Protecting the Nurslings and Their Mommies

September 12, 2008 at 4:52 pm (nursing)

I’m angry.  I’m appalled.  Anyone who has ever nursed a little one, or followed Her Bad Mother’s saga, has come across people who think that breastfeeding an infant belongs in the bathroom or beneath a filthy airline blanket.  How unbelievably archaic.  How unbelievably sad.  

I nursed both of my little nurslings for more than a year.  Sunshine was 16 months old when she decided she was ready to stop nursing.  Ladybug was closer to 13 months old.  I couldn’t get either of them to even look at a bottle.  I loved nursing my kiddos.  I am so proud of myself for getting through that difficult beginning to nursing (read thrush).  I am so proud of my husband for being so incredibly supportive of me.  For me, it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.  They were my constant companions, and I’m proud to say that I nursed them in public, in private, on a plane, and in a car (while the car was stopped, of course).
 Having said that, I usually did try to find a quiet place.  FYI, Nordstrom’s has some of the nicest rooms for this.  But that’s not always possible.  Babies are unpredictable, and you can’t always be in a private place.  My little nurslings couldn’t stand to be covered up.  So there goes the blanket.  I think I showed more skin trying to keep the blanket on and the child latched.   I think every mother tries to be discreet.  No one is waving their breast around saying, “Look at me, I’m nursing.”  
Anyone who even remotely suggested that I might want to take my child to a more appropriate place (read filthy, disgusting public restroom) was usually met with a withering stare and a don’t mess with me attitude.  But what about the women who do need to nurse gasp in public, and don’t have the energy to stand up for their rights?  For the rights of their hungry children?  Why does society see nursing as something shameful?  Why do so many nursing mothers feel like they have to take their precious children to absolutely appalling places to simply feed them?  THAT’S WHAT BREASTS ARE FOR, PEOPLE.  They are there to nourish babies.  I agree that they are also there to have a little fun with.  But their primary function is to nourish babies.  I will defend, with every fiber of my being, my right to feed my child where ever I want, whenever I want, in the manner I see fit.  
I am tired of hearing that nursing mothers are being asked to move because they might make someone else uncomfortable.  That they might offend someone else by doing something that is so natural.  I’m tired of hearing it compared to urinating in public.  I’m tired of hearing people say that nursing mothers are “sexually abusing” their children if they nurse them past six months of age.  So all those people who think that breastfeeding is gross or disgusting, and should take place in a bathroom can go straight to a Hell where nursing mothers are EVERYWHERE.  
I guess I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not my problem.  If someone is insecure or offended by the fact that I’m breastfeeding, it’s not my problem.  It’s theirs.  They need to deal with it.  If someone thinks that what I’m doing is shameful, it’s not my problem.  Feeding my child is my problem.  And I will nurse them where and when I want.  They deserve nothing less than the best, and I can provide them with that.  

Permalink Leave a Comment