Last month one of my Facebook statuses said this:
I do it in a restaurant. On a park bench. On the back seat of the car. First time at church was weird… Of course, I prefer doing it in bed or on the sofa, but I’ve done it even while shopping or on the street.
Lots of “likes” and comments followed!
And it was not to shock, it was just to stir a debate. Let’s support breastfeeding mothers and raise some awareness so it’s not that darn difficult in some public places! Even if you cant’ breastfeed, but want to bring attention to the subject, do something like this, please.
How do you raise awareness of motherhood-connected issues?
WARNING: You might see photos of BREASTfeeding in this post!
You might have seen this photo of “another day in the office” of supermodel Gisele Bundchen before. Or maybe not. All I can say is I don’t look this glamorous when I’m nursing my son. And to be honest, I can’t even ask myself what was the last time I have had a manicure, it’s more like ‘what was the last time I even cut my nails:)’ type of a question.
So when I saw this picture I thought: “B**ch! NOT FAIR!”
And I wasn’t the only one. The photo stirred quite a debate – a Twitter war with potty-mouth messages and an Instagram storm of copycat pictures.
And then I got it. This is good! We should really do whatever it takes to have people talk about breastfeeding in public. Why is it still a taboo and why is it so darn difficult that it discourages young mothers to continue nursing their babies?
Please understand. I am a huge advocate of breastfeeding and you will read many posts about it in the future. But I also know some mothers have very serious reasons why they don’t or can’t breastfeed – but attacks from perfect strangers should not be among the reasons.
Lately, a few airlines got some bad press for not allowing women breastfeed during flight. Bad bad advertisement. Public took notice and nursing in public seemed to have lots of defenders. Well, media take any reason to turn the heat on – this way or the other. But unfortunately in reality, a common mother still has to jump through lots of hoops (with a baby on her breast). So as much as seeing Gisele nursing at work (if you call it that:) might have outraged some, we need to talk about breastfeeding conditions, be it in a restaurant, public park or (dare I?) at work…
I’d like you to have as much information as I can give you to make your breastfeeding journey a success! So here are some pointers:
- La Leche League – BIG resource of information wherever in the world you are. You can find a lactation specialist who will give you support an help for free. You can also look up many questions by topic.
- Did you know that the law is on your side? If you think you are discriminated as a breastfeeding mother, find what the law says and how to protect yourself! Find your state’s law and learn about the federal law: laws
- If you’re pumping at work, you are protected too!
- Medela offers not only a line of high quality pumps, but also offers support and answers here.
I’ll be revisiting the topic with tips and tricks I stumble upon during my internet combing and library raids.
Me and you will be keeping it real. And if you see a too-good-to-be-true picture of a breastfeeding supermodel mum, don’t be mad. Because also thanks to them, our small voices can get stronger!