Thursday, February 9, 2012

I'm a Mammal....It's what we do!

Yes...I am talking about breastfeeding.

*For those who are offended by breastfeeding, I will let you know that there are personal pictures here.*

Many generations ago, women breastfed their children because it was the only choice.  Then there was the invention of bottles and formula.  It became a 'women's liberation' choice.  It freed these women to have options to be able to leave their children in the care of others without the child going hungry.  It was a status symbol...those who could afford to do it, did.  Because of this, bottle feeding became the way to feed your child.  There was a new generation and a new way of thinking.  Then the next generation came around....the generation of my parents.  This generation was really split in two.  There were those that wanted to conform to their parent's ideals.  Then there were others who wanted to forge their own way, go all natural, go against the grain, and 'fight the man'.  This is true for many issues, but one of them happened to be the choice of formula or breast milk.

Little Man's last breastfeeding session.
Now we are forging on with a new generation....my generation.  Breastfeeding has now become a passionate, in-your-face, controversial topic.  There are those who choose to avoid the drama and just be able to make a choice for their child without being chastised or looked down upon.  Those who don't see it as a status.  There are some who want to stand up and shout from the mountains about our rights and equality.  There are others who want to make the choice to do it, but fear the controversy and lack the support.  There are even those out there that just don't have the information to make the decision and they don't realize that there is an option to breastfeed.  It is my hope that my children's generation will see the choice to breastfeed or formula feed is just that....a choice...free for anyone to make without scorn.

My personal choice has always been to breastfeed.  My mother formula fed my brother, but made the choice to breastfeed me after a wonderful doctor gave her all the tools to make an informed decision.  Because my mother breastfed me and taught me about all of the pros and cons, it was an easy choice for me to make.  I had a lot of support.  I married a man who's mother breastfed him....in fact, she even cloth diapered him too!  Talk about an amazing woman!  Because of this and her open nature with him, he learned how to be very supportive of our choices too.  In fact, there have been times when the pain was too much and I just wanted to give up....The RacDad is the one who pulled me through.  His kind words and his encouragement kept me going with the choice that I made, well, we made together.  (So....guys out there...be a part of the decision and be the best cheerleader you can.  Empower yourself with information and help empower the women in your life with your support!)

Peanut's First Meal.
What it all comes down to is not whether breastfeeding should be shown on Sesame Street or whether people should be allowed to breastfeed in public.  It is about a choice.  It's as simple as that.  Sure there are people out there who have very strong opinions on the subject (and I welcome those opinions).  There are older people out there who are still of the mindset that breastfeeding is just inappropriate.  There are younger people out there who make it a sexual issue.  No matter how you feel about it, you should realize that it is a personal choice...it is not a choice for you to make for other people.  It's not a choice that is going to harm anyone.  It is not a choice that is going to threaten anyone.  It is simply a personal choice.  It doesn't matter how you feel about it one way or the other.  Remember the 'golden rule'....If you don't have anything nice to say, then don't say anything at all.

Peanut eating.

Nursing at the Doctor's office today!
The fact is that we are all mammals.  The ability to nourish our young is the exact reason why we are called mammals.  I don't understand how this could be so controversial except for the fact that there are those out there who are very against it and voice their opinion loudly.  And there are others who push just as hard the other way in support of it.  Does this really help anything?  No.  What needs to happen is that the choice to breastfeed needs to become normal.  Just like the decision to bottle feed.  It needs to be seen as natural; not praised because it's better or chastised because it's offensive.

Nursing at the restaurant for lunch.
Does anyone get up in arms about a puppy eating from it's mother?  A cat feeding it's litter?  Who looks at a horse nursing it's colt and say, "Oh that's just wrong."  Not many people.  The ability to bottle feed animals is out there just like it is for people.  But when you see a zoo keeper bottle feeding a Polar Bear, doesn't part of you think, "That poor baby polar bear.  It lost it's mother."  But how many times have you heard someone on the news talking about humans breastfeeding a human and have it cast in a negative light.  No one looks at an infant bottle feeding and thinks, "That poor baby, it lost it's mother."  So why does it have to be such a big deal for a mother to breastfeed their child?  It is what we were made to do.  If some people want to do it, then let them.  There shouldn't be any repercussions or rules as to how, where or when.



Photobucket


**Disclaimer:  This post is in no way written to demean or belittle how people choose to feed their children.  I fully support all parents in their personal decision to feed their children how, when and where they choose.  Even if it's by breast, bottle or both, breast milk or formula, in the middle of a busy restaurant or in the comfort of their own home.  This is just my personal view on why breast feeding should not be so controversial.**

7 comments:

  1. I agree breastfeeding shouldn't be so controversial, I formula fed my oldest and nursed my youngest for the first 8 months. I don't regret either choice, nor do I think others should judge or even give their opinion. As long as baby is happy and healthy should anything else really matter? 
    I do regret that I have no pictures nursing my baby. :-(

    ReplyDelete
  2. You are absolutely right.  It's what is best for the baby and mom.  I regret not having any pictures of our oldest.  But at the same time, it was very difficult for me to take a picture of my son's last nummy.  The only reason I did it was because of a good friend of mine suggested that I should to help me feel better about weaning.  Thank you for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Can I say I love you?!! Cause I think I do! Great post! My personal fav...."
    anyone get up in arms about a puppy eating from it's mother?  A cat feeding it's litter?  Who looks at a horse nursing it's colt and say, "Oh that's just wrong."  Not many people.  The ability to bottle feed animals is out there just like it is for people.  But when you see a zoo keeper bottle feeding a Polar Bear, doesn't part of you think, "That poor baby polar bear.  It lost it's mother." You hit that nail! Great post!!!! 

    ReplyDelete
  4. Okay what's the cover you have?  I love it!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thank you Jacky!  I found my courage and comfort with my decision all thanks to you!  You have been the best support!

    ReplyDelete
  6. The cover that I was using is actually my sweater!  I have a sweater that is long in the front and drapes.  It's like this one, but mine's from Old Navy.  I also have a few that are lightweight knit and sleeveless for summer.  
    http://www.target.com/p/Mossimo-Womens-Drape-Cardigan-Sweater-Assorted-Colors/-/A-13405836?ref=tgt_adv_XSG10001&AFID=Froogle_df&LNM=%7C13405836&CPNG=women&ci_src=14110944&ci_sku=13405836

    It works perfectly to bring around the front of her to cover and keep me comfortable.  Plus, it is cute to wear.  Most people don't even notice what I'm doing.  They just think that she's being covered to keep warm or to sleep.  ;)

    ReplyDelete
  7. You can also find something like it at Dressed to Deliver!  
    http://www.dressedtodeliver.com/babe-wrap

    I would love to try this out for them to see how the whole 'hole in the sleeve' thing works.

    ReplyDelete

Feel free to leave me a note! I love hearing from you!