Nine Months Later: Thoughts on Nursing
This is not the post I planned on writing today but it is something I feel is important to put out there. This morning while cleaning up in the bedroom, I found a piece of paper torn from a notebook with the date 6/20/09 written in the corner. O was three days old and our breastfeeding relationship was anything but harmonious. Upon looking at this torn notebook page, one scribbled line in particular stands out: 3:10-4:10 1/2 hour each side 1.25 ounces. My goodness.
Lately it seems everyone I know has a new baby. Naturally, there is a lot of talk of breastfeeding and well, actual breastfeeding happening. Most of the time it doesn’t bother me. Most of the time I can participate in the conversation without explaining myself or going into the details of my EPing. I find the healing is easier if I don’t rehash our traumatic birth and subsequent latching issues with every mother I meet.
Lately though, I keep bumping into a sentiment that is making me a little cranky: “I support breastfeeding as long as the mother does so discretely.” Pardon me? What’s with the caveat? How does this support breastfeeding? Don’t get me wrong, I believe people who say things like this have their hearts in the right place, but this sort of thinking ultimately does nothing to promote breastfeeding as the healthy normal everyday activity it is. Implying that a breastfeeding mother should cover up only sends the message that breastfeeding is something that needs to be hidden, something to be done behind closed doors, so to speak.
I think the important issue here is choice. If a breastfeeding mother chooses to cover up because that is what makes her comfortable, that is one thing. Being made to feel like covering up is the only decent thing to do? Well, that is another thing entirely.
Although O and I have not been nursing for nearly nine months now, this is something I still think about often. It is important that nursing mothers are supported and the language we use is absolutely a part of that.
So, what are your thoughts?