I’ve been thinking about World Breastfeeding Week and I find myself reflecting more than speaking.
Copley is our last baby. Unless something major changes, we are done. This is a decision we’ve come to very recently, so it’s a little raw right now and I’m still working on it. So when I’m thinking about what to say about World Breastfeeding Week all I can think is that this is our LAST World Breastfeeding week.
If you are breastfeeding? That’s hard, and I think you are doing a great job. If you are formula feeding, that’s hard too and I think you are doing a great job. I don’t count myself in the formula shaming category, however, I am pro-breastfeeding- but my choices are not a condemnation of your choices or circumstances. That’s a narrative I wish we’d let go.
The narrative I’d like to focus on just applies to breastfeeding. You have rights, what you are doing is not sexual, perverse, shameful, or embarrassing. It’s normal, it’s healthy, it’s economical- feeding our babies is what our boobs are for, and don’t let anybody tell you any different.
I’ve nursed 2 babies for 3 years now, and in that time I’ve received not one single negative comment or judgment. I’ve never been asked to nurse my son in a bathroom, or in my car, or cover up. I’ve received loads of encouragement though, and lots of support.
My son’s have grown big and healthy on milk that I made without even trying and I think it’s a pretty damn amazing bit of engineering that our bodies are designed to make that happen. They’ve been fed, comforted, and soothed in my arms. I too, have been comforted and soothed by nursing them- after a long day at work, the oxytocin released when a baby nurses calms me and grounds me and connects me with my child. What I’ve gotten from our breastfeeding relationships has been far greater than what I’ve put in- and the effort was considerable, make no bones about it.
I would not change a thing, and I would not wish one day of it away.