Wow, some great discussion on the topic of nursing in public. I have this problem that I write things and then I hit publish without editting or reviewing and then like 0 secoonds later I'm like, oh geez, I should've put this in there or I shouldn't have written that or is "a lot" two words or one?
So some follow-up thoughts about what I previously wrote about:
When I said that I nursed both of my girls for over a year i didn't mean to come across as arrogant. I was just illustrating that it came easy for us and that is what allowed it to continue for that amount of time. So, although I haven't walked in your shoes, I understand that it is not that way for all women and in result there is a real need for continuing education and support. It could be the most simple problem that if provided a solution would encourage that mother to continue breast feeding.
We went to the park with my mother-in-law and some of Piper and Finley's younger aunts and uncles and I had this same discussion with her about the need for education of health care professionals in breast feeding. We concluded that really, if you don't have a lactation consultant, then you are out of luck because the OB, the pediatrician, noneof them are prepared to deal with a mother that comes in with a wailing 4 day old newborn, a shirt drenched in leaking breast milk, sobbing because she can't get her baby to eat. No doubt she feels like a failure because she cannot do what she has been forced to believe is "the best thing for her baby." My mother-in-law has nursed 11 babies and even she said after her last baby (who is 3 months older than Piper) the lactation consultant had information that she had never heard and tips that she had never used.
I ran into a friend at the fabric store on Thursday night (while Jason was at home with the girls letting them drink cough medicine) (not really, but kind of) and she has a 5 month old little boy that is her third child. She literally had tears in her eyes because she can't get her son to take a bottle and she feels trapped. She can't go anywhere wihtout the baby and is tired, really tired. And the thought of giving him a bottle makes her feel so guilty that she most definitely feels that there is no solution to this dilema. I felt somewhat the same way after having Finley. I wanted her to be breast fed and it was the most convenient thing to do, but oh, were there days that I just wanted to get out of the house and let someone else take on the responsibility of feeding her. And of course I waited too long to introduce the bottle (DANGER-NIPPLE CONFUSION, right!) that she never took a bottle or an ounce of formula or pumped breast milk (and boy did i have a freezer full).
So we are bad mothers if we don't nurse our babies and guilt ridden if we stop too early or choose to supplement so we can get a haircut and feel like a normal human. Not really fair, is it?
I wanted to highlight some of the comments i got from the previous post:
"In most countries, it is natural for a mother to breast feed her child. This country is suppose to be the most sophisticated country in the world, but we frown upon a breast. Lets get real America!"
"The AAP recommends it for the first year, and beyond. Everyone quotes them for other child-raising facts but the breastfeeding issue is even ignored by doctors. Sad!"
The lone man to comment, brave soul-
"Now, that said, it probably should be more widely accepted. I don't think we should have boobies hanging out all over the place, but a mother should have to hide or feel isolated.
Just like diaper changing stations in a men's bathroom, it is always nice to see other baby friendly areas like a "mother's lounge" specifically for breast feeding with a few really nice chairs, etc."
"It freaks me so much how can the american people react to seeing a boob in public (or televised) and do not say a word about the extremely violent scenes on TV that is tolerated."
All very good thoughts and great points of discussion. Be on the lookout for a Q&A with Jennifer Laycock of The Lactivist.
Again remember that i just hit the publish button, makes for more a dangerous risk! Ha!