In honor of World Breastfeeding Week, I felt it was time to express my thoughts surrounding the whole booby topic. I have had this post in my brain for some time, but I have finally decided to sit down and at least start the conversation. Well, that, and my daughter is enjoying a nice afternoon snooze, so I have some hands-free time as well.
Breastfeeding seems to always be a hot topic and one with no lack of debate. The only thing that has the potential to pit mommy against mommy like this is circumcision and sleep training. I guess I fall into the camp of ‘passionate breastfeeder’. Am I a Breastfeeding Nazi? Only when it comes to MY daughter. I honestly don’t give a shit how you choose to feed your child. But, I simply refuse to believe that my boobs deserve any less of a location to feed my baby than a mom who uses a bottle.
They are boobs. They are feeding a baby. As I have said countless times: If you don’t like it, don’t fucking look. (Okay, I don’t always sprinkle the word ‘fuck’ in that phrase). Why is that so difficult? Is it so scandalous to see a mom breastfeeding that you simply cannot look away? I just can’t believe that. Here, let me help guide you: 1. See a mom taking her breast out to feed her baby in ANY public place. 2. Feel uncomfortable at her ‘nakedness’ 3. TURN YOUR FUCKING HEAD. See how easy that was?
Three easy steps at joining the crusade to normalize breastfeeding.
World Breastfeeding Week was initiated in 2011. It’s one week, people. Yeah, your Facebook newsfeed will likely be clogged with photos of lactating boobs, engorged mams, milk drunk babies, and all sorts of nursing-related items. Your Twitter feed will include the same.
It’s one week. Seven days. Surely you can survive the onslaught of boobs for seven days.
Breastfeeding is hard fucking work. It is a job unto itself. For anyone to continue to breastfeed in the face of ridicule surrounding the very method upon which they feed their child, they deserve a week of praise. A week of kudos. A week of pats on the back. Hell, they likely deserve more, but a week is a great place to start. In a way it is a shame that we have to highlight something that our breasts were meant to do in the first place.
Breastfeeding is beautiful. It is a bond like no other. I will take any opportunity to promote the bond that I feel has brought my daughter and I closer together than any other single thing we could do as a team. No, we all don’t look like Gwen Stefani, or Olivia Wilde, or Giselle when we breastfeed, but it is still beautiful. And so are we.
Breastfeeding is simple. Simple in that it is about feeding a baby. When I’m out in public and my daughter is hungry, I am not thinking about giving people a peep show. I am thinking that the sooner I stick my nip in her mouth, the sooner I circumvent a fussy baby. I would think that most people would rather sit next to a nursing, QUIET baby than a screaming one. No?
Breastfeeding is about support. If you have ever shamed a woman for breastfeeding, shame on YOU. If you have ever told a breastfeeding woman to cover up, fuck you. If you have ever whispered about a breastfeeding woman exposing her breasts, here’s your sign. If there is one thing I cannot tolerate, it is a lack of support from friends, family, and strangers. People have no idea how crucial they are in the early days of breastfeeding at providing needed support for that mother. We need to hear that we are doing a great job. We need to know that you support our efforts. We don’t need to hear that you are embarrassed at being with us when we choose to breastfeed in Target. Or at the park. Or on the bus. Or in a restaurant.
As the adage goes: If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. I’ll take silence over ridicule any day.
So, this week, and every week, I ask you to smile at that breastfeeding mom you see out in public. Better yet, if you happen to be at Starbucks, buy her a coffee.
Yes, I’ll be the one with my daughter on my breast.