Bizarre Breastfeeding

BREASTFEEDING A COW
A woman breastfeeding a cow

We were watching Discovery Channel the other day and there was this story about off springs needing a mother to survive particularly newborns. Out of the blues came the story of a baby cow which had lost its mother three days after it was born and therefore was bereft of  breast milk from her mother. As the pictures rolled by, a woman who definitely must have a baby she was nursing decided to offer milk from her flowing breast to this baby calf. Before you say how sweet, hear me out. At first it was her fingers i saw caressing the mouth of the baby cow, the next thing i knew was that the her nipples were surrounded by the mouth of the baby cow.  Link to original video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xGoEuGKqfN8

irk…disgusted I opened my mouth in shock. But alas it was not a mistake; this woman intentionally gave her breast to the cow. Her explanation for this action was that the baby cow needed a mother to breastfeed her and she was willing to do it. In the Indian culture where this woman was from, cows were sacred. She believed that helping to nurse this calf with her human milk will earn her a reward from the gods. Yes the baby cow owed her survival to this generous human mother and it is an emotionally moving act but seriously i do not subscribe to the method of allowing a cow to suck directly from her breast for a number of reasons. What if the cow bites off her nipple or breast? Another concern is the issue of hygiene; this woman from that Indian village is also feeding her own baby with the same breast! Infection and diseases can set in for both mother and baby. Heaven forbid an occurrence of mad cow disease!

A few lessons to take away from this story:

Breastfeeding is very important to the survival of babies. Newborns whose mother’s die at birth can be breastfed by surrogate mothers instead of just giving them Formula Food.

In the period of breastfeeding, hygiene is very important. A nursing mother must endeavor to maintain cleanliness at all times. Health workers at antenatal sessions have advised mothers to bath at least twice a day and wash up the nipple area before breastfeeding their baby. This is intended to get rid of sweat and dirt that might have accumulated in the course of carrying out other activities.

While looking for a photo on-line that best portrays this post i was shocked by the number of images of other women who had at one time breastfed animals. I don’t understand it at all. I mean what is the catch?! If you must help an animal with your human milk, please use a breast pump to express your breast milk and then give the “baby animal”. And if it is a village where a breast pump is not available such women should be advised to use their hands to express their breast milk into a cup or bowl. This is definitely more healthy and safer!

Photo Credit: www.pinterest.com Feeding a Cow: Breast Feeding, Breastf Animal, Indiana Che, Funny Pictures. ( Thanks for sharing this photo)

Adebisi Adetunji

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How Bride Price saves Marriages

It seems there is still more to be said about Bride Price. A close associate read my post A Pregnant Nigerian Woman and her Bride Price and thought it was a great piece. He went further to tell me  how right i was about payment of bride price being an important rite in contraction of marriages traditionally. Something he said while explaining how this works in his culture caught my attention which is what i would like to share in this short piece:

My friend who is from the Igbo tribe in Nigeria revealed that in parts of South Eastern Nigeria, Bride price is said to be responsible for low rate of divorce. How is this even possible? I am told that payment of bride price has a high value tag placed on it (not in the amount of money but in terms of importance) . When a girl’s bride price had been paid; if either party want a divorce then the bride price must be returned. Not many people want to go through the process of returning the bride price i am told.  This can be quite embarrassing and shameful for the family. And unless the bride price is returned, traditionally as far as the families are concerned the couple are still married to each other even if one of them moves out of their home.

In the end both sides of the family wade into the dispute and the matter is settled amicably. Interesting that Bride Price can make it difficult for couples to divorce. So if you want your marriage to last, plan to have your Bride Price paid first…hahaha… (just kidding)

Adebisi Adetunji

A Pregnant Nigerian Woman and her Bride Price

This post is in response to a question that popped up from the search engine on my blog. It seemed someone needed an answer to the question: “If a Nigeria woman gets pregnant, would her bride price be paid”?

As a Nigerian woman I would try to provide an answer to this question using some of my experience about the issue of Bride Price. First of all it would be important to know what Bride Price means in the Nigerian context.

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An Igbo traditional bride price items

Bride price is a required list of items the family of a woman expects the man who intends to marry her to present. This items include money, tubers of yam, cartons of drinks, bags of rice, salt and sugar, honey, umbrella, box filled with cloths for the bride and her mother depending on the tribe, basket of fruits, goat and more. This bride price items vary from tribe to tribe and family to family. It is a transaction between the groom and bride’s family which signifies an acceptance of the grooms desire to marry their daughter. It is the final deal that signs a woman over to be traditionally married to a man. A man who refuses to pay a girl’s bride price is believed to be a thief (stolen his wife).

