So since becoming a new mom, I never thought I would face such impractical and ignorant ideas when it comes to nursing. It’s 2014 and you’d think by now, breastfeeding would have a whole new view, but, nope. Not even close.
Disclaimer- I’d also like to say that before you read this, understand it’s not meant to be snarky because some people truly don’t understand how annoying and hurtful some of these comments can be to a nursing mom. Bottom line is that I never force breastfeeding down people’s throats which is why it drives me insane to have others try to force their OPINION on breastfeeding down my throat. I do what works for me, my child, and family. I am always discreet and never make others feel uncomfortable. If there are children around, I cover as best I can because I know many people just don’t want to explain it to their kids (even though breastfeeding is perfectly NORMAL). I also have several friends who cannot breastfeed and they want nothing more than to continue breastfeeding. To me, when people make ignorant comments, I find that it is more hurtful because it is such a special thing for each mama. So as you read this, whether you agree or not, think about the things I’ve mentioned the next time you choose to bash (knowingly or unknowingly) a nursing mama!
My pet peeves when it comes to people bashing breastfeeding in general and breastfeeding in public…..these seem to be the most common thoughts of people who don’t support it and my thoughts towards these ideas…
Thought: I breastfeed in public so the entire world can see my boobs
Reality: Uh no…a complete stranger is the LAST person I want to see any part of my boob. I also wouldn’t want most people I KNOW to see my boobs.
Thought: Why can’t you just use a cover or something?
Reality: My child is a complete nightmare when I use a cover (pulling it off, yanking at it, exposing me way more than without using it, 10x more distracted, becoming even grouchier because she’s roasting under a cover). Sorry, I won’t compromise my child’s comfort because you can’t look the other way. If your kid cooperates with a cover, yay for you!
Thought: Ew. Nursing in public is so gross. I don’t want to see that!
Reality: If you’re so offended and “grossed out”, why the hell are you watching!? I’m FEEDING my child, do ya mind?! If you’re so bothered by it, cover yourself or look away.
Thought: I am a TOTAL supporter of breastfeeding but….
Reality: You are NOT a total supporter of breastfeeding if you have any “buts” in your sentence. You’re what the breastfeeding world calls a “butter”. If you are a TOTAL supporter, you support every mother in the way that works best for her and her family- not what makes YOU comfortable.
Thought: Can’t you just pump and bring a bottle????
Reality: Seriously? Being a mom is already hectic enough. Why would I want to lug a bottle around, make sure the milk is being kept cold enough, then when baby is ready to eat (which isn’t like “oh hey mama, I’m gonna be hungry in precisely 13.23 minutes….”, It’s more like: “dammit woman, give me a boob now! I am famished and cannot wait 2 more seconds before screaming my head off because I will obviously die if I have to wait 1 minute longer”) trying to find a place to warm up said milk, etc. Why do this when I can give her a boob with as much milk as she needs at the perfect temperature!? Also, not all women can pump adequate amounts of milk or pump at all.
Thought: Go into the bathroom, it’s way more private!
Reality: No thanks…that’s gross. If I want privacy, I’ll find it, but it sure as hell won’t be in a public bathroom. Thanks for trying to seem like you’re being compassionate about it when you’re really trying to shove me into the bathroom because YOU feel uncomfortable. I don’t eat my food in a bathroom, you don’t eat your food in a bathroom, and my child does not eat her food in the bathroom- boob or otherwise.
Thought: Ugh, that is indecent exposure! If a man can’t whip it out and urinate in public without being arrested, why should you be able to breastfeed?
Reality: Are you ^%$^@! kidding me? Urinating and feeding a child are on completely different levels. Don’t sound like such an uneducated idiot. Can you nourish a child with urine? No. End of story.
Thought: That is a private but still totally natural thing- just do it in the privacy of your home like other “natural, private things”!
Reality: Again, are you ^$@##! joking? Completely different situations, again. I’m feeding a baby, not trying to make you watch me make another. kthanks.
Thought: Feed your baby before leaving the house, do your errands super quick, then go home to feed them again! Plan ahead! It’s simple!!
Reality: Holy shit, did you seriously just solve every mom’s “having to run errands but still needing to nurse her child” dilemma?! Hot damn, you deserve an award for your brilliant idea!! Oh wait…nope you’re still an idiot. No young child eats on a schedule and nowadays, we are encouraged to “feed on demand” aka “how every grown person eats- when they’re hungry”! Sorry, but, my child has no schedule to eat. Sometimes she eats and then wants to eat again in an hour, sometimes it will be 3 hours between feedings. If I have a whole 2+ hours worth of errands, I’m gonna feed my child if she’s hungry whether I’m home or getting groceries! Believe it or not, I still want to aimlessly wander around Target for longer than necessary even though I now have a nursing child versus when I was a childless being! I’m not going to stay cooped up in my house because nursing my babe is obviously distracting you from enjoying the mindless money-sucking vortex delight known more commonly as Target.
Thought: I don’t want my kids seeing that!!! (or the other thoughts of “I don’t want my teenage sons seeing that!” or “I don’t want my husband seeing that”)
Reality: I’m sorry you feel uncomfortable telling your children, especially your sons who will most likely become fathers one day, what breasts are truly there for. I hope your sons become educated enough to support their future partners if they decide to breastfeed their future children. I also hope your daughters learn that their breasts are not only there for sexual purposes and that their primary use and reason for existing is to nourish their children. And I will pray for you when you have to have the sex talk with your kids because if you can’t handle a little breastfeeding explanation, I’d hate to see how you deal with “The Talk” and all the questions that will result. Yikes!
Whew. Ok. I feel better now. But in all seriousness, be part of the movement that wants to support nursing mamas and normalize breastfeeding– not the part that tears us down and makes us feel bad for choosing the best we can for our babes! Support mamas and what works for THEM- end of of story.