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July 31st, 2013, 08:07 AM
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alittlelost alittlelost is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2012
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I sent my book to a friend who replied with "Nursing mothers will like this book" which I knew implied that formula feeding mothers wouldn't. I don't understand this mindset. I read books where babies are being fed from bottles, I see it on TV, and I don't think "Oh I don't want to read this/watch this anymore because it's about a formula fed baby not a breastfed baby." Is it just me? I can enjoy stories and shows even if people don't do EVERYTHING *exactly* the way I do.

Anyway, when she said that, I said, "I think it's good to normalize breastfeeding."

Her reply was this:

I don't like seeing nursing mothers in public unless they cover up. It's not that I'm offended by nursing or boobs or that I don't see the stupidity behind our culture sexualizing young women and yet finding nursing offensive. I totally get it. Nursing is a wonderful thing. Wish I could have done it.

But when I see a nursing mom, I feel like I'm imposing on something intimate and sacred between that mother and her child. I feel like a voyuer, and I feel a bit of annoyance for the mother for exposing that relationship with her child to the public.

It's petty, but I also feel resentment toward that mother for flaunting how naturally it comes to her, without regard for me and other women like me who wanted to breastfeed but couldn't. My son wouldn't latch. I wasn't producing. I later learned that the milk I was producing was masking a sensitivity to milk protein. Now, I know in my heart that she's not thinking of it that way, but its how I feel when I see it. I think they should feed their babies when the child's hungry, whenever, wherever. BUT, I wish they'd cover up. Like I said. Petty. I own it.

This was my reply (I think this covers it!):

I understand. I can't cover up when I nurse though because Isabel has a hard enough time breathing as it is being a premature baby. I'm not sure if it's hard for other babies, too. I know I can't sleep with a blanket over my head because I feel like I'm suffocating. And I don't think a mother should feel like she has to leave a park to go nurse in her car (dragging an older child away from the fun). Nor do I think a mother should have to feed her child in a bathroom. No one tells formula feeding mothers to do that. And feeding your child should be a tender act of love that is intimate between mom and child whether you use breast or bottle. It's about feeding with LOVE. That is the most important thing. It's okay for you to feel that way. You at least own that it's your issue. They aren't actually doing anything wrong, it's just easier to be annoyed with them than to deal with your other feelings surrounding the issue. If you think about it logically and fairly, a mother has just as much right to nurse her baby in public as another mother has to bottle feed in public. That said, I think "nursing rooms" are great (because I rather have a quite nursing area anyway!) but I find it sad that a bottle feeding mama would be excluded from a nursing room. For one, I don't think one baby should have to feed in a nursing room while another baby wouldn't have to, and for two I don't understand why a nursing parent would want that quiet moment with a child while a bottle feeding parent wouldn't. It's just not fair to the child. People are too busy getting mad/annoyed/offended/disgusted by the parent to remember there is a child there who deserves to eat where formula fed babies eat, too. They don't do it to flaunt. They do it because their baby needs to eat without suffocating 9under a blanket) or choking on the stink of urine and feces (in a bathroom).

FYI, nursing has NEVER come easy to me. I had supply issues with my first child and a latch problem and needed donor milk. It took me 6 months to get my first child to latch on. He also had a milk allergy and I had to do a dairy free diet. I had supply issues with my daughter, too. first an oversupply that caused too much foremilk which made her colicky, then an under supply. My youngest son was easier, but then this time, I have had thrush, mastitis, vasospasms (at one point all 3 at once) and I've have to pump and use expressed milk 98% of the time because she can't get enough milk from the breast before falling asleep. She was also clamping down on me and it hurt sooo bad I couldn't nurse. I'm STILL working to get her to nurse (she's 6 weeks old now) and if I'm in the middle of a kmart and she latches on and it doesn't feel like she's going to rip my nipple off with her gums, then I'm going to feed her. And it's not to flaunt it. It's because she needs to eat. I also don't vaccinate and it's important that my children get breastmilk to build up their immune system. It's better if they get it from the breast than the bottle because they need whatever antibodies I am making for what we were both exposed to today (not a month ago) and they need daytime milk during the day and nighttime milk at night (because the hormones in your milk at night produce sleep).

you aren't imposing if you catch a glance at someone nursing any more than someone is imposing if the catch a glance at you formula feeding. And if it's hard for you to see, look away. Me, personally, I don't make a habit of watching anyone other than my own kids eat. That includes adults -- who the heck stares at a person eating?? That's weird, no matter how they are being fed or what they are eating or who they are
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