Everyone is blogging about breastfeeding today for Breast Fest... as a stand against the whole debacle that Bill Maher and Facebook and MySpace have caused. I am a bit late to the party on this one, however all these posts got me thinking...
I suppose I must be so very lucky. I cannot once name a time when I felt like someone was upset with me for breastfeeding, or overly uncomfortable with it. And let me tell you some of the places I breastfed:
-My husband's office
-In a theatre lobby on breaks from rehearsal (I began rehearsing a play when The May Queen was a mere 6 weeks old. Occasionally she would come with me to rehearsal. If not I would sit in the very clean bathroom and pump during my break... during the shows I sat in the dressing room and did this during intermission. I could not have had a more supportive cast and director for the whole thing, who always encouraged me to take as much time as I needed. If the rehearsal was running long before our break my director could tell by the spots appearing on my shirt! lovely, eh?)
-at bi-monthly mommy meetings
-in various friend's homes
-at the table at many restaurants
-the narthex of our church as I watched and listened to the worship service
-airplanes (I had people on the airplane advise me that nursing was the best way to keep the babies ears from hurting at landing and takeoff. I already knew this, but thought it was so sweet when this grandmotherly lady told me that!)
I'm sure there are many more. I have no photos from this time, but I remember that cherished closeness. I remember how as The May Queen got older it got harder to do it away from home as she would be distracted by wanting to watch the world around her (wandering head while nursing equaled pain!). I nursed exclusively for over 6 months. I was proud of how my body continued to sustain the life of my child. I was thrilled when I learned how a mother creates the needed antibodies for their child through her breast milk. My husband fully supported the breastfeeding (we attended a fabulous and free informational meeting about breastfeeding at our hospital before The May Queen was born, and although we were both all for it before then, we were even more convinced after that!) I had a pediatrician who not only fully supported breastfeeding but lobbied for it. I nursed for 13 months, and our time of nursing came to a very natural end, that was not traumatic for either The May Queen or I. We were ready.
I know that not all women can breastfeed for medical reason or life reasons, and that is okay. Yet I marvel how our Creator gave us the perfect tool for nourishing our children. It is the best thing, hands down, for your child. I hope that all women will have the opportunity to breastfeed without feeling any public shame or pressure to do otherwise. I didn't realize how good I had it.
(when I did my spellcheck it did not like the word "narthex" It is a real word - it is the entry area outside of the sanctuary in a church building. I am surprised and a bit disappointed that the spell check on blogger doesn't know the word. but that is a whole other issue...)