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Sigh…the topic of Breastfeeding….if you know me, then you know this topic was going to come up sooner or later. I am pretty irritated right now. Here’s why:
Today, a friend of mine, JoJo, a former Navy spouse as well, had a little Facebook incident. She just had the most beautiful son a couple of days ago, and was proud to show off her success at breastfeeding while in the hospital. She posted a picture, knowing as most of us breastfeeding mums who post pictures to Facebook know, that it could be reported by someone who thinks the natural act of breastfeeding an infant is somehow less appropriate to publicize on Facebook then a boob-laden “selfie” photo in a dirty nightclub bathroom.
So–what happened?…drumroll please..she got REPORTED to Facebook–as I am sure you have already deduced.
Here is the thing people–it’s been said a million times, but forgive me (or not) for saying it again. It’s breastfeeding–GET OVER YOURSELVES. These pictures are not shared, posted, or taken because we think we are sexy, because we want people to ogle over us, or any other conspicuous, promiscuous, narcissistic reason. We take them because we are beyond amazed at our little creation. We are in love with this life who needs us to nourish them. We are astounded that our bodies are naturally capable to produce this nourishment and that we have the privilege of being able to do this for them. Furthermore, what amazes us even more is that our babies know this before we do. They come out of the womb, take in their first breath of air, and inherently know that we, their mother, are biologically built to nourish them- so they root for us (both literally and physically). ‘Rooting’ is their instinctual nature to find their mother’s breast. As a first time mother, you are grateful that your baby knows what to do even when you, yourself have no (freaking) clue.
What you should take away from it is–HIP HIP HOORAY, SUCCESS! She has planned her entire pregnancy to breastfeed her child and the thing is, you never really know it is going to happen, until it actually does. For many reasons, a mother may not be able to breastfeed their child successfully. It is a fear that is in the back of every mother’s mind who intends to breastfeed. Will they latch? Will my milk come in? Is it going to hurt? WHAT IF I JUST CAN’T DO IT!!?? AHH!!! and so on and so forth.
My point—for the last century (give or take), western civilization and other developed countries have demonized breastfeeding. Giving it this image that it should be this secret, kept away thing, that everyone knows happens, but no one wants to see. (Like girls pooping). But why? Our culture isn’t ashamed to post lingerie adverts in Times Square, on the side of highways–or on T.V. commercials that our kids watch. No one raises a stink about that….but my friend posts a picture of feeding HER child on HER Facebook page and somehow that is just unimaginably inappropriate to show up in a news feed?
I know this post isn’t going to change anything…people are still going to choose ignorance and claim modesty over hypocrisy–but, at least I got to get this off my chest…and because this is my blog, I can do that!
To my friend, JoJo–I am SO proud of you. You are doing awesome and even though you’ve received your first taste of negativity in regards to breastfeeding-LET IT NOT DETER YOU. Stay strong, stay determined, and remember, it’s all for him.
Originally featured on Stephanie’s blog, A Navy Wife’s Life.