Oh my goodness...
I am watching Good Morning America and they are talking about breast feeding in public andI am absolutely appalled, not by their report because they are actually supporting breast feeding in public but the commentary from the public is what is shocking. This whole report is in reponse to a magazine cover (BabyTalk) picture of a baby breast feeding and how that is so "controversial" to have that on the cover of a magazine.
57% of people DO NOT APPROVE of breast feeding in public
one woman went on to say that "it is disgusting" and "it is not moral"
moral? since when is feeding your baby not "moral"?
it was also discouraging to see the numbers on breast feeding women:
70% of women try breast feeding
36% are still nursing at 6 months
17% are still nursing at one year...17%!
Of course it isn't really surprising after hearing what people on the street were saying about breast feeding in public. There is little to no support for women to continue. 56% of women say that they stopped nuring before they wanted to quit.
Also, there was this woman who is a reporter for some newspaper in Philadelphia interviewed forthe report that had some really offensive things to say about beast feeding in public such as things like "it [public breastfeeding] is not modest and should be done in the privacy of your own home." and "I don't want to be out somewhere and see some woman take of their shirt so they can feed their baby." Take off their shirt? I don't even want to get started on that comment.
I nursed both of my girls for over a year and I'm not saying that to toot my own horn because I had it relatively easy. Both girls were excellent nursers and I had the advantage of not working (although I did work for 6 weeks after Piper was born and in that time I got about 10 minutes each day to pump in my classroom with the door locked and kindergartners pounding on the door to come in and use the bathroom, FUN!). Shorlty after Finley was born I went out to lunch with two friends (neither have children) and of course Finley was hungry and so I started to prep to nurse her and my one friend said, "oh, are you going to do that here?" I said, "oh, I'm sorry. would that offend you?" she replied, "oh, no no..." (very uncomfortably). I was at the same time thinking that we would all be A LOT more uncomfortable with a baby screaming her lungs out in the restraunt. I was not prepared for her question because i had never really had an issue before.
I guess I am a stealth nurser. Most of the time I would be nursing and people would come over to talk to me and realize what I was doing and they would become embarassed and walk away apologizing. It became quite isolating and it seems like there is less and less support for women who are trying to do what they feel is in the best interest of their child. Even my father who is a pediatrician asked me when i was going to wean Finley because she was over a year old and stil nursing. But, he's just old and doesn't now any better, but it also proves a point that the continuing education of health care professionals in this area is lacking. How great would it be for the pediatricians and nurses in their office were educated in breast feeding and technique and solutions to common problems involved with nursing? How many more new mothers (and I mean to say that every woman who has a baby is a new mother no matter if it is her 1st or 21st because each child is new experience) would continue to breast feed through common problems that cause them to stop?
It reminds meof these shirts I've seen from an internet friend of mine, Jennifer Laycock. She desings and sells pro-breast feeding t-shirts and stuff. Some of my favorites:
"Don't be lactose intolerant"
"My baby doesn't like to eat in the bathroom...do you?"
"My milkshake feeds all the kids in the yard"
"Nursing: Nature's own breast enhancement"
and for men:
"why wouldn't I want to see more breasts in public"
"I take turns"
and what's great about jennifer is that she also sells milk bank t-shirts and 100% of the profits from those shirts goes to a milk bank in ohio. Here is her blog. Check her out and wear your support.
It is so amazing to me that God so put us together so intricately that these processes are built into us to care for our children. What a wonderful creation so compex and yet so simple.