There has been so much talk about breastfeeding lately. That it should be possible to breastfeed in public without people coming and tell you to cover up. What everybody seems to be missing is how hard it is for a new mother to have to breastfeed her child outside of the comfort of her house.
I had a talk with a friend of mine who recently became a mother, who is having a hard time adjusting to the thought that there might be times where she is out with her baby, and have to breastfeed in public.
The thought of sitting outside, in public, and have to take your breast out to feed the baby is just more than she can bear.
“What would people think, what would people say? ”
Women have all their lives been taught to cover up and not show our breast or nipples because we don’t do that in the public space. The female body should be hidden (No one says anything about men walking shirtless and sweaty through the streets and stores).
Read more about bonding with your child, here.
Becoming a mother…
When you become a mother, there are so many changes you have to adjust to. Your mind changes, your body changes and then on top of that you have to be ready to feed your children whenever and wherever. Because you don’t want to starve your child, just to stay modest.
My friend then asked me, how did you handle breastfeeding in public?
I remember it to be a really uncomfortable thing to do. All you really want to do is to hide away.
In the beginning, I remember I used to cover up so nobody would see anything.
It wasn’t the thought of making someone else uncomfortable, it was more not wanting to expose myself.
I wanted to make sure that nobody saw anything.
Later on, you realize what really matters, and it is not that your breast is showing. The most precious being in your life needs to be fed and be happy, that’s all that really matters.
I have had a hard time understanding why breastfeeding is a problem for anybody. If breastfeeding was such a tabu thing to do, why do we have breast in the first place and why are they used to feed our babies?
Why aren’t we made to feed through our fingers or mouth, or just give them regular food?
Because God, Universe, Nature or whatever you choose to believe in, intended it this way. There was no error, it is how you and child create an amazing bond between you, and how the baby grows in their first part of life.
Read more about the importance of picking up your baby.
Why do men or women (especially women) feel entitled to go tell mothers to cover up? What gives them the right?
I use to think. Oh, so it was ok, when your mother had to breastfeed you or when your wife had to.
But it is not ok for other women to do so?
It actually turns out that it’s bigger than that.
Throughout most of our history, it has been looked down upon to breastfeed. Instead, wet nurses have been used as a go-between.
Some cultures prefer not to breastfeed since they had been forcefully used as wetnurses and yet to this day resent that.
Later wetnurses were replaced by formulas, and still to this day a lot of people carry this thought with them.
There is no excuse to not breastfeed unless you are not able.
There is so much research done in this area, and it has shown incredible benefits for both the mother and child.
Let me name a few examples:
decreased risk of getting ovarian cancer and breast cancer. For the child, there is a lower risk of getting a middle ear infection, a 50% reduction in sudden infant death syndrome, a40% less risk for asthma for families with history with asthma and 27% less chance for families without a history of asthma.
Why does anybody have the need to impose their will on others?
If you don’t like what you see, you can always look the other way!
It is not your baby and not your responsibility.
There is nothing in the world more natural as breastfeeding. This has been going on since the dawn of time.
That’s the reason women (and mammals) have breasts, so they can feed their babies.
So STOP shaming breastfeeding mothers, and let nature has its course.