Breastfeeding on the SERIOUS side:
Is it possible? Do I really live in this country? We are so full of ourselves it is unbelievable, because you know, we really do have ALL the answers. And one thing is for sure, breasts are SINFUL!
Just the other day, my husband and I were commenting on how sweet we thought the cover of BabyTalk was, and then we came across and read Eyeful of Breastfeeding-Mom Sparks Outrage. People, including breastfeeding mothers, are actually up in arms over the picture.
We really do need to get over our squeamishness about the human body. It's a breast, it has a WHOLESOME purpose of providing nutrition to babies. Nutrition, that baby formula companies try to replicate.
I breastfeed. I breastfed Ian until he was 12 months, and I'm currently breastfeeding my six month old daughter Laurel. What really outrages me, is I'm too aware of how the public feels about this topic, and so I feed my baby discreetly. I just don't want to deal with backwards peoples' stares or them coming up to me snarling, "That's disgusting."
Unfortunately, growing up a guilt-ridden Catholic, I'm also very modest and worry what others might think about my actions. I just can't get past those facts. Close friends and immediate family members have seen me breastfeed, but only because I know they won't pass judgement. As for the rest of the world, I'm just not ready. I applaud the women that are past their and other peoples' inhibitions and can breastfeed out in the open.
One day, walking around Costco, I noticed a mother breastfeeding her child. I couldn't help but stare. It wasn't that I found it disgusting, it was the fact that she was WALKING around the store nursing her infant. This was truly amazing! Me, I have to get perfectly situated in a chair, with a Boppy or a My Brest Friend pillow no less, before I let Laurel at it. But this wonderful mother was making the most of her time. Infants feed pretty much around the clock. She found a way to multitask. Shopping and breastfeeding at the same time, the ultimate multitasking if you ask me! No slinking off to a dressing room, corner of the store, or worse yet, the bathroom, ick. She was out there, getting things done, not caring what the world thought. I don't know her name, I will probably never see her again, and yet she is my heroine.
I haven't given up on myself. I still hopefully have another six months to "expose" myself to the public, but alas, I just don't think it will happen. A few of my big hopes are that my daughter will be able to breastfeed where ever she needs without worrying about other's thoughts, and that the U.S. will finally educate itself (hello, third world countries are smarter than we are in this matter) and realize a breast has a purpose beyond sex. Don't we have more important issues to get outraged about?
Breastfeeding on the lighter side:
Ian is a keen observer. He is also very curious. When I nurse Laurel, he is right there, checking it out. He doesn't want to miss out on something good. Often he looks like he might jump right in and partake, but then he giggles and runs off.
One day, I heard Laurel cooing and laughing with glee. I peeked around the corner and saw Ian practically laying on top of her head. He was holding his shirt up with one hand and was placing his nipple over her face. I had to ask, "Ian, what are you doing?"
"Mommy, Laurel wants milk."
But of course, perfect sense.
Ok, breastfeeding critics, even my two year old knows what's natural and necessary.