Monday, 26 May 2014

Do We Really Need To See It?



“Do we really need to see it?”

Yes.

My answer is yes.

Yes, we need to see mothers breastfeeding in restaurants, subway stations, waiting rooms and local parks.

Yes, we need to see mothers breastfeeding newborn babies, infants, toddlers and preschoolers.

Yes, we need to see pictures of mothers breastfeeding on social media sites, news stands and billboards, as well as on TV shows and in films.

We need to be so familiar with breastfeeding, with seeing it, talking about it and understanding it, that none of the scenarios above would raise a single eyebrow.

Because if we continue to treat it as a secretive art form, reserved for private rooms and hushed conversations, it will remain a taboo.  It will become lost in the passage of time; further misunderstood and out of reach for future mothers.

It was almost out of reach for me…and it’s more than likely that it didn’t come easily to you…but by seeing it, by talking about it and by mastering it, we are passing on a torch.

And sometimes this torch gets heavy, particularly with the level of ignorance and hate (literally hate) thrown in the direction of breastfeeding advocates around the globe…but still we march on, because baby is hungry.  Still we march on, because we are carrying a torch that is and will become a gift to other mothers.  One feed, one picture or one conversation at a time, we are fuelling something so much bigger than ourselves.

Imagine if our daughters felt empowered to breastfeed their own children without being shamed or feeling embarrassed.  Imagine if our sons valued, supported and protected their partner’s right to breastfeed.

So, yes.

My answer is yes.

We really do need to see it.



Like what you read?  If you'd like to receive new posts from Mama Bean Parenting straight to your inbox, just click here


You can also find Mama Bean on Twitter and Facebook

18 comments:

  1. Not to be seen as passe' by referring to cliche cultural images, but does anyone still turn an eyebrow to Miley Cyrus? Does anyone become offended with endless pictures of Kardashian buttocks with and without clothes plastered on magazines in the check-out aisles of every grocery store and gas station ????? Why in this world of open everything.....including every form of nudity and celebrity "baby" bumps does anyone give a moment to be offended by the most natural act in the world? Sex is OK, images of sex are OK, the thought of sex is perfectly fine, novels depicting sex are even better, and films with it going on are the norm......and the ultimate product of sex, a baby, is not shunned, but why the way your baby gets nourished is somehow abherrant and "nasty" is ridiculous. People, get a life! Enough said!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ridiculous indeed, Rosie! Well said :-)

      Delete
  2. Exactly! This negative attitude towards such a natural action needs to be eradicated. Very well written!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Zarina, couldn't agree more - wouldn't it be nice for this blinkered negative attitude to be shoved firmly into the history books?! One feed at a time... ;-)

      Delete
  3. Shame attitudes don't seem to have changed since the eighties when I faced hostility for breastfeeding my babies. I am thankful for your crusade to normalise the normal. Keep up the good work! ;-) <3

    ReplyDelete
  4. I nursed my son and daughter in public because them being fed was my one and only motive for nursing them. I didn't care if people were may sayers because my child comes first. But my children are not propaganda fillers. They are not intended for me to market nursing. I feed my kids to feed them not to have an agenda. So personally I disagree. Me posting pictures of it on Facebook does not benefit mu child. It's no one else's business if someone nurses so if they see someone nursing they need to mind their business. No but flaunting it doesn't make people accept it any more than they already do or don't.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There is a difference between nursing my child and taking a picture and putting it online. I nurse my son currently and don't care what people think. But i fail to see how putting a picture of it online benefits him.

      Delete
    2. Exactly!! This is how I feel. I do and will continue to BF my son in public if needed but not because I want people to see me, or to get attention. I do it because my son needs to eat. I think there are women who BF in public because they want someone to say something about it so they can go off on them. This is not acceptable behavior!! Also I would never post a picture on a public website of me Breastfeeding my baby just like I would never post a half naked picture either. It's nobody's business but mine and the whole world does not need to see. This is just my opinion.

      Delete
    3. @ Unknown, Anonymous & Leah: Breastfeeding is, of course, first and foremost about our own children's needs and I love that you are all breastfeeding your own sweet babies. This is about 'carrying the torch' for other mothers and for future generations, but of course that is your choice to make. <3

      Delete
  5. I couldn't agree more Mama Bean. I nursed my son in public until he was 2.5. I did so because it was convenient and my child's needs were my priority. But now, as I prepare for our second child, I've come to see breastfeeding in public as a public service of sorts (in addition to being natural, convenient, my right as a mother, etc.) If by nursing my son at a restaurant or sharing a picture of him at my breast on FB, I can make another mother feel even a little bit more comfortable and confident to BF in public, I feel like I've "passed a torch." While we were living in Peru, I noticed that nobody looked away when I settled my son to nurse. People continued their conversations with me, they looked me in the eye, and they even admired my son-- making silly baby talk at him while he nursed away. Even teenage boys and young men carried on around me like it was no big deal that I was breastfeeding--- because it is no big deal!! Thankfully, breastfeeding is still seen as a natural, normal part of daily life in Peru-- everyone is so used to seeing it that nobody bats and eye or gets uncomfortable. I'm hoping to be part of the movement here in the states that helps make nursing in public as normal as sneezing--- so yeah, I share a lot of boob shots. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Catie :-) We can all learn a whole lot from Peru!! I love that you're thinking of other mothers; I think so many people underestimate the strength that a little solidarity can give. Nurse on, mama <3

      Delete
  6. Hi Mama Bean! This inspired me to write about breastfeeding, too! Thank you =)

    http://www.mommytopaz.com/2014/06/why-i-dont-use-breastfeeding-rooms.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for sharing Frances, glad to have started the 'conversation' ;-)

      Delete
  7. Great post! I often read about mother's being shamed or kicked out of places for breastfeeding but that has never happened to me. I have 5 children - the oldest was born in 93 and I nursed him in public as I have all of them. I don't mean rarely, either. I don't ever have a trip out of the house with the baby that doesn't include nursing in public at some point. I wonder if the attitudes are different here in Canada or if I've just been lucky. I've never even gotten a dirty look. That I know of anyway! LOL!

    My youngest is now 6 months old - 3 months corrected - she was premature, born at 29 weeks. I was told that she might never nurse. It was horribly stressful for me because nursing is so very important to me. I was actually embarrassed at the thought of giving her a bottle in public!! How odd is that? Three weeks after we got her home I switched her to the breast exclusively and we haven't looked back. I'm so thankful we were able to make the transition. Pumping just plain sucks. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow what an amazing story you have! It's wonderful that you've never been made to feel anything other than normal, natural and happy to breastfeed, three cheers for Canada! It must have been so difficult in the early days with your youngest; hugs mama. You are simply inspirational; to pump, to persevere, to believe...so happy for how things turned out for you and little one :-)

      Delete