Aside from when an African lady was rushed out of the sanctuary after she whipped out her breast to feed her baby during service, I only recall knowing one woman that breastfed her child when I was growing up. Given this lack of exposure, I am not too sure what inspired me to embark on this breastfeeding journey, but I always planned to breastfeed my children. In a few days, we will have been blessed to make it to five months of breastfeeding. While my family has been supportive, there have been a number of bumps and frustrations along the way.
Initially, we had issues with Solomon being able to latch. That led to a few weeks of aching wrists as a result of having to use nipple shields in addition to occasionally supplementing with formula. I prayed every day for Solomon to be able to nurse without a nipple shield and I am so grateful that God answered.
Nipple shields were not as frustrating as learning firsthand that breastfeeding is supposedly not normal. How is that possible? Before Similac, Enfamil, Gerber, and every other type of baby formula were created, there were breasts. Breasts were the sole providers of nourishment, aka FOOD, for every baby.
Knowing that, I do not understand…
- Why people stare at me while I’m feeding my baby—should I stare at you while you feed yourself?
- Why people think babies should be hidden while they eat—do you hide your face to eat? Please let us feed our babies comfortably, however we prefer, with or without a cover.
- Why men, and some women, attempt to peek at my breasts/nipples—does it look like I am posing for Playboy?
- Why people are grossed out by breastmilk—you do realize that cows lay in the same fields that they poop in and then they’re milked from the same udders that were in said fields of poop, right?
- Why people think babies should eat in a bathroom—would you be okay with your server serving you your meal in the bathroom?
- Why people think I should wash my pump parts in the bathroom—do you wash your dishes in the bathroom?
- Why people assume that every time my baby cries/whines/fusses/moves, etc. he needs to eat—do breastfed and formula fed babies have different needs? He needs to be held, played with, burped, changed, repositioned, etc. too; every noise or movement doesn’t mean he is hungry!
Can society just accept that breastfeeding is indeed normal? Better yet, it is the norm and it doesn’t need to be normalized. Breastfeeding was the original way to feed babies.
I support healthy mommies and babies. If you breastfeed, great. If you feed your baby formula, great. If you breastfeed and supplement with formula, great. Do what is best for you and your family to make sure that babies are fed and healthy.
“Even by the God of thy father, who shall help thee; and by the Almighty, who shall bless thee with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lieth under, blessings of the breasts, and of the womb:”
Genesis 49:25 KJV