Saturday, November 17, 2012

Thank you for breastfeeding?

This evening, we went to story time at our local bookstore, which turned out to be a bust because they were having a book fair for a local elementary school, resulting in rampaging hordes of children and interruption of regular programming. While we were waiting for coffee in the cafe, I sat down to feed James before we got on the road. I usually don't bother to use any sort of cover these days, mostly because a combination of James not caring for his head being covered and my forgetfulness in bringing one has meant that I've gotten pretty good at my "reach down my shirt, unhook my bra, lift shirt and pop baby on without flashing all and sundry" technique. I was a bit nervous about it in the beginning, but the sheer frequency that newborns need to be fed means I had to get over it pretty quickly if I ever wanted to leave the house. I've been lucky enough to never have anyone say anything negative or pay much attention to us, which is really how it should be. Babies need to be fed, and it's not my problem if anyone can't handle being reminded that there are breasts under my shirt, especially when they're not actually seeing said breasts. No one should be overwhelmed by the awesome power of my boobies.

So you can imagine how surprised I was when a woman hugged me from behind, thanked me for nursing in public and then handed me a card saying the same thing. It was a card from a breastfeeding advocacy organization, so this woman wasn't so lunatic as to make up her own business cards for to thank breastfeeding women for doing their thing, but really...well, okay. Um. Thanks, I guess?

I mean, I can see value in wanting to counteract the intimidation many women feel about breastfeeding in public because of the negative reactions they can experience. I'm torn between feeling gratified because breastfeeding even the easiest newborn is a hell of a lot of hard work and not wanting to encourage the implication that successful breastfeeding makes me a better mother than a mother for whom it didn't work out, or who didn't try at all. After all, I'm that mother (the one for whom it didn't work out) too.

But mostly, I'm just bemused that I now have a business card complimenting on my baby feeding choices. How... professional?

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