Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Who would have thought I could be a "lactivist"?

Who would have thought that I would become a "lactivist"? How is it that something that I really didn't give much thought about my entire life could be such a hot topic for me now? I guess because prior to having a baby and being a nursing mom I didn't pay much attention to the way that each mother chose to feed her baby. I think I remember times as a child that I witnessed women nursing in public and got the nervous giggles...because I was a child and thought it was funny to see part of a boob I guess. Thankfully once I became an adult, I matured beyond that and ceased to find humor in seeing a baby being fed. Now that I have taken a ride on the motherhood rollercoaster, I have a whole new perspective on the issue and am blown away by our society's views and often ignorance on breastfeeding. Case in point...the recent Target Scandal. And reading the almost 800 comments, mostly negative and hateful, towards breastfeeding mothers.

Here's how I see it: The way a mother chooses to feed her baby is her own decision and thankfully we have a legal right to nurse in public or I'm sure places would be kicking us out left and right. I personally would LOVE to always have a private place when I'm in public to nurse but unfortunately that is typically not the case. I have found back corners of restaurants, back hallways of businesses,  have sat in my car on numerous occasions, and have made all sorts of curtains/shields on airplanes thanks to whoever sits by me.  Of course, I think it's a good idea to cover yourself as much as possible; I am a modest woman. However, I do realize that sometimes it's hard to wear a nursing cover with a fidgety baby like my own. I just want people to know that as much as they don't want to see a nursing woman in public, I don't want them looking at me anyway....so wouldn't the world  be a more peaceful place if people would mind their own business and not look! That would benefit us all!

So, does it make me a "lactivist" because I want to be able to feed my baby when he's hungry despite where we are? I wouldn't think so...but it seems I've had to become one. There are too many nay-sayers out there and this is a cause worth fighting for. It's hard enough to make the decision to breastfeed without all the negativity from people who should not have a say in the matter and women need support, encouragement, and praise for making a healthy choice for their babies.

Here's my sweet boy after being nursed to sleep on a flight. I'm sure the same people who are annoyed that I nursed in public would have also been annoyed to hear him cry the whole flight had I not nursed him. Thankfully, God has blessed me on every flight with a pro-breastfeeding person to sit by...how blessed am I!!

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