I am a breastfeeding advocate of sorts. I am proud when I see other women in public breastfeeding their children. Their courage fuels my fight. People in this country are so prudish that it amazes me. They’re just boobs. Not like women are just whipping their boobs out for everyone to see them just because they feel like it. That’s a whole different subject. What I can’t understand is, how can so many people look down on women for doing what they were built for?
Honestly who should care if children are breastfed in public? Have women always had to be this sheltered when it comes to breastfeeding? I understand that there was a time when women were drugged up and couldn’t remember giving birth, and then were told they had to bottle feed. I get this. But seriously, times have changed. Women are nursing their toddlers, because that’s their right. We as women, fought to have rights. I don’t think anyone should be able to tell us where and when we can feed our children just because it doesn’t come from a damn bottle. This is a human right. We’re not asking to be able to strip in front of people at the mall. We’re asking to be able to feed our children and not be told it’s gross or inconsiderate. You’re gross and inconsiderate if you think that breastfeeding a child has any sort of sexual nature.
I’ve only been a mom now for 8 1/2 months, but I’ve been a breastfeeding advocate for years. It’s something I knew I’ve always wanted to do when I did become a mother. I unfortunately had to stop breastfeeding my son at 4 months. Between stress and not having enough time to pump at work I wasn’t producing enough milk to sustain my son. I tried for as long as possible, but the stress of the situation became too much for me and dried me up faster.
I never wanted to stop breastfeeding. I wanted to keep going till my son was at least 6 months, then after that I would see how much farther he and I wanted to go. It’s a special relationship. The most wonderful bond I have ever experienced with a person, and I have an amazing bond with my own mother. No one prepared me for how strong this bond would be. No one prepared me for how heartbreaking it would be to have to cut this bond off. I think that was the worst part of it all. Just not knowing how much of a struggle that decision would be, and how much I would miss it all.
For the last two weeks that I nursed my son, I cried after he was done. I was never sure if there would be another time or not. I was afraid it would be the last time and I would never get it back. I was afraid that our bond would never be the same. I didn’t want things to change. We had it all figured out. There was a schedule, stability. If he woke up at night I could just bring him to bed and snuggle with him while he nursed. No getting up and making a bottle while he cried, because he was hungry. It was OUR quiet time. It always felt like time stood still around us, just so I could be absorbed into that tiny person that I’m allowed to call mine. It felt like no one could ever take that away. The feeding before bed was always my favorite. I would watch him slowly drift to sleep all while being satisfied and nourished, because of me, his mom. Then we could cuddle till I was ready for bed myself. I miss those days entirely too much to want to think about it sometimes. I wish I could go back so bad and do it all over again. It’s been 4 months and I still feel lost to this day. I didn’t feel like my job was done yet. I feel like someone came in and said “if you do this one more time, we will take him away… We’re watching you.” I don’t know if that makes any sense to anyone else.
I’ve already decided, with my next child I won’t let anything stop me from breastfeeding my child for as long as I want. I will make the time at work to pump, since that was the biggest problem I had. I don’t care if I have to go pump in the car. If that’s what I need to do, I will do it. I don’t care if I don’t have the support I need from the people around me. I will do it. I will not feel like a failure again. I refuse. And that’s it.
And to all of the mothers who can’t breastfeed for some reason, or chose to formula feed your babies: There is nothing wrong with the path you are taking/have taken. Be proud that you’re trying to be the best mother possible to your children. Don’t let anyone put you down for going by your own mothering style. Everyone has the right to figure out what is best for THEIR family. What is best for one family is not what is best for the next. Remember that.
Thank you for bearing with me through my rant. I just needed to get some of that off my chest. And if there are spelling errors or things that just don’t make sense, my bad. I wrote this on my phone while at work. Lol