My breasts and I used to have an amazing relationship, we were the best of friends. They were used for so many things. A remote control holder, cushions when sleeping on my stomach and hand warmers on a cold winter evening.
When they were on show they could get me free entrance to a club and maybe even a gig. I rarely had to wait to be served when standing at the bar! A swift lift and the bartender was happy to comply. If the puppies where on show they got me free drinks and plenty of compliments. They gave me more then I ever gave them. For me they were just these bouncy assets that enhanced my life.
Then something happened and suddenly my breast gave me something they never had before. They gave me the ability to nurse a child.
I gave birth to a baby and my body changed.
My boobs were now full of love and milk and as I nursed my baby I suddenly felt this incredible admiration for these mammary glands. I felt that through nursing I gave them something for once. I gave them back their actual purpose!
I no longer showed them off, and found myself covering my breasts with great precision. Skin I would have showed in an earlier life was now banned behind the cover of a shawl. Suddenly I was worried that someone might see even the tiniest part of my breast as I nursed my baby. You see, my breast were only allowed out when I was using them in some kind of trade, not when they sustained my child as nature intended.
I was worried I would be attacked and mistreated, as I so often had read that other breastfeeding mothers were. I was prepared for negativity and I had my speech memorized, full of my rights. I was ready to state the reason why I would not be breastfeeding my precious baby on some toilet, stinking of piss.
Breasts are everywhere and they are praised and loved, adored and admired. Yet the second they’re used for their biological purpose they are dismissed as disgusting.
“Breastfeeding Mothers are called perverted, we are called exhibitionist and sometimes we are even referred to as “sick””
During my early marathon nursing sessions, when baby slept soundly latched on to my breast, I’d entertain myself by reading the gossip sections of several of our popular newspapers. In them we are presented with boobs of all shapes and sizes described with admiration and appreciation. Boobs are everywhere and we love them.
When breasts are on show in the paparazzi pictures they can be described as an “eye-popping, peachy posterior” and the women who owns them are wearing “cleavage-baring outfits to display their sensational fronts“.
This appreciation is a far cry from the words of anger and hate you can find in the comment section below a breastfeeding article, or even below a beautiful picture of a mother lovingly nursing her babe. It’s not unusual to read that “breastfeeding is disgusting” that mothers should keep it “private“. Heck, I’ve even seen comments comparing breastfeeding in public, to public urination.
Yes, passing bodily waste out of our genitalia is compared to a mother nurturing her baby from the milk produced in her breasts. Nutrition and waste are compared to each other, in a way only someone with a very skewed view of infant nutrition, could.
When we fight back, we get called the “breastapo” or “Sanctamonius“. But please explain to me how we can normalize something that is natural, in a society that have stolen our breasts and sexualized them to a level which has left breastfeeding rendered as “unnatural” by some, if we don’t make a stand.
I recently read about a great mummy, who was volunteering her time to help at a activity group for young girls. She had to bring her little one along and as such when baby needed fed she discreetly did as nature inteneded and latched him on- no tears, no fuss.
Only, some time later she received an email containing a complaint! You’ll ask yourself what could she possibly have done to deserve such a complaint? A devoted woman volunteering her precious free time for the benefit of this group.
what could she have done that was so wrong?
She breastfed her baby in the presence of these young girls.
How dare she.
When a mother is asked to not breastfeed in front of school age girls, it really makes me wonder what is wrong with the world. These young girls will grow up to have a pair of knockers themselves. It’s not like they haven’t seen breasts because frankly you would have to live on Mars to avoid the constant boob exposure. I’m sure they’ve seen their mothers change clothes and likely more then once seen breast contained in a bra or a bikini, yet a mother discreetly nursing her young child is offensive, it’s dirty and should be hidden!
Is it not positive that children see babies eat from their mothers breasts? That they see how natural it is? What better way to normalize breastfeeding for the next generation of mothers than exposing them to the act of breastfeeding and encouraging them that there is no shame attached to breastfeeding in public? That they should do so with pride.
When I’ve breastfed in a busy place, children have looked on curiously and asked me questions but I have never been met with judgment from the smallest in our society. Children accept what we tell them and they are blessed with innocence. They don’t sexualize or twist what breastfeeding is!
As mothers, it is our duty to make sure that our daughters grow up with the choice to feed how they want, based on their journey, not based on negative statements from previous generations.
If you tell your child that breastfeeding in front of her is wrong, you’re telling her that breastfeeding is bad and that it should be hidden. You’re making choices for your daughter which she should make for herself, if and when she becomes a mother.
So to the mother who complained; don’t do your daughter the injustice of denying her body autonomy based on your prejudice.
Empower her with knowledge and choice.
If she tells you she saw a baby nurse, explain to her that biologically, babies are fed with milk from their mothers breasts.
She deserves the truth not some distorted view from a damaged society where breasts are only best, when on display in a low cut vest.
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