If You’re Worried About Your Kid Seeing Me Breastfeeding, You’re Doing It Wrong

August 1st, 2013 by Dionna | 13 Comments
Posted in Breastfeeding/Lactivism, Carnival and Special Series, Compassionate Advocacy, Feed with Love and Respect, natural parenting

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World Breastfeeding Week 2013 Blog Carnival - NursingFreedom.org and The San Diego Breastfeeding Center

Welcome to the World Breastfeeding 2013 Blog Carnival cohosted by NursingFreedom.org and The San Diego Breastfeeding Center!

This post was written for inclusion in the WBW 2013 Blog Carnival. Our participants will be writing and sharing their stories about community support and normalizing breastfeeding all week long. Find more participating sites in the list at the bottom of this post or at the main carnival page.

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if you're worried

Ok, ok. I know the title of this post will be considered inflammatory by a segment of the population. I apologize for getting a whole slew of panties in a bunch right out of the gate.

But seriously. I’m speaking from experience. Both the experience of having someone ask me to hide while breastfeeding Ailia so teenage boys would not have to see “weird things,” and from the experience of having teenagers (boys and girls) hang out in a room full of breastfeeding mothers and never bat an eye.

Kind of like how most people don’t bat an eye when they walk past Victoria’s Secret ads at the mall.

I’m living the breastfeeding-as-a-cultural-norm dream. I belong to a great group of homeschoolers of all ages. For much of the year, we meet every week for several hours of classes. There are central areas where parents congregate while kids attend class, play outside, and generally wreak havoc. Many of the parents are breastfeeding. One of us was even tandem nursing a preschooler and a newborn this year!

And never. NEVER. have I seen any child of any age (or adult, for that matter) give one of us the side eye for nursing our children. Why? Because they’re used to it. Simple as that.

We don’t wear “Normalize Nursing in Public!” shirts and carry signs that say “Breastfeeding is for Babies!” We don’t hold lectures on why every baby should have access to breastmilk. We don’t hand out pro-breastfeeding literature.

We don’t have to. All we have to do is nurse our babies, just like we would at home.

A community that embraces breastfeeding as the normal way to feed babies raises children who have no reason to question breastfeeding in public.

And newsflash: there is no reason to question breastfeeding in public. It’s a child eating. Or getting comfort. Or falling asleep.

If you feel uncomfortable, it’s probably because you haven’t seen it enough. So the next time you see a breastfeeding pair, give them a smile. Make a comment nonchalantly to your child about the sweet nursing baby.

And save your side eye for those times you see the female body being objectified.

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World Breastfeeding Week 2013 Blog Carnival - NursingFreedom.org and The San Diego Breastfeeding Center Visit NursingFreedom.org and The San Diego Breastfeeding Center for more breastfeeding resources and WBW Carnival details!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants. Below are a list of links for today’s participants; you can find a complete list of links (updated throughout the week) at our main carnival page:

(This list will be updated by afternoon August 1 with all the carnival links.)

