thoughts about breastfeeding

Saturday, June 28

i rarely use this blog as a place to state my opinion or debate a topic, and with the continual battle to keep my photos up to date, it doesn't exactly seem i have time. but, i do hope that will change- not to force my ideas down your throat but to give you something to think about and maybe sit down long enough to form your own thoughts on the matter. as joanna recently wrote, as a mother, it seems as if "my brain is out of practice." so, why not give us all a chance to work on that. 

then, laura posted this. the topic is breastfeeding and the question is it acceptable in public?

now, as she states, tennessee protects the rights of a breastfeeding mother for children up to the age of 12 months. so, obviously, the state has regulations in place for those of us who have breastfed in public, but we have all heard stories of people who have been asked to stop or cover up or move. so, i believe the question is more do we accept it? 

i know before i had children and i saw people nursing their own, i had opinions. if they were modest, my thoughts were usually that they were different, natural, family bed practicing, extremists. if they were not, i thought-gross, cover up! then, when pregnant with carter i took a child birthing class and read what to expect and did research on everything from bottles to carseats. after all of my research, i thought breastmilk is supposed to be superior to formula, breastmilk is free, and if God gave me this ability to feed my child, why not at least try. so, with no experience or experienced friends and a couple of grandmothers to be who had their own stories of what they were told was appropriate, i leapt into the world of breastfeeding. was it easy? uh, no! in fact, it was one of the most difficult, nerve racking things i have ever accomplished. i thought i was doing it all wrong, i thought carter was starving (turned out she was) and i thought is it all worth it? after a trip to a lactation consultant who corrected our starvation issue and reassured me with her extreme stories and statistics, i decided to keep trying. if it hadn't been for my pediatrician who gave me great reasons to continue each step of the way, i don't know that i would have made it that first year, but we did and it made the second go around even easier. 

why do i write all this to you? because, i know that almost every single person who checks this blog has at least tried nursing your baby. you know it is the most natural and the most unnatural experience you have ever had. you know it is the scariest thing in the world to just accept that your child is getting enough milk. you know it is painful, painful and even more painful. many of you also know it is a very rewarding experience to bond with your baby in such a manner. you know it is an absolute miracle that God created our bodies to provide for our children until they are able to consume food in the same manner that we do. you know that it is free (doesn't cost a thing), convenient (always available and you never leave home without it), great for your figure (the babies are longer and leaner for life and mommies lose their weight either during or after), and has amazing medical qualities (including lowering the risk of several cancers!) so why in the world do we all have some sort of hinderance in accepting it in a public setting?

so, girls, i ask you to go to laura's post and read- read the post, read the article, read the comments from the article and the post and then think about it yourself. then, if you wish, create your own comment about it and post it either here or there. even if you don't typically comment, most of you will have a thought or two after this. and, many of you are thinking, i don't have time for all this-seriously, this is what we all do when we put our kids down to sit and destress from the day. so, enjoy and put your brain to work!


Laura Owings said...

Thanks so much for the shout out and for your thoughts on the subject!

rachel said...

oh maribeth - i have so many thoughts/opinions on this subject and too small of a space on your comments. i agree with you 100% and will look over laura's blog when i have time this week.


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