A Few Words for Breastfeeding Shamers...
I awkwardly pulled the strap of my dress down and held my baby close to me, while trying to cover with a blanket. Since we were both still learning how to feed, I felt frustrated, nervous and anxious as I juggled trying to get my daughter to latch right and covering up simultaneously. I nervously looked from side to side, just in time to receive my first disapproving look from an elderly woman. She looked right at me and shook her head and made a face that screamed disgust. I felt dejected. Here I was struggling through sore nipples, extreme pain and awkwardness to attempt to nourish my daughter in the best way there is possible. I was trying my very best to be a good mother, but this woman looked at me without any empathy and saw something completely different. I was one week postpartum and just trying to enjoy a breakfast out with family.
Breastfeeding did not come easy for me, but I was determined to get through it for my daughter. I am proud that I was able to breastfeed for 12 whole months as I wasn’t able to physically breastfeed my son at all. In those first few days I wasn’t even sure I would make it one month. I wish breastfeeding “shamers” could see things from a mother’s perspective. Although breastfeeding awareness week is over, I’m pretty sure there are many mothers out today who are just trying to feed their babies and getting the same disapproving looks that I got on that day and many times after that. So here are a few points I wanted to share with the “shamers” and the haters:
· Trust me, there is absolutely nothing sexual about breastfeeding. My breasts have become a utility like a pacifier, bottle or wipes. If you look at me feeding my child and think something sexual, the pervert is you… not me.
· I don’t know any mother who is ecstatic about having to whip out a boob and feed her child in public. In fact, it’s a pretty awkward feeling, especially in the beginning. But babies are pretty demanding, especially when they are hungry. It seems that they are always hungry, so if I were to isolate myself every single time I have to feed, I might as well live in isolation for the next 12 months or so.
· I have never seen a mother overly exposing herself while breastfeeding. Most people are trying to be as modest as possible even if they don’t have a cover. You are likely to see more “boobage” on the Victoria Secret billboard at the mall and I hear very little complaint about those.
· I don’t even sit on a public toilet seat to pee and usually run out as quickly as I ran in (*after washing my hands of course). Why would I sit there to feed my freshly born child, exposing him/her to all of the disgusting germs that inhabit public restrooms?
· Contrary to popular belief, breastfeeding is not easy and does not come natural for many women. It is challenging enough without having to deal with the discriminating looks and discouraging words. In fact, you should be congratulating these mothers for breaking through the barriers to give their offspring that gift of "liquid gold."
So to all you mamas fighting the good fight today, feed on proudly! You’re doing an amazing thing for your baby with your beautiful body!
Sign up for ispeakmom.com updates a chance to win a Lansinoh Smart Pump!
© Nicola Rios Nogales and ispeakmom.com, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Nicola Rios Nogales and ispeakmom.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.