  • If You’re Worried About Your Kid Seeing Me Breastfeeding, You’re Doing It Wrong — Dionna at Code Name: Mama is living the breastfeeding-as-a-cultural-norm dream. She has first-hand experience that kids, teens & adults who see breastfeeding accept breastfeeding.
  • Supporting Breastfeeding Online — Wendy at Breastfeeding Utah reaches out to birth and breastfeeding support professionals who are interested in knowing more about supporting their clients online.
  • Breast Friends — Mama Bree, guest posting at San Diego Breastfeeding Center, shares a baby’s journey to blissful breastfeeding with a little help.
  • World Breastfeeding Week 2013 Blog Carnival – Online Breastfeeding Support — Other than buying and reading up on books, Jenny at I’m a full-time mummy finds that it is useful to read up on other mums’ breastfeeding experiences and how they deal with their obstacles.
  • It Takes a Village… — Meredith at Thank You Ma’am talks about the support she got from her family, especially from her own mom, who is a lactation consultant.
  • Community Support — Ashley at ModerationMama tells about her supportive community surrounding her breastfeeding journey, and she talks about the importance of the breastfeeding class she took while still pregnant.
  • Finding a Nanny to Be Part of My Village — Before returning to work, Gretchen of That Mama Gretchen, posting at Natural Parents Network, needed to find a trusted caregiver for her daughter. Someone who supported her parenting goals and was ready to become part of a family.
  • A Nursey Love Letter — When asked about her nursing support group, KassK of Get Born Tribe surprised herself with the answer: her husband!
  • We are mammals. — To be a mammal . . . what does that mean? Practicing Mammal educates us.
  • Building a Solid Foundation for a Successful Breastfeeding Journey — Tia at Tia’s Sweeps Go ‘Round shares how she built a strong support network to help her successfully breastfeed her newborn daughter.
  • Stubbornness and Support: My Breastfeeding Journey — Diana at Munchkin’s Mommy shares her breastfeeding journey, from unhelpful nurses to a gentle guide, and her sheer stubbornness.
  • Looking online for breastfeeding support — The author at “Just” A Mom has found many ways to use the internet to support her mothering and breastfeeding journey, and she has learned how to keep her online experiences positive.
  • The Village that didn’t feed — Nona’s Nipples at The Touch of Life explains how our communities influence our choices. She explains how she came to breastfeed and how it was taken away.
  • Nursing By Example — Krystyna at Sweet Pea Births decided to nurse through a pregnancy and to try tandem nursing thanks to the support from her La Leche League leader and another mother in her community. Read about the resources that were helpful and the lessons she learned on her journey into tandem nursing.
  • A Burden Shared: How my IBCLC Lightened my Load — My IBCLC rocks!! smscott at In All Things…One Step at a Time‘s journey would not be possible without a huge contribution of time and energy from her IBCLC. Her difficult times were measured in weeks and months instead of moments.
  • Fathers Need Breastfeeding Support Too — Destany at They Are All of Me recalls that the biggest detriment to her breastfeeding success was her husband’s strong disapproval.
  • Breastfeeding Support Over the Years — Valerie at Momma in Progress discusses the range of support she received over her seven-year breastfeeding journey.
  • Uncharted Territory: Breastfeeding — Michelle at Oh, The Simple Joys describes her change of heart regarding breastfeeding and the kind souls who helped along the way. From thinking formula was the norm to extended ecological breastfeeding, this is her story. Her story also includes breastfeeding after a hospital birth, dealing with inverted nipples, and the lactation consultant who helped to name her daughter.
  • Online Breastfeeding Support: Finding Success, Acceptance and Friendships — Author and CLEC Lara Audelo of Virtual Breastfeeding Culture shares how online breastfeeding support changed her entire life, and why so many mothers are drawn to it, rely upon it, and place such value on their virtual mother-to-mother connections.
  • Staying Connected—Online Breastfeeding Support for AD Military MomsBreastfeeding in Combat Boots shares how important online support is to the success of breastfeeding for mothers serving in the military.
  • Breastfeeding and Community — Amy W. at Me, Mothering, and Making it All Work discusses ways in which community affects breastfeeding dyads and makes suggestions for accepting and supporting nursing as normal and necessary.
  • World Breastfeeding Week 2013 Blog Carnival – Community Support — Jenny at I’m a full-time mummy has been breastfeeding NON-STOP since 4th March 2009, the day her first child Benjamin was born. Jenny shares who has been in her community of breastfeeding supporters.
  • Oversupply as a Blessing in Disguise: Milk Sharing and Wet Nursing — Tooele Birth and Breastfeeding, guest posting at Code Name: Mama, tells how she ended up donating breastmilk and wet nursing several babies. She shares the benefits from both a recipient and a donor.

13 Responses to:
"If You’re Worried About Your Kid Seeing Me Breastfeeding, You’re Doing It Wrong"

  1. Love this! None of the kids in my family: cousins, nieces, nephews even bat an eye when I breastfeed my baby around them. It is normal to them. The way it should be.
    Great post!

  2. Sounds like a great community that you belong to!

  3. "Just" A Mom   happyasjustamom

    YES!! I LOVE this! This is how I am a “lactivist”. Not by doing anything overt, but by nursing my child as if it were normal.

    Because it is.

  4. Janine Fowler   thejaninefowler

    Yeah, not a big deal in my circle either. My friend’s FF fed toddler was sort of interested in watching me nurse my son, but that’s about it. Honestly, most people don’t even notice! My dad and FIL will be sitting right next to me and not notice I’m nursing, and I especially love that my younger brother (He’s 20) never bats an eye when big sis whips a boob out for the baby.

    I do know that a lot of people do get reactions though. Our culture is so effed up!

  5. Wonderful post Dionna! Love it!

  6. Rachel Rainbolt   OhanaWellness

    Love it! So true! I have breastfed all of my children, my sister has breastfed her 4 children, all of my friends and my kid’s friends breastfeed their babes so none of the children in my universe (or adults for that matter) so much as bat an eye when breastfeeding is taking place. It is simply the normal way to feed a baby (or little kiddo). Living the ideal – yes!

  7. What a beautiful post. It makes me happy to realize that my group of close friends is like this — we all just nurse. And my son is 3 and he wouldn’t think twice about seeing a mother nurse. <3

  8. Krystyna Bowman   SweetPeaBirths

    Well said! I am encouraged that our children will think nothing of breasts – other than to know that they are for feeding. I have a dream that our sons will tell their teenage friends, “Why are you looking at those pictures? They’re just breasts.” It is awesome to be around a group of people where bfing is normal – a pocket of support that makes a big difference!

    • Dionna   CodeNameMama

      I am totally understanding of breasts having dual purposes – one for food, one for fun – just as long as people don’t have the mistaken impression that the “fun” part is primary ;)

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