Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Words, just words

Medela is defined in wikipedia as a "breast pump company" and also "a fossil genus of spiders in the family Philodromidae." I always wondered what medela meant and now I know. I thought at one time that the breast pump company must be owned by someone named Medela.
I like spiders and the webs they weave. Outside my window the Golden Orb spider spins her web, thick and yellow. I have gotten entangled many a time in its web and everytime a sense of panic overcomes me. I find myself hopping on one foot, tearing at the yellowy strings , and getting more and more panicked. Yet, I like spiders and I am fascinated by them. Entanglements....
Medela, the breast pump company, seems to have spun a web of entanglements in the breastfeeding advocacy community. I spent this morning looking at various breastfeeding organizations in various states and lots of them list Medela as a "resource." One website I looked at listed Medela as a "professional resource." One website listed Medela as a resource but there were no other companies/businesses listed only non-profit organizations. Strange, how these websites don't see Medela as a business, a manufacturer, a maker of breastpumps and accessories. When I read the JHL (Journal of Human Lactation) some years ago, Medela often had the whole back cover...advertisement??? resource????
I have been told they still advertise in this LC professional journal. Not all professional journals accept such advertising. It is difficult to exist without it. How many Conferences, educational gathering has Medela funded or partly funded? How many organizations have been gifted with products from Medela? I know years ago that La Leche League had a breast pump program that helped leaders give pumps to those who needed them but couldn't afford them. We, in breastfeeding advocacy, are surrounded and enveloped by their generosity. How many IBCLCs owe their economic survival to Medela? But we are also ensnared at the same time. Caught by this generosity, how do we view our world, our entanglements? Medela is no longer a business out to make a profit, it is our educational resource, our professional resource. Words, just words...
Copyright 2008 Valerie W. McClain

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