So it's no secret that I heart boobs (no wait, that's my husband.) But I heart breastfeeding...
Not that Holden and I were any good at it. We tried and tried and cried and cried and tried some more. I've mentioned on numerous occasions that even with lactation consultants (yes, that's plural), LeLeche League meetings, nurses, doctors, nipple shields, SNS system and everything short of trying a wet nurse, Holden and I gave it our best shot BUT he refused to latch completely at four months. As such, I was left to pump for the remainder (and a little beyond) his first year of life. Granted, my milk production levels were a bit 'abnormal.' I was producing so much milk Winder Farms was worried I'd start my own dairy operation.
But pumping is not my favorite thing.
Of course I would've preferred to nurse him...in the home, on the phone, at the store or on the floor. I would've preferred to nurse him here or there or anywhere...Instead, I was pumping on airplanes, in lavatories, in the the handicapped stall of Delta's Crown Room, at church, once of the floor of a Massage Envy shop after a flat tire, and the list goes on, and on, and on.
That's why it makes me sad when things like this happen:
"On January 30, Norika Aita was nursing her 11-month-old daughter, Elaine, on a bench near an escalator in the [Hirshhorn Smithsonian] museum when a security guard told her to move to a restroom to breastfeed. When Aita found no seat other than a toilet in the restroom, she returned to sit on another bench and resumed nursing. Another security guard then approached her and said, 'Mom, you cannot do that.'"
Obviously these security guards didn't know about the governments Right to Breastfeed act.
When Holden was nursing, he refused to latch if there was anything covering his face -- blanket, hooter hider (you get the point). I couldn't 'cover up' or my son wouldn't latch. So I guess to keep people from feeling uncomfortable, I was just supposed to let my kid starve...no wait, whip out a bottle because that wasn't weird? Except it is...if you really think about it. Nursing is one of the most natural things a mother can do for her child (granted, it wasn't easy for us, but it's still natural).
Plastic nipples, pumps, glass and bottles... they're about as un-natural as you can come by for feeding a baby. And before you think I'm passing judgement, let me remind you I've been there -- I get it. It's not available for everyone. Those 'un-natural' things made it possible for me to feed my child.
But that's not my point. My point is tolerance for those who are nursing.
We live in a pretty jacked up society... where women can parade around scantily clad with hardly anything on top, or wear swimsuits that may only cover a small portion of their bosoms; and their bodies (for the most part) are celebrated. (If you don't believe me, just look at any summer issue of US Weekly.) But a mother sits on bench to feed her child how-nature-intended and people start to squirm.
Bless you Western Civilization... but this is not progress by my standards.
Fortunately, the story from the museum has a positive outcome. Volunteers, boob-activists and the museum all got together for a nurse-in (yes, it's how you imagine, minus the signs that say "Save the Ta-Ta's"):
"The tone of the nurse-in was celebratory and communal, with mothers, fathers, babies and children of all ages happily chatting, nursing, and enjoying the art. Museum staffers were supportive and enthusiastic about drawing such a crowd. 'We’re glad you’re here,' beamed Hirshhorn Director of Administration and Finance Anthony (Chris) Walloo, who is expecting his first child in April and chatted with mothers about the best options for baby carriers."
Art and breasts? Sounds like there was a little something for everyone.
You can check out the full story on Mothering.com HERE.