New Statesman - Arts - Diary - Annalisa Barbieri
Monday 7th February 2005
"It is said you are never more than ten feet away from a swinger in London, but in Primrose Hill it seems they are within even easier grasp, writes Annalisa Barbieri. I like to start the week talking about breasts - and thus it was that I did. There we were Monday morning, ten women sitting around a table at University College Hospital, talking about breasts. Our breasts, your breasts and, more specifically, breastfeeding: the most emotive subject on earth. One woman pulled out a knitted breast to show how to express milk and we all fondled it fondly. We were there to talk policies: UCH is intent on becoming more breastfeeding-friendly, something I feel passionately about and support fully. The levels of ignorance and misinformation about breastfeeding are scandalously shocking, and women are lied to daily. Someone - cough, cough - high up in government needs to address this, because breast milk is truly magical and should be promoted with the same aggression as artificial milk. Even though it is illegal to advertise or promote infant formulae for babies of less than six months, the milk companies get round it in all sorts of sly ways. That night I squeeze my F-cup cleavage (I am still breastfeeding) into a Diane von Furstenberg dress and go out. One has to spread the word however one can...."