Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The BREAST Kind of Protest

So it's no secret that I heart boobs (no wait, that's my husband.) But I heart breastfeeding...

Not that Holden and I were any good at it. We tried and tried and cried and cried and tried some more. I've mentioned on numerous occasions that even with lactation consultants (yes, that's plural), LeLeche League meetings, nurses, doctors, nipple shields, SNS system and everything short of trying a wet nurse, Holden and I gave it our best shot BUT he refused to latch completely at four months. As such, I was left to pump for the remainder (and a little beyond) his first year of life. Granted, my milk production levels were a bit 'abnormal.' I was producing so much milk Winder Farms was worried I'd start my own dairy operation.

But pumping is not my favorite thing.

Of course I would've preferred to nurse the home, on the phone, at the store or on the floor. I would've preferred to nurse him here or there or anywhere...Instead, I was pumping on airplanes, in lavatories, in the the handicapped stall of Delta's Crown Room, at church, once of the floor of a Massage Envy shop after a flat tire, and the list goes on, and on, and on.

That's why it makes me sad when things like this happen:

"On January 30, Norika Aita was nursing her 11-month-old daughter, Elaine, on a bench near an escalator in the [Hirshhorn Smithsonian] museum when a security guard told her to move to a restroom to breastfeed. When Aita found no seat other than a toilet in the restroom, she returned to sit on another bench and resumed nursing. Another security guard then approached her and said, 'Mom, you cannot do that.'"

Obviously these security guards didn't know about the governments Right to Breastfeed act.

When Holden was nursing, he refused to latch if there was anything covering his face -- blanket, hooter hider (you get the point). I couldn't 'cover up' or my son wouldn't latch. So I guess to keep people from feeling uncomfortable, I was just supposed to let my kid wait, whip out a bottle because that wasn't weird? Except it is...if you really think about it. Nursing is one of the most natural things a mother can do for her child (granted, it wasn't easy for us, but it's still natural).

Plastic nipples, pumps, glass and bottles... they're about as un-natural as you can come by for feeding a baby. And before you think I'm passing judgement, let me remind you I've been there -- I get it. It's not available for everyone. Those 'un-natural' things made it possible for me to feed my child.

But that's not my point. My point is tolerance for those who are nursing.

We live in a pretty jacked up society... where women can parade around scantily clad with hardly anything on top, or wear swimsuits that may only cover a small portion of their bosoms; and their bodies (for the most part) are celebrated. (If you don't believe me, just look at any summer issue of US Weekly.) But a mother sits on bench to feed her child how-nature-intended and people start to squirm.

Bless you Western Civilization... but this is not progress by my standards.

Fortunately, the story from the museum has a positive outcome. Volunteers, boob-activists and the museum all got together for a nurse-in (yes, it's how you imagine, minus the signs that say "Save the Ta-Ta's"):

"The tone of the nurse-in was celebratory and communal, with mothers, fathers, babies and children of all ages happily chatting, nursing, and enjoying the art. Museum staffers were supportive and enthusiastic about drawing such a crowd. 'We’re glad you’re here,' beamed Hirshhorn Director of Administration and Finance Anthony (Chris) Walloo, who is expecting his first child in April and chatted with mothers about the best options for baby carriers."

Art and breasts? Sounds like there was a little something for everyone.

You can check out the full story on HERE.


Annie said...

When my first son was about two months old, the bishop of our (former) ward called me out for (discreetly) nursing my baby during sacrament meeting. Totally covered. Totally modest. And he wasn't very nice about it at all.

I said to him:

1. I am suffering from post-partum depression and you want to give me something else to feel bad about?
2. The mothers' lounge is NASTY! Fix it, and I will consider getting up during sacrament meeting to nurse.
3. My husband works 90 hours a week. I never see him. I rather like nursing my baby while sitting next to my husband in church.
4. YOU are the only one complaining about me nursing during church. YOU are the only one who can see what I am doing since YOU are the one on the stand looking down on the congregation. Seems to me like YOU are the one with the problem.
5. You are the father of 8 breast-fed children. How dare you!

My husband was sitting next to me the entire time as we sat in his office. Later, when the bishop somewhat came to his senses, he went up to my husband and apologized. "Brothers shouldn't be angry with each other," he said.

WHAT? Where is my apology, "Brother?"

Can you tell this still pisses me off more than four years later? So you'd better believe today with baby No. 2 I nurse WHEREVER I feel like it, including sacrament meeting using my hooter hider.

On No. 2's first Sunday at church, my aunt changed his POOPY diaper right in the middle of sacrament meeting. I was horrified. Then she turned to me (knowing the story about my former bishop) and said, "Breastfeeding has nothing on this!"


QNC said...

Oh crap. I am having to censor what I want to post here as to not piss my husband off for being too outspoken. But this is a subject I am pretty opinionated about. And surprise surprise my opinion is the opposite of yours. :) We should visit about this tonight! I'd love to get caught up with you anyway.

WIKKY said...

Hooray for controversy. I say... go for it! I am not about to show my boobs to everyone but those nursing wraps are GREAT!!! Round two is bound to be better for you Sabrena... you deserve it!!!

Meesh said...

I love nursing covers, especially the Obuba! I always used them, but like you say, lots of babies won't let you cover them. Anyone who tells you not to nurse your baby when he or she is hungry is a moron! I am sorry but there is NOTHING offensive about feeding a baby from your breast, NOTHING!

swensen squeeze said...

I think the fact that you are feeding your baby all that matters whether from the breast or bottle. It is nobody's business whether you are a breast feeder or a bottle feeder. Breast feeding did not work for me and I tell you I heard on the end from a lot of breast feeding mom's judging me. So the only answer is for people to mind their own d@%! business:) and do what works for YOU and the BABY!!

Spencer Davis said...

Two thoughts:
1. Celebrity books in US Weekly are way nicer than nursing mom boobs. The two don't even compare. Nice try with that weak argument.

2. Just use formula. Everyone wins.

Spencer Davis said...

Revision, Celebrity boobs in US Weekly, not Celebrity books.

Alex and Anna said...

I just found your blog and think you are hilarious. I am a bf mom and feel so strong about it. Nursing in public was always uncomfortable bc of wondering if others thought it was gross but after awhile its nice to just forget what others r thinking and remember that your baby is going to be so healthy. It is sad that people are idiots enough to say rude things about it. They don't understand how hard it is to get going and what an amazing thing it is. way to go on pumping so long. I hated the pump too. i don't think that if my son wouldn't have latched i could have pumped as long as you did! pretty awesome.