I really don't understand what the big freakin' deal is with this controversy of mothers breast feeding their babies in public.
What in the world is so offensive about using our boobs for the purpose that they were created for?
In 1976 I became a mom for the very first time at the ripe old age of seventeen. Yep, I was a teen mom long before it was popular to be one! From the very first second that I learned I was pregnant I knew I wanted to do things differently than my mom did, and so I made the decision that I would breast feed my baby.
When my son was born prematurely I was heartbroken. I was disappointed that I wouldn't be able to nurse him after all.
The only support I had was a nurse who assured me that I could still breast feed him eventually, but I would have to keep my milk from drying up while he was in the hospital and unable to breast feed. She explained that I could do that by expressing my milk which I could then put into bottles to feed my son with during his hospital stay.
What the nurse never told me however, was exactly how to do that or that there was actually special equipment to do it with and for some reason I never asked! So I squeezed out the milk into bottles the only way I knew how! I did with my own two hands several times a day until my son finally got the hang of nursing.
It would have been nice if the nurse had told me about a handy piece of equipment called a breast pump or recommended that I get in touch with La Leche League. This breast feeding support group would have been an indispensable resource for me. Their guidance and advice could have made a world of difference for my son and I in the transition from bottle to breast, but unfortunately, I had never heard of them and didn't even know that such a group existed.
It was a frustrating and difficult process that involved a few tears, both my own and my son's, but eventually my son was breast feeding like an old pro. After a while he refused to take a bottle at all and that was just fine with me!
My son's pediatician informed me that only one in ten women were actually able to pull off what I did! I was both proud and very thankful that my son and I were a success story!
After my second son was born and diagnosed with meningitis at three days old he was whisked away into isolation. I was not able to continue breast feeding him for the three weeks that he was hospitalized.
But this time I knew just what to do and this time I had a handy dandy little manual breast pump to help me out! When this little baby was finally ready and able to resume breast feeding he had not forgotten how! He latched right on and didn't let go until he was two years old!
I began breast feeding in 1976 and nursed the last of my nine babies in 2002. I even nursed right through a couple of pregnancies and then breast fed new borns and toddlers at the same time!
I breast fed my babies while roaming grocery store aisles, strolling through malls, sitting in movie theaters, playing at the beach, sitting on the board walk, watching baseball and soccer games, dining in restaurants, and even sitting in church services. Basically, I breast fed my babies anywhere and everywhere I went and most of the time no one ever even realized it!
The more experienced I became at nursing in public the less modest and self conscious I became about it also. I went from totally covering up with a blanket over my shoulder to just popping my boobs out without even thinking about it!
The only time I ever experienced anything negative was in a public school. My son and I had been led into an empty class room to wait until my daughter was done with her speech therapy session. Initially, my son and I were alone in the room. I had already been nursing him when a woman and student came into the room for what appeared to be a tutoring session. I was totally covered. I turned my back to them and continued breast feeding my son.
Apparently, the woman didn't like that and when she left she must have tattled on me to the principal because as I was leaving the building the principal invited me into her office where she proceeded to instruct me to never breast feed on school property again! That was the very first time I had ever been sent to the principal's office I might add!
I have a funny story about breast feeding in public also. I was nursing one of my sons while ordering my dinner at our local Friendly's restaurant. I was all covered up very modestly. The waiter who was a college student asked to see the baby and before I could do anything about it, he took it upon himself to remove the blanket that I had covering up my very exposed boob and nursing baby! Boy was he shocked and embarrassed! He kept apologizing over and over. But my husband and I weren't upset about it. We thought it was hilarious! We tipped that poor waiter very well!
I am certain that there are many more women breast feeding their children in public than we are aware of we just don't usually even notice it!
Boobs are for feeding babies!
There is nothing disgusting, shameful, or X-rated about it!
To those who are opposed to women breast feeding their babies in public I say, "Get over it! If it bothers you don't look!"
*Disclaimer: This post is in no way meant to offend moms who choose to bottle feed. I have the utmost respect for your decision to do so.*
For more stories about how we are embracing the challenges of brain cancer, brain injury, autism, and epilepsy one day at a time with faith, hope, and love, please visit "Living and Learning With Our New Normal" at faithfulmomof9.com