Friday, July 28, 2006

GIVE ME A BREAK!!! Apparently the news would like to create a dustup over THIS magazine cover. Go look - I'll wait.

OK? A baby nursing at the breast. BIG FLIPPIN DEAL. The magazine is targeted at new moms and moms to be. Our local news did a piece on how some people are "outraged" at the cover photo. Of course when they showed people they interviewed - only ONE person said - "oh she should cover up" in fact a 20ish year old guy said "I think we should be more worried about the guy sittin next to her trying to get a peek. Babies are made to eat that way. I think we should lock the guy up" (ok that's NOT verbatim but I can't remember what EXACTLY he said, but I did get it 90% right)

Then they go to a woman with a new baby (STILL in the hospital!) who "tried" to nurse but it was "too hard" and besides "people look at you like you're disgusting if you do it in public". WHAT?
1. Yes it's weird and a little uncomfortable at first - especially if your baby's latch is not great. BUT I AM SORRY trying a couple times while still in the hospital is NOT trying

(my personal opinion only - I have had a DEAR friend walk though h*ll to be able to nurse - but have to have surgery and have to wean, and finally walk though h*ll on GLASS with her second child to be able to nurse AND SHE DID IT!! I have another friend yes sister-in-heart who had a mass removed as a teenager and only has half the ducts on one breast AND SUCCESSFULLY NURSED 3! Do I think there are reasons to quit? Sure. Am I a militant BF mom? Somewhat. Will I accost you in the mall and tell you you're a bad mother becasue you're giving that baby a bottle? NO!!! But if it's not for you - then OWN THAT. Don't try to placate anyone with - it's too hard, it's weird, it hurt. POOP! Own your choice - you will get alot more respect for just saying "It's not for me" that a bunch of excuses. Someone get me the ladder so I can get off my soapbox now?

2. I have NEVER EVER had someone look at me like I was disgusting. In my 3 years of nursing my 2 kids I can count on one hand the number of negative comments I received. And they were from my AUNT (who DID NOT DO "THAT"). I know that negativity towards breastfeeding happens - it was not my experience. I took the stance that I never "saw" anything wrong with what I was doing, therefore no-one else would either. You reap what you sow. If you are looking uncomfortable, furtive, or otherwise like you are doing something wrong - SOMEONE will pick up on it.

I KNOW that is a generalization and there are nosy busybodies everywhere and "grumpy old men" who feel like they can say whatever they want, whenever they want. Breastfeeding mothers (just like bottlefeeding mothers) need to embrace their choice. You are NOT doing something dirty, weird, lewd or yucky. YOU ARE FEEDING YOUR CHILD. I am not advocating bare breasted Amazon mammas marching on Washington babies at the ready. What I am advocating is simple - embrace your choice - whatever it is. Make no apology, no excuses. It sounds odd - but think nothing of it just nurse your baby, just give your baby that bottle. If that is your family's choice LIVE IT. The more confident you are in YOUR choice the more the outside world will "accept" it. (not that the outside world has to accept anyone's choices but my goodness isn't it easier if you are not criticized at every turn?)

For our family the breast is best. I carried my babies in my sling and nursed them whenever and wherever they needed it (including in the FRONT ROW of a very conservative church when my Sister in Law got married and Thing 1 was 3 weeks old and got smiles and pats from little old ladies) I did cover myself with the tail of my sling for privacy's sake (especially in the beginning and I was still learning to get that Ft. Knox of a bra open with one hand!) And when I was around older people like my grandfather - out of respect for them. I did not cover myself at home at all (unless my Pop-Pop was over) but neither was I Amazon woman! LOL!!!

I am SICK of the "Mommy Wars" over breastfeeding or not, working or not. We all need to embrace the choices that we make for our own families. Be comfortable in your own skin and hang the rest.

Now, somebody hide that soapbox from me....... Stay tuned I will post pics for BooMama's tour of homes later tonight!!!


Jennifer said...

Thank you. :)

M-j said...

Amen, sister!
My sentiments exactly!

Sara said...

I breast fed both of my boys until they were 12 months and never got any foul looks from anyone, and let me tell you I whipped that stuff out everywhere. Everyone in the South East has seen my breasts and can attest to it. I also went through h*ll to nurse my children. My oldest took 6 weeks to latch on properly (bloody nipples and all)but then was a star. My second one was in the NICU the first 4 days on a bottle, but he wanted to be a boob baby anyway. It was later when he got thrush and then I did too that we had problems. 3 stitches in the bleeding nipple later he still nursed until the 12 month mark. I know it's not for eveyone, but we should support our moms who give it everything. 2 days in the hospital isn't giving it anything.

Daisy said...

Awesome post -- including the soapbox parts of it. Mine is here if you want to read another opinion that is (gosh) a lot like yours! (and has the same good taste you do in templates) :)

Heidi said...

What a great post. I feel just like you. I don't like when people make those excused either, the first 12 months that I nursed my son we had recurring bouts with thrush which was incredibly painful but I was VERY determined to nurse.

I think our culture generally wants what is easier and me I felt nursing was as easy as it gets (no midnight bottles etc, just roll over and nurse!) but many people use it as an excuse like you say instead of owning up to the fact that they made their own decision for their family.

Anyway, nice to meet you! I'm enjoying reading your blog!

Anonymous said...

I love your blog. We feel the same way about a few things like nursing and homeschooling. Most importantly, we feel the same way about OWNING your choices. I love this post for that reason!

Come on over to my place some time and I can whip you up a cup of herbal tea!