*WARNING! STRONGLY WORDED PERSONAL OPINIONS TO FOLLOW!*
I refuse to devote an entire post to the superiority of breastfeeding over formula feeding. It’s been proven time after time by the scientific community. Every time you turn around some new study is published expounding on its benefits ranging from increased heightened IQ, to the reduction of childhood disease. These things are not opinions of mine, they are verified scientific fact. If somehow you’ve been living under a rock and have missed all that, then feel free to google it, that’s not what this rant is about. This is about how we, as a country, continue to over sexualize the human body. Even some so-called supporters consider nursing something that should only be done behind closed doors. Recently a male friend compared my breastfeeding photo (from an earlier post) to the “lewd” pictures sent out by a certain congressman of his “package”. The next time I have some random jerk say that if I am allowed to nurse in public he should be allowed to whip out his junk I may explode. If you lack the mental and emotional maturity to differentiate between nourishing a child and the sexually explicit, or worse yet between nursing and the elimination of waste then chances are you should keep your uneducated opinions unvoiced. You will only make an ass of yourself.
I am thankful that these people are few and far between because sadly, not all new moms have the self confidence to stand up to that kind of harassment. For these women the chiding they may receive (friendly or otherwise) may be enough to discourage them. To them I say, you are beautiful! What you are doing is beautiful! It is NOT lewd, unsanitary, or inappropriate. Those terms are more aptly applied to persons who would try to make you feel uncomfortable. It is your legal right and more than that it is filling the needs of your child at the most basic level in the most loving way possible!
Now that I have all that off my chest let just say the positive feedback I have received while nursing in public FAR outweighs any negative. There have been times when it has flustered someone and they didn’t seem to know how to act, but a smile is generally all that is needed to set them at ease. Remember, for the most part people will follow your lead, if you act as though it’s the most normal thing in the world they will follow suit. Also, every time you nurse at the mall, in the Dr.’s office, at a park, you are making it easier for the next mother to do the same thing.
Stay beautiful ladies:)
I was a breastfed baby, as such I thought that was how babies were fed. As a child I remember “nursing” my dolls. In my little brain it seemed obvious, babies drank their momma’s milk. When Momma kitty had a litter of kittens they drank kitty milk. Now I’m pretty sure we are considerably more advanced than momma K. I mean we have opposable thumbs, and therefore can operate the can opener (Momma K, not so much ). Not to mention century’s of human knowledge to draw on (again Momma K only had a couple of years of chasing mice and occasionally the dogs under her belt). So while we were a lot smarter than Momma K we always knew when it came to her kittens SHE was the expert. We would never have DREAMED of trying to replace her milk with something artificial. Why spend time and $$$ making a product that would in the end still be inferior to what she was already supplying free of charge?
Naturally I always assumed I would breastfeed my children, it wasn’t until late in my pregnancy that I realized that it wasn’t the “normal” thing to do. It never occurred to me that there would be classes and support groups and whole sites dedicated to helping moms who are breastfeeding, let alone that I would need any of those things. But there I was with my baby in hand and I learned really quick to use whatever resources were available. I read and read and read. I absorbed any information I could get about all the amazing things my body does for my child when he nurses. And I met (most virtually) some pretty amazing people. Eventually I was able to come full circle, my 5-year-old self had it right all along, babies drink their momma’s milk. I don’t need someone with more “advanced” training trying to replace my milk with some product of their own, or telling me that I won’t be able to do what I was built to do!
My hope is that one of these days we will have the same respect for ourselves as human mothers that we naturally give to other species. The same faith in our own bodies and their ability to provide for our babies.
I recognize that breastfeeding is a personal choice, and not one that all mothers make. I also know that formula has a very important roll in the health of babies who’s mothers are unable to breastfeed for whatever reason. Only you know what is right for you and your family and I am in no way criticizing the choices of other mothers. After all we all want the same thing, for our babies to be smart, happy, healthy, and for us to not lose our minds on the way:)
Well, two boobs actually, Mine. I know what you’re thinking, “here we go another breastfeeding hippy momma trying to save the world one boobie at a time”. It’s not like that really! It sorta goes like this:
I was the lofty age of 29 and I had been married for a few years. As far as I was concerned I was a pretty earth conscious individual. I mean I tried to remember to turn off the lights when I left the room, or the water while I brushed my teeth. In fact as a family we had gone from only recycling on occasion to recycling about 70-80% of our waste. I thought we were on an ecological roll! Then I got the surprise of my life.
Woah! That changed things a bit. All of a sudden I started second guessing everything. Run of the mill just wasn’t good enough. Clean just wasn’t clean enough. (this is where you think I’m gonna start cutting out anything toxic) Oddly enough I started using MORE cleaning products MORE chemicals. Skyrocketing our spending and our exposure simultaneously. Oh boy, I was on a roll alright!
I was however doing something right. I was very committed to breastfeeding my darling son Max. It was something I felt very strongly about. Like so many breastfeeding moms I ran into a few roadblocks, and like many others I didn’t have experienced mothers to look to for advice. But what my generation lacks in experienced peers we try to make up in masses of easily accessible (if not as easily sorted through) information. Surprise! I turned to the Internet. Through certain social networking sites I was fortunate enough to connect to a handful of people who would change how I live. People like Jessica (@TheLeakyBoob) and Janelle (@HealthyChild) and many others helped me first with any breastfeeding issues I may have had, but also peaked my interest in living healthier, safer, more cost-effective lives. I learned that you didn’t have to douse your bathroom in bleach to keep it clean, sparkly, and smelling great. I that I don’t have to buy the really expensive pink laundry detergent to wash my sons clothes. That there were other options that were better for him AND our wallets! *insert giant light bulb going off*
Now I am by no means the best example of sustainable living. I am a mom with a full-time job and like most I suffer from the lack of hours in a day. But I AM learning. I AM trying to find ways to incorporate what I learn into our family’s life. Sometimes it works, sometimes in doesn’t, and sometimes we just laugh.
Thanks for reading:)