My Thoughts on Breastfeeding

My Thoughts on Breastfeeding

This blog post has nothing to do with crafting. At all.

It’s not a Minutesaver Monday (well, I suppose it can be). I plan to get back to those after my show in March.

This post is about breasts.

funnybreastfeedingphoto2

I eagerly anticipated breastfeeding my first son, almost eleven years ago. He took to it right away with no problems at all. Besides the initial engorgement, I don’t recall one single problem with breastfeeding him those first ten weeks. And then, I went back to work and my marriage fell apart for reasons beyond my control and my supply tanked. Just dried up. Overnight. I was too emotionally drained by other things in my life to give much attention to the things I needed to do to increase my supply, so I stopped. I never regretted stopping, because that was what I had to do to keep my baby fed and maintain my sanity. I was grateful he had been breastfed for the time he had.

Ten years later, I was pregnant again. My forever husband (not the one from ten years ago) was a bit trepidacious about me breastfeeding and about babies in general. He had never been around babies and certainly never around one who was breastfeeding. We went to classes, so many classes, and he learned as much as he could about breastfeeding and why it’s the best food for babies. By the time our little guy was born, he was well-versed in breastfeeding and in how he could support me <bless him.> I bought a pump and bottles and milk storage bags and a sterilizer and a diaper bag that could hold it all.

Little guy was born and didn’t want to eat. At all. For three days. I tried and tried and tried, but he just wanted to sleep. The nurse kept coming in and waking me up to make me try to make him eat. I worried, I fretted, I forgot that it’s not a big deal if they don’t eat for the first couple of days. But then, he finally got hungry enough to give it a whirl and it was smooth sailing from that point forward. I’m so thankful they didn’t force me to give him a bottle during that time. I may have actually written down a couple of feedings that didn’t *really* happen for as many minutes as I wrote on the little slip of paper, just to keep them off my back. Give a mom <and a baby> a fair chance, will ya?

So then, we got home. I didn’t sleep for what seemed like three weeks on end. I wanted to give up breastfeeding…because he nursed constantly. I eyed the can of formula that had come to me as a free sample. It seemed to call out to me, “Give me to your baby and your husband can feed him and you can sleep.” I held my hands to my ears and said no…no…no. I pumped for relief only and built up a supply. I thought I’d give him a bottle of breastmilk once he was four weeks old and “breastfeeding was well established.” Then I decided to wait until six weeks, eight weeks…pumping fell to the wayside after a while and I stopped. I hated cleaning everything. Then I decided bottles would be too much work, because that was more to clean. And I worried that if I gave him a bottle, I would become engorged and I didn’t want to pump! So I nursed. And nursed. He grew older and hungrier. I never gave him a bottle. We would be out in public and he would get hungry. Of course. Babies do that. The whole family would cease their activity so I could rush to the car and nurse him in a semi-private setting. After a few months of this, it became annoying to hide myself away every single time my baby wanted to eat. I distinctly remember the first time I nursed him in public. We were in a furniture store. I hid away in the back and sat on a chair while my husband and my older son watched for anyone to come by. My baby refused to be covered, even from a young age. He’d fuss and scream and rip any cover off. It was pointless. And blankets over babies’ heads just seems inherently wrong to me. I want to see my baby’s face when he eats. And make sure he’s still breathing. <This is important.> I survived breastfeeding him in a furniture store. And so did he, happily.

I have never been one to “just whip it out” at the table in a restaurant, but I don’t think it is wrong or immodest. Breasts are for feeding babies. Our society has made them sexual, and that IS wrong. Feeding a baby can never be wrong. If looking at a mother feeding her baby causes you to stumble and sin, look away. Don’t stare.

I want to live in a society where breasts are food for babies and nothing more. I raise my two boys to know that a breast has one and only one purpose – feeding a baby. Can we all raise our children to know that? Can we change this culture that has turned baby food into something perverse? Women get implants and buy expensive bras and go to all sorts of crazy lengths to showcase BABY FOOD. They wear revealing clothing that really shouldn’t make their chest appealing to anyone except their own baby. It infuriates me. And then…we see someone out in public feeding her baby and we are instantly offended. But we see two men kiss and we accept THAT. How can that be acceptable and feeding a baby isn’t?

I don’t understand.

Breasts were designed by God to feed babies and we should teach our children that. It doesn’t mean that our daughters should grow up and run around topless – modesty is still something we should also be teaching our children. But if a mom needs to feed her baby and he won’t be covered and he’s hungry and fussy – she should be able to feed him without fear of being judged, or stared at, or talked about. We do not know her struggles as a mom; we do not know her struggles with that child. We should not judge her for feeding her baby and furthermore, we should commend her for feeding her baby naturally!

I challenge you, moms, to teach your children what breasts are really for and join me in trying to change this culture that has made them into something they were never intended to be.

Will you?

By the way, my boy is almost 15 months old and still breastfeeding every four hours. Yes, even at night. I never thought I could make it this far, and I certainly never imagined how rewarding it would be. I haven’t slept since sometime in the summer of 2011 – before I hit my third trimester – but I’ll make it.

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