle: (NOT INCLUDING ANDERSON COOPER BC IT AIRS MON 5/21)http://www.kveller.com/mayim-bialik/interview-roundup-talking-about-time-magazine/
Mayim Bialik, Ph.D., CLEC
Mayim Hoya Bialik is best known for her lead role in the 1990s NBC sitcom Blossom, as well as for her portrayal of the young Bette Midler in “Beaches.” She has also appeared in Woody Allen’s “Don’t Drink the Water” and HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm.
Bialik was born to first-generation American teachers and documentary filmmakers and was raised in Los Angeles, attending both public and religious school. Bialik has guest starred on some of the most beloved TV shows of the 1980s and 1990s including MacGyver, The Facts of Life, and Webster. She has appeared numerous times on The Tonight Show, the Arsenio Hall Show, and on Conan O’Brien and Jon Stewart’s early forays into late-night.
Bialik received her B.S. in Neuroscience and Hebrew and Jewish Studies from UCLA in 2000 and earned a Ph.D. in Neuroscience in 2007 from UCLA, specializing in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder in adolescents with Prader-Willi syndrome. She is the celebrity spokesperson for the Holistic Moms Network, a national non-profit organization dedicated to supporting holistic and green parenting and living.
Bialik gave birth to a son in 2005, and a second son (born at home, largely unassisted) in 2008. She is a Certified Lactation Educator Counselor and is devoted to a lifestyle of attachment parenting, homeschooling, natural family living, and vegan cooking. Bialik is the co-founder and chair of the youth branch of the Jewish Free Loan Association (Genesis) and enjoys speaking on a variety of topics, including her journey to embracing traditional Jewish values. She studies Jewish texts weekly with two study partners.
Recent appearances include recurring roles on “Secret Life of the American Teenager” and FOX’s “Til Death.” She portrayed 1960′s activist Nancy Kurshan in “Chicago 8,” and she appears regularly on CBS’s “The Big Bang Theory” as Sheldon’s friend who is not his girlfriend, Amy Farrah Fowler. Bialik is currently writing a book on holistic parenting, to be released by Simon & Schuster in early 2012.