Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Don't worry, you can't see my nipple...


Breastfeeding in public.  Still so controversial in the year 2013, it has even been comically addressed on two of my favorite TV shows -- The New Normal and Modern Family.  In the New Normal, they end up organizing a flash mob of breastfeeding Mamas and their babies all dancing around to "Milkshake" (you know... my milkshake brings all the boys to the yard...) at a local restaurant that asked one of the breastfeeding Moms to go and "do that" else where because it was making some of the other patrons uncomfortable.  While in Modern Family, Gloria answers the door while breastfeeding her baby -- the UPS delivery guy takes his time getting her to sign a bunch of papers so he can peer at her boobies longer.  Gloria's husband gets pissed off, and gives her shit for breastfeeding in front of people because it's weird and somehow sexy to other people.  Both had brilliant comedic timing and caused me to burst out laughing.  But then it made me think ...what the hell is so offensive about a baby being breastfed?


My milk shake brings all the babes to the yard...

I definitely have answered the door while breastfeeding, and received shock and dismay from the person (who was a friend coming over for coffee... not a complete stranger).  I've even had people sit in my living room, all shifty eyed, staring at the ceiling while my son eats unable to carry a conversation with me.  And I wonder, why the hell do people have to act so damn awkward?  What is it about breastfeeding that is so controversial?  Inspired, I decided to write a letter to the general public telling them to calm the hell down...Because, they're only boobies people...



Dear Anyone Who Has Seen A Baby Breastfed That Isn't Your Own,

Hey, hows it going.  No, no, up here.  Look me in the eyes and stop peering at the back of my baby's head like if you look hard enough you just might see my nipple.  Let me explain to you the proper etiquette of being around a baby who is being fed by milk that is sucked out of a boobie.  First and foremost, calm the hell down, stop acting so awkward, and relax.  Seriously, what is the problem?  Are you afraid you might actually see a nipple?  Sorry, but you're not going to see anything but the top of my breast mounding up like I have an excellent push up bra on.  Trust me -- the nanosecond my nipple sees the light of day, my baby will be sucking on it quicker than you can say gazoombas.  

So if you can't see my nipple (which clearly would be earth-shattering) lets talk about the real issue you're having.  You can't stop visualising my nipple getting slowly tugged on, can you?  Curious like when you drive by a car wreck and hope you don't but really hope you do see something?  Listen.  Let me solve 'The Mystery of the Milky Nipple' Nancy Drew.  My nipple grows, so much so it elongates to nearly the back of my child's throat, roughly an inch.  Grossed out yet?  Well grow up.  We're mammals, and maybe you should deal with that.  Hear my child coughing?  My milk finally let down (even with all your uncomfortable glares).  So much milk squirted out, from multiple holes in my nipple, that it caught him off guard.  Hear him murmuring?  Let me translate for you, he's saying "Stop staring at my food, I won't share... Take a picture it lasts longer... Gawd damn this is delicious.... Mmmmmmm!" 

Or is the problem you have with me is that you think I'm being inappropriate  and that I'm trying to steal your husband?  Well sweetie, I'm more covered up than the girls that work the bar at Moxies -- so order yourself some med bread and have a beer to simmer yourself down.  All you can see is my childs feet poking out from underneath my enormous cape, and quite frankly he's eating more polite than you.  Even if I didn't wear this stupid nursing cover, you'll see just as much if I was wearing a low cut shirt which is never offensive, it's sexy and beautiful.  So please, explain to me how I'm being disgusting.  Didn't your mother teach you not to stare?  Give me one more dirty look because my child had the audacity to be hungry (at a restaurant no less) and I'll squirt you in the eye.  Thats right, with my evil husband stealing breastmilk. 

And please, for the love of boobies stop asking me when I'm going to stop breastfeeding my child.  It is not repulsive or sleazy or weird that I feed my 7 month old, 22 pound child from my breasts.  It is common place to breastfeed for a year, or (hold on to your 1940's panties) longer -- and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it nor is it any of your damn business.  This does not make me a pervert or a paedophile.  Nor does it make me a clingy mother who has attachment issues.  This makes me a woman who persevered through cracked, bleeding, fissure ridden, burning, hurting nipples for the health of her child.  I pump in between feedings to keep my milk supply up.  I take medication to ensure I can lactate properly.  I have woken up at every hour of the night, because my child was hungry -- and stayed up for hours on end to make sure he learned how to eat properly.  I have rearranged my entire life so my child has access to the exact type of nutrition that his little body needs to grow because my breastmilk changes to meet every single one of his needs.  

