Lactivist rant of the day
I read this excellent editorial the other day over breakfast in my new Mothering magazine. The topic is breastfeeding in public and why it should be encouraged and supported. I thought it was an excellent discussion of the subject and had great reasons why moms shouldn't be expected to go hide when nursing their babies or just stay home so they're not caught in public with a hungry baby.
I will admit that before I had kids, I was a little bit uncomfortable around nursing moms. You know, you're not sure where to look, you don't want to embarrass them or yourself by staring or accidentally catching a glimpse of the dreaded nipple. But the author of the editorial raises the excellent point that the reason why people are so uncomfortable around breastfeeding is because they never see it. My husband used to get a little twitchy when my aunts would nurse their kids around him, but now it doesn't phase him at all when a woman whips out a boob for a hungry kiddo. My brother-in-law and father-in-law used to tiptoe around and make sure they didn't come in the room when I was nursing Sydney. Now with Owen, they're so used to it they don't even seem to notice it anymore. I've gotten much more comfortable with it as well. With Sydney, I rarely if ever nursed her in public if I could possibly help it. I just didn't feel right about it. With Owen, we're out all the time because I can't really keep Sydney sequestered in the house, and I've become pretty blase about nursing him wherever and whenever. I'm very discreet about it, but I'm not afraid to do it.
I think it's ridiculous that our society is so conflicted about breasts and breastfeeding. I mean, really, THAT'S WHAT THEY'RE FOR, FOLKS! It's pretty amazing to consider that a woman can sustain and grow a baby from birth to six months solely on something she's produced from her own body. Why is it that a woman can walk around on the beach almost completely naked, as long as those fearsome nipples are covered? And every night on television you can watch people be killed in a dozen different gruesome ways and nobody blinks, but Janet Jackson flashes her breast for a second during the Super Bowl and everyone goes ballistic? I'd much rather my kids see a boob than see somebody get shot or chopped up into little pieces...
Okay, I'm almost off my soapbox. I just hope that by the time my kids are grown, breastfeeding will be the norm rather than the exception. And that gay marriage will be the norm as well (but that's a whole 'nother soapbox...I'll spare you that one for today).