Today I ran across the When Nature Calls campaign which aims to protect a mother’s right to breastfeed her baby in public. This campaign caught me by surprise becasue I was pretty sure we had that all figured out. I never thought someone would harass or bother a Mom feeding her child. It’s not like we come over to you and ask you to help us with it, after all.
I am all for breastfeeding, and I am sending a message for all Moms who can and want to breastfeed. There is nothing wrong with you; there’s no reason whatsoever to hide while you are nursing your child.
From experience, I know only a few things are as hard as becoming good at breastfeeding. I was desperate at the very beginning, didn’t have a clue on what to do, and thought about quitting a dozen of times a day. And all my child wanted to do was glue herself to my boob and stay there. I really had to work on it to get the hang of it, not be cringing and pulling my hair in frustration when it was feeding time.
What with the newborn, all the hormones raging, and having a baby attached to me, I had enough problems of my own. I really wouldn’t be able to handle someone coming over and telling me to go hide while trying to keep my baby happy and sated. No, once I mastered breastfeeding, I wasn’t going to let anyone put me back into a corner. Literally, nobody puts baby in the corner.
Honestly, at first I thought something was wrong with my kid. No one ever told me that once you get one, they immediately latch on and pretty much stay there for the reminder of a year. I asked paediatricians, I Googled, I consulted my Mom and everyone told me a different rule, it was 15 minutes on one then 15 on the other, then nothing for three hours, then just one and after a while do the other…. Finally I’ve had it, following someone else’s rules made me cranky and my child upset. Thus I nursed her when she wanted, for as long as she wanted. Yes, I thought, I am not denying myself simple pleasures like enjoying a cup of tea at a café or sitting in a park or having lunch at the restaurant, being served,while serving, letting someone else take care of me for a second. To stay sane, I needed people and staying in touch with the adult world.
Now, if you kept staring, you were bound to see something, but it’s just the nature of things. Nursing a child is normal. Mother Nature intended us to feed our children this way, as my food comes from my breast and not my neck that’s where I have to place my child. And before entering the public arena I have mastered it and do it almost effortlessly, with nothing to really see. I always did it discreetly. Trust me, I don’t want anyone seeing anything they are not supposed to.
Even so, how can a breastfeeding Mom be considered corruptive to anyone in this day and age? There are music videos of 16 year old pop stars parading around almost naked. How is a baby feeding in public even a problem? I was never ashamed; I was proud of my body’s ability to be able to sustain a life. I never hid in a dirty restroom, small corner, in my own room or wherever else someone thought would be appropriate. Trust me, I’d have a lot to say to a person even suggestion it and making me feel bad about it.
I want you all to persevere with the public breastfeeding, if you can; the benefits for both the baby and you are countless. You are doing the right thing, but it makes me a little sad to find out that a campaign for public approval is needed in the first place.