Breastfeeding has been an issue of sorts for a while now. It seems as if the younger generation is beginning to embrace and revert back to the natural ways of raising and nursing children. Maybe it’s the culture we’re surrounding ourselves in or maybe it’s actually taking place, but I believe future generations are setting the tone for what’s acceptable as opposed to what might be imposed from their elders. BF (Breastfeeding) is becoming more commonplace in public and with it eyes are opening, noses are rising in distaste and uncomfortable people are complaining.
I watched a video recently Mrs. K found online about breastfeeding vs. formula; a funny little PSA type skit that’s pro-breast feeding. I’m not going to point out the pro’s to BF considering the audience, but for the curious, there are a few bits of knowledge after the jump – Breastfeeding Benefits. This got me thinking about all the various times we’ve been out and had to nurse Liam in public. All those times I feel conscious about it, as if we have a horn growing from our forehead. Mrs. K might not have realized it but I being the paranoid that I am from time to time did notice.
It’s funny how there’s a stigma attached to BF in public when it’s the most natural thing a mother can do. It’s been brought up in the local news and on primetime television. Literally. On Primetime, What Would You Do?. It’s a kind of a hidden camera show about specific topics that are staged and reactions are caught and people are interviewed… A breastfeeding mom was sent in to a restaurant to nurse her child to catch the reaction of onlookers. An astonishingly amount of people turned away, some looked in disgust and only one woman told her to keep doing what she’s doing. Eventually the manager/owner asked her to leave.
|Nurse-In at Polaris Mall in Columbus, OH. Mrs. K is far back left.|
It’s funny how people will pay money and encourage woman to show their breasts whenever they can. But as soon as there’s an infant attached on the end it becomes inappropriate. The same thing happened to a mom at a Hollister in Texas earlier this year. The manager asked her to leave while she was nursing her child in their store. This resulted in a “nurse-in” at various Hollister’s around Columbus, OH. One of which Mrs. K took part in! (Article hereand video here) At the time I was kind of eh, you can go if you want; but in hindsight I’m very proud of her. It’s something she’s very passionate about and stands up for. You have to be extremely dedicated to BF and actually follow through. We know too many moms that gave up on BF because of the difficulty involved. Whether it is too involved, inconvenient, impatience, or whatever the reason may be.
It wasn’t easy for us either. Liam didn’t have a good latch for 3 days afterwe left the hospital. He became very irritable and crabby due to an empty belly. We tried feeding him with an eye dropper which was semi-successful. We tussled back and forth whether to supplement with formula or not just so he could have a full belly. Many times quitting came up as it was becoming very aggravating and we wanted what was best for Liam. It’s essential that he eats a lot in his first few days of life, but it wasn’t happening. Ultimately, we saw it through and sought out a local lactation consultant (a non-hospital recommended one, they’re not truly trained) and no sooner did we schedule an appointment than Liam latched on like a boss and it’s been smooth sailing since.
I guess what I’m getting at is it takes commitment and valor to be able to BF your child, whether in public or private, whenever they need nursing. Some women have a hard time to get to the point where nursing becomes natural, if they’re able to nurse at all. Lestechan (the girl from the video linked above) said it best: “It’s a civil rights issue. [Children] have the right to get their needs met when they are hungry. They shouldn’t have to wait until mom’s in a comfortable place or away from other people to make other people feel comfortable”