As Breastfeeding Awareness Week comes to a close, I’d like to share a story that was told to me yesterday by a brand new mommy. Her son is 4 wks old. She’s 18. She had a beautiful, healthy, normal pregnancy and a magical water birth. I’m so proud of her I could just burst!! (And if you know me personally, you will know that I have a serious soft spot for teen moms)
Here’s her story
She and her partner were in a restaurant having lunch with friends. Her son was hungry. She began to nurse him at their table. She was discreet. She’s very shy anyway, so she was diligent in making sure that she was covered up while nursing her son.
There was a table of young ladies sitting across from this mama and her group. Those young “ladies” (and I use the term ladies very loosely) began making snide and rude comments amongst themselves about how gross breastfeeding was, how obscene to see a boob in a restaurant, etc. They were talking to each other but speaking their trash loud enough and with the intention of my client hearing them. Mama was so embarrassed and hurt. She immediately became very insecure and was afraid she would get into trouble for “indecent exposure.” So, she got up from her lunch, took her son to the ladies room and sat on a toilet to finish feeding her baby!
While she was telling me this story, she was crying. She is ready to give up breast feeding in public and feed her boy formula. I had to control myself and curb my tongue because I was so very pissed off, I could hardly function!!
This little teenage mama is very shy, very private and still very vulnerable in her present postpartum state. So, I talked to her about ways she could bottle feed breast milk if she felt she absolutely could not breastfeed in public. She did not need to hear my anger and frustration toward the ridiculous things the little twits at the other table were saying. What this little mama needed was someone to help her to find a solution to what she perceives is a deal breaking problem to public breastfeeding. So I was very gentle and kind with her. Inside I was seething!! I still am!
There is a billboard sign on the freeway near an exit I take almost every day. The billboard is advertising cosmetic surgery. Apparently the doc is quite good at boob jobs because the set of tatas on display are quite, ummm…. voluptuous. You see way more breast on that billboard than you ever see of a nursing mother! Every few months the Victoria Secret catalog comes out. You see way more breast in that catalog than you see on a nursing mother. At our local lake beach…way more boob is visible in those skimpy little bathing suits than is ever visible on a nursing mother. Are you seeing my point?
I don’t understand why we are still having issue with women feeding their babies the most perfect, the most balanced, the most delicious and the most nutritive form of nourishment on the planet. I just don’t get it!
If I see you nursing your baby in public, expect me to speak directly to you and to thank you for doing the absolute best for your child. I will call you Super Mom. If I had a magic wand, I would gently tap you on the head and give you a crown of diamonds!! On the other hand, if you are talking smack about a publicly breastfeeding woman, also expect me to speak directly to you. But I will not be thanking you. I will be giving you a tongue lashing you won’t soon forget. Oh, and that magic wand I will have…I’ll likely crack you on the head with it and curse you with warts!!