In the Yoruba tradition, after the traditional marriage ceremony, the received bride price is divided into two equal parts: One half for her father and his extended family; the other half for the mother of the bride and her own extended family. So you find an aunt going away with a small pack of salt and sugar and she would be so excited that she had partaken of the traditional marriage rites of one of their daughters. A child is believed to belong to everyone in her family so uncles, aunties, and grandparents all see the child as their own. The act of paying a bride price is according the family of a bride their due respect; it is a token though sometimes a “neck breaking token” appreciating her family’s effort at taking care of her from childhood. It gives a sense of pride to the bride’s family that their girl had married, “right” and had not shamed the family by running away/eloping with a man. A woman properly married in this manner (by way of bride price) brings honour to her family in the community. It is what makes the marriage valid in the eyes of society and family (nuclear and extended).

Failure to pay a woman’s bride price before marrying her can mean she is reclaimed by her family. In fact in some tradition any child such a woman gives birth to belongs to her family and not the husband’s. Fulfilling the Bride Price obligation in a marriage transaction is a “big deal”, in Nigeria. In fact it is, “The deal”.

I believe the question I am attempting to answer in this blog is actually about whether the value of a woman drops if she gets pregnant and therefore the husband to be is not obliged to pay her bride price. In other words he can be excused or refuse to pay. I smile at this line of thought…as I remember instances where couples engaged and promised to be married to each are required to first of all plant a seed in the woman’s womb. There are some families who will not even consent to a marriage if such a woman had not being impregnated. In such a situation, the grooms family insists that the girl their son wishes to marry must prove her fertility by getting pregnant first or they would not consent to the union talk less of rising to the occasion to accompany their son to the lady’s family in order to pay her bride price. This had turn out to be a big tussle in some instance especially when the couple believe in “keeping the marriage bed pure”. On the other hand the family of a girl who believes in chastity and holds unto a girl being a virgin until her wedding night would certainly be disappointed if their daughter shows up pregnant before marriage. However this does not mean they would then refuse to accept her bride price from the man who impregnated her and intends to marry her. In fact getting pregnant is an excuse to quickly speed up the marriage process. You’ll hear things like, “Bring your man home quickly and let him and his people (family) come and pay your bride price/dowry ; don’t shame us”! And when the man shows up, her family is so relieved by this and the process is quickly concluded. In some other families, parents actually rejoice when she comes home to say that she is carrying a child especially when they had consented to the man she is courting. Again I reiterate that payment of bride price is the final deal that seals a marriage between two families traditionally. In other words families would not accept marriage between a man and a woman if the bride price/dowry had not been paid. I know of a couple who went ahead to get married without paying the woman’s bride price; her family gave the man hell. After a few years being married to each other, her father insisted that they must do “the proper thing” by coming to pay the required bride price.

In Africa the blessing of a father and mother in any marriage contract is very important. This is shown in their acceptance of the dowry/bride price from any man their daughter wishes to be married to. Payment of Bride price for the Nigerian woman who becomes pregnant is not an option but a Must Do for the groom to be! If you wish to know more click on this link about  Marriages in Nigeria.

This post is not exhaustive in itself but i hope it is helpful.

Photo Credit: tony55.hubpages.com

By Adebisi Adetunji

 

 

 

Pink is not a Feminine Colour After-all

10640800-welcome-baby-girl

The idea that pink is not a feminine or girl colour after-all sounds like challenging the stereotype belief of modern society. Now before nodding your head vigorously in disagreement first follow me on this thought line.
When an expectant mother or couple discovers the gender of their unborn baby, it automatically helps to determine what the nursery/baby room would look like and the kind of cloths to buy. Mostly if it’s a baby girl then the nursery decoration takes on the features of pink. When it’s a baby boy colours like blue, Green are used to decorate the nursery. Have you ever being to a baby shower where almost all the dresses or presents for the new baby turned out to be pink. It’s what I call a pink wardrobe…common on that is so pinkish!

The other day I went visiting a darling sister who had just given birth to a bouncy baby boy. As I entered the post natal ward filled with happy faces of mothers and their newly born, I was greeted by two rows of baby cots one on each side of the large ward.

Baby cots

These baby cots where all wrapped in pink shawls and this made the room look all pinkish. As I marched towards my friend and her baby boy I couldn’t help but chuckle at the idea of pink baby cots for all the babies…I mean both boys and girls. I thought to myself, “Why would they make everything so pink”? I wanted to see some of the baby cots wrapped in blue shawls to warmly welcome baby boys as is the tradition. How did we arrive at the ideology that the best colour for baby boys is blue and girls get wrapped in pink? I seriously wondered but anyway it struck me then that the colour pink in my own opinion has a warm feeling, innocence, softness and beauty about it. Maybe that’s why the hospital made a choice of pink shawls for all the baby cots. I found out in my research that in previous centuries pink was believed to be a more decided and a stronger colour and therefore suitable for boys. On the other hand blue was perceived to be more suitable for girls because it was more delicate and prettier.  As far as i am concerned Boy or Girl all babies are beautiful and innocent, so why not pink coloured shawls to welcome whichever gender heaven sends our way.