So pardon me, when I finally get my shit together and get my isolated ass out in public to grab a coffee and look through the books at Chapters that I need to pop a tit and feed my child.  You think you can judge me and give me dirty looks for being a good mother?  Well, know that I'm judging you for being uneducated and blatantly ignorant.  And don't bother to tell me to go use the bathroom to feed my child so that you can feel more comfortable and less repulsed.  How about you go and take your fresh mocha-choco-latte and sit in a stall with the dried urine on the toilet and a person shitting in the cubical next to you.  Mmm, smell that?  Urine, feces, and fresh coffee.  Drink up.  What's disgusting now? 

Another thing, while it is "natural"-- for many women, breastfeeding is not easy.  In fact, for me it is a perpetual uphill battle.  I've struggled since the beginning with my supply.  By the time my son was six-weeks old, I had to start supplementally feeding him while he nursed with a tube and syringe so he had enough to eat.  Just when I think I've got my supply up to his needs, he goes and has a growth spurt and back to the tube we go.  I take medication to help lactate, make lactogenic cookies, pump and pump and pump my milk like I'm a cow (trust me, there is NOTHING sexy about pumping milk out of your boobies-- in fact, it is the least sexy my boobs have ever been), and even drink beer when my supply seems low (...interesting fact, the brewers yeast in beer will one-up those boobies to engorgement by morning...).  I am constantly fighting with my body to make enough milk for my ever growing son.  I've only met two women who have struggled with the same issue as me, but trust me when I tell you that this is just one example of many sacrifices women make in order to breast feed.  I know women who had mastitis, open fissures on their aerola, bleeding nipples and blood blisters but still pushed through all of that hell because they, like me, made a choice to breast feed and stuck by it.  

So if you tell me to bottle feed my child one more time because you see me struggling with breastfeeding, I will hide my sons sweet-yet-putrid smelling shit diaper in your car, and it will take you weeks to find out where the smell is coming from because I am a hiding ninja.  Here is my unwavering response-- I made a commitment to breastfeed my son.  End of story.  Being a mother isn't about making the easy choices, it's about making the right ones for you and your baby.  So just so we're clear, I breastfeed my son, it's none of your business how long I do it, I'll stop when both of us are good and ready.  Capeesh?

While we're on the topic, really, just really, can we stop the breast vs. bottle war?  Mothers shouldn't judge other mothers.  Period.  No one knows what the other has been through, but boldly assume it has been difficult.  Anyone who says, "Ah, it's just so easy being a Mom...I have all this free time and I'm so rested, I hope my next pregnancy is triplets!"... is delusional and doing something bloody wrong.  Seriously, show me a good mother that has loads of free time and I'll show you a unicorn that farts skittles.  Just because I choose to feed my child one way, doesn't mean you can't feed yours another.  As long as you're not filling your child's bottle with Coca-cola or your Timmy's double-double (sadly I've seen both, no lie)... I really don't give two shits what you do.

So to conclude, yes my child is enormous for a 7 month old but someone has to be in the 95th percentile.  You know how he got there?  From my boobies.  From the milk that floweth from my nipple.  That's right, my titty-tatters got my babe all huge and healthy.  So deal with it.  You eat when you're hungry, he eats when he's hungry.  And if by chance he needs to eat while you're around me, just look me in the face and talk to me like I'd talk to you while you're scarfing your sandwich.  It's seriously as simple as that people.  

And the only thing disgusting about any of this is your attitude towards breastfeeding as you casually look through the Victoria's Secret catalogue.  Hello... kettle?  Its me pot.  Just wanted to let you know that you also are black.  Lets agree to stop.  You stop bothering me while I feed my baby and I won't judge or stare at your too tight muffin top jeans, hairy ass crack when you bend over to grab your change you dropped on the floor, cleavage, pot belly, or even your horrible breath as you try to dispense parenting advice to me.  Deal?  Stop your tirade of nasty glares, and realize I'm not a hippie Mom who is going to rip her top off to parade around topless to make a political point before latching my son on for some nom-noms while I try to steal your husband.  I'm just a regular Mom feeding her baby when he is hungry.  It's a simple human rights issue -- he's hungry?  He gets the boobs.  But don't worry, my milkshakes only bring one boy to the yard...

Sincerely,
Lactating-And-Laughing-At-You



I love to multi-task.  Here is my son and I as
I do yoga, and breastfeed.  Namaste.
I kid, I kid.
Seriously though, WTF?



















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3 comments:

  1. I loved this post. It is so true. Our culture is so critical of breastfeeding, yet years ago there was only one way to feed and nourish your child. Plus how many recalls have you seen on breastmilk? As a BFing mama I support whatever way works