“How dare you provide nutrition to your child in public, i’m appalled!” *insert eye roll emoji*
It’s funny to look back and see how much I’ve changed since becoming a mother. One of the most noticeable differences is my attitude towards breastfeeding. I’ve always supported breastfeeding, but I was one of those people who believed it should be done in privacy. When I would see mother’s nursing their children in public establishments, I would ask myself one question. . . why? That is until I had a little one of my own.
See, before having children, I didn’t fully understand why pulling out your breast in public was necessary. If mother’s were feeding their babies formula from bottles, breast milk could be given in bottles too. I mean, after all that is the point of a breast pump right? Oh the naivete.
These days, I don’t care where I am, I’m feeding my daughter. I whip out my breast sometimes with a cover, most times without. If my child is hungry, she will eat regardless of who it makes uncomfortable. As such, I am the one getting the stares from random strangers these days. But breastfeeding is organic and to have this ability as a woman is miraculous. And I’ve realized that this is a problem most formulate due to the insecurities they battle on their own and not because there is truly something wrong with it.
“Breastfeeding is an intimate moment, cover yourself!”
Yes, this is true, breastfeeding your child is such an intimate moment. It is bonding with your child in a way that cannot be paralleled. I mean come on, skin to skin contact is what stimulates the hormones to even begin production of breast milk. The constant connection is what keeps your milk supply fluid and abundant. Your bodies natural response to your child is to provide the needed nutrition. We’re built for it, and it’s a beautiful thing.
Let me tell you what it’s not. . .
Breastfeeding is not a sexual thing, and I hate that they’ve made it such. Just because a woman pulls out her breast, it doesn’t mean that she is inviting you to look. This is not an invitation to stare in hopes that you catch a glimpse of a nipple when the child detaches. Breastfeeding is not a woman attention seeking. There is nothing gross or degrading about it. So, why should we be forced to cover ourselves or sit in dirty public restrooms or hot cars? It’s absurd.
American Society has found ways to sexualize the female body every chance it gets. The media sells products using the woman’s body in a sexual manner. However, this is not one of those moments. This is a primitive encounter between a mother and her child. You go to different countries around the world and you’ll see it! It’s celebrated and encouraged. You have to learn to embrace it for what it is, and get over yourself.
Rant over, Back to the beauty of it all. . .
There are so many advantages to breastfeeding your child. From immune health, to cost efficiency and even sleeping patterns, breastfeeding has benefits for both moms and babies. I didn’t understand this until I was a mother myself. It took me looking at the pros and cons and deciding that breastfeeding was my journey of choice to realize. Trying to dictate when and how a mother should feed her children doesn’t only sound crazy, it is crazy. I’m so thankful for motherhood and my littles for my wake up call.
There’s so much controversy over this topic, but I am just blessed that I was able to nourish not one, but two babies. The breastfeeding journey is difficult in itself for women. We have to learn in an instant how to properly feed another life that is solely dependent on us. A life that we’ve created over the past nine months. We struggle with eating right and sleeping right in hopes that we are able to produce enough milk. Some mothers deal with not being able to produce at all or not having the work/life balance to be able to breastfeed. Its an emotional, physical and mental battle in and of itself. It is a constant tug and pull, and moms don’t need the extra criticism from others.
I look back now and ask myself, who the hell did I think I was placing such unrealistic expectations on breastfeeding women? There is no shame to be placed on a woman using her body to feed her child. There is no desire here to be offensive to others. It is just an innate desire to nourish the one dependent on them
Next time you see a breastfeeding mama. . .
Leave her alone! * I chuckled* But really, it’s hard enough so don’t disrupt their moment with your negativity. When you see a mom struggling to keep her nursing cover in place so she’s not ridiculed have some compassion. If you’re really so disturbed by a mother feeding her child, look the other way. It takes zero energy to continue on with your day and let them be. I promise.