From an adult’s perspective not all ladies, girls have pink as their favourite colour. I know of girls/ladies/women that are in love with many other colours other than the colour pink. I have friends who just love anything that comes in the colour red, from jewelleries to shoes, bags and cloths. Some are just in love with the colour of the vegetation- Green. I used to love anything that comes in the colour blue, still do. Once upon a time my wardrobe was filled with clothes in colour blue. However now I have added/blended a few other colours to my collection. I mean variety they say is the spice of life and I was tired of looking blue almost all the time. How come girls like me prefer the colour blue instead of pink? I know of teenage girls who simply refuse to have their rooms done in pink as suggested by their parents.
Come to think of it the colour pink features in the fashion world of men too. Visit a men’s cloth line and you’ll see what I mean. One would find a variety that comes in pink colour ranging from shirts, jackets, towels, shoes, running shoes, and snicker. Look around you and you’ll find a man wearing a pink shirt or pink tie. It has a nice feel to it. And of course some men wear pink bathrobes and use pink towels at home, only the rest of us are not privileged to see them in it…haa…haa…haa. So can we still say pink is a feminine colour?

Welcome Baby Girl : Photo Credit- Ruth Stitt http://www.123rf.com/stock-photo/baby_clothes.html?mediapopup=10640800

This blog has been nominated for the Leibster Award!

This blog has been nominated for the Leibster Award by Merly kidsofthe50sand60s https://kidsofthe50sand60s.wordpress.com/

I really appreciate this this Merly. I love the way you remind us of the ways things were in the old days and comparing it with what is now.

The Liebster Award is an online award given to new, or undiscovered, bloggers by other bloggers.

Rules for the Liebster Award:

Once you are nominated:

Make a post thanking and linking the person who nominated you.
Include the Liebster Award sticker in the post too.
Nominate 5 -10 other bloggers who you feel are worthy of this award. Let them know they have been nominated by commenting on one of their posts. You can also nominate the person who nominated you.
Ensure all of these bloggers have less than 200 followers.
Answer the eleven questions asked to you by the person who nominated you, and make eleven questions of your own for your nominees or you may use the same questions.
Lastly, COPY these rules in the post.

I would like to nominate the following bloggers:

kidsofthe50sand60s https://kidsofthe50sand60s.wordpress.com/

An Aspiring Writer

Kim L Hine

My Big Fat Rheumatoid Life

UniquelyMeandYouBlog

I am still looking for the eleven questions. I will try and update but in the meantime if i have nominated you please click on the Leibster award photo to find out more. Have fun!

Feature: Iya Hannah, A Poultry Attendant Winning Her Battles

IYA HANNAH 1
Iya Hannah and her kids on the farm

This story was sent in by the employer of Iya Hannah, the woman we are celebrating on femininmaterz in the month of August 2015.

Iya Hannah is a mother of four children. She had her first three kids for her first husband whom she lost to Anaemia. After a while she got married to another man whom I will call Saka but unfortunately he did not have a stable job and was an alcoholic. He did odd jobs such as being a security guard, Gardner etc.

As a result Iya Hannah had to take on the responsibility of fending for the whole family. Her job included paying the rent, children’s school fees and even paying for monies Saka had borrowed from others. Her husband, Saka made disappearing from home a habit. He would be gone for days at a time. Saka would go a borrowing and get into all sorts of trouble before coming home to Iya Hannah. After the birth of the only baby she had for Saka, she decided to go for family planning; this resulted in her being physically assaulted by Saka several times. Iya Hannah ran for her life with her kids.

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Iya Hannah unloading poultry feed

She sort work on a farm where she was lucky to get a job as a poultry attendant. Her employer was kind enough to offer her and her kids lodging on the farm. Iya Hannah felt safe and happy on the farm for a while.

Things became unsettled when Saka somehow located Iya Hannah and her kids. He started showing up and threatening her. He even threatened to kidnap the girl she had for him. One day he attacked her, attempting to strangle her and in self – defence she hit him with a big wood on his head, after all it was her territory. Iya Hannah’s employer got the news and came to her rescue. Saka was arrested and warned to never go near her on release. Saka was also required by law to pay a merger sum of N1000 monthly for child support. I wondered what that would do for Iya Hannah and four kids! Saka absconded after this and never showed up again; neither did he pay the monthly child support.

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Iya Hannah caring for the birds and picking eggs

Iya Hannah continues to live on the farm fending for herself and her kids. The interesting thing about this now 30yr old mother of four is that she earns N15, 000 a month and had been able to save N50,000 within 5months. This money she sent to her parents whom her oldest child Hannah lives with.

Indeed Iya Hannah is one of the many strong women who in spite of what life had doled at them continue to survive amidst their challenges. Slowly but surely Iya Hannah is winning her battles.

Story sent in by Abiola Adebisi who gave birth to a bouncy baby boy in the early hours of this morning, 20th August! It’s a  double celebration and a very big congratulations to her family from femininematerz.