Saturday, January 15, 2011
I am a breast feeding mom. I have something to say about it. If you don't like it- suck it.
I became a mother for the first time just shy of my 20th birthday. It would be understandable if I said that I had no idea what I was doing. But I did. I was raised by a mother who fed our nurture gene and I babysat constantly starting at age 13. I was surrounded by babies and children all the time. Caring for them was second nature. So it was never a question for me as to if I was going to breast feed or not.
I have to admit that the idea of a child suckling on what I identified as a sexual body part DID seem foreign and while I was pregnant I couldn't really wrap my head around it. But it was never a question for me. I was going to breast feed. This was what my body was made for. This is how God purposed it. This is how it has been done for as long as we have existed.
My son took to breast feeding really well and I was surprised at how natural it felt. Especially since I had somewhat of an aversion to the idea while I was pregnant. Once I delivered him and he took to it, it was second nature. I loved it. It was the one thing I could do for him that no one else could. And at the age of 20 I was fearless and fed him whenever and where ever he wanted. Even at church.
I now have 3 children and all of them have breast fed. I am currently breast feeding my youngest. Now, I should mention that my breasts struggle to produce and with my first two I had to supplement with formula and my breasts stopped producing altogether by 5 & 6 months. So I appreciate formula as well. I am currently taking lactation supplements to keep my supply up for my newest baby. It's a gift to do this for my children and I am trying to make it last as long as possible.
So in all the beauty that is breast feeding, why is there so much fuss about it? I am constantly amazed at the amount of negativity associated with it. The amount of debate. The amount of strife and argument. And how difficult it has become to be a breast feeding mother in today's society.
I am on Twitter. I have a friend on Twitter (@DJJansta) who is a bit of a breast feeding advocate. She challenges people's ideas on breastfeeding and shares the conversation with her followers. It is through her Tweets that I have seen some real ignorance in regard to breast feeding. I use the word "ignorance" on purpose. Just as it was a foreign idea for me to attach a beautiful small child to my breast, which society had sexualized and I had used as a source of sexual attention for years, I understand how it is hard for people to entertain the idea as well because they aren't educated about it or they haven't done it themselves. I don't, however, condone the horrible and hateful ways that people speak about breast feeding mothers. Calling them derogatory names because they are feeding their children in public as though it is an assault to the decency of America. As if. I have never really cared if people were offended by my breast feeding because my child means more to me than they do. Plain and simple.
As I stated before, I am fearless in public breast feeding. When my child needs to eat, he eats. I have fed them in churches, cars, malls, restaurants, air planes, hair salons, etc. I choose to cover up in public. But I personally don't mind if a mother chooses to let it all hang out. When I am in my home and my child needs to eat- you're gonna see some boob! And so far I haven't had anyone say anything to me about it. I would love it if they did.
People have the idea that moms shouldn't feed in public. So where should they feed their babies? It is rare to find a public facility that has a nursing room. And NO a bathroom is not the same thing. I will not sit on a toilette with my baby in a dirty stall to make YOU more comfortable while you eat your scone. Offended by a mom feeding her baby on a plane (which was a well publicized case several years ago)? Where should she feed her baby then? Or should she allow her baby to scream the whole flight out of hunger? Does that make you more comfortable? I really don't think people even stop to think before they form their opinions sometimes.
Breast feeding is natural, comforting for baby and mother, healthier for baby, and is freeeeeee!
So if you are one of those ignorant people who is disgusted by the sight of a breast feeding mother doing something that is 100% natural I have a challenge for you. It goes a little something like this: I am personally disgusted by walking into a public bathroom and smelling the aftermath of someone defecating in the toilette. It infringes on my right to use the bathroom. Sure it's natural and when it has to be done it simply can't wait. I also understand that public bathrooms have everything you need to perform this natural function. But I challenge you to just hold it until you get home where I feel it's okay for you to partake in this natural function. This will keep me from being uncomfortable. It may be a pain for you but won't you feel better knowing that I (a complete stranger to you and your bowels) wasn't subjected to you and your natural functions?
I hope that this post changes at least one mind about breast feeding. Maybe you never saw it that way. Tell you what, I'll give you the benefit of the doubt if you do the same for me. Perhaps I know what's healthy and best for my baby. Perhaps I am doing this because it's natural and not because I want to visually assault you. Perhaps I am a person doing what people have done for millions of years. And perhaps when you finally have a child some day you will change your mind about breast feeding. This is my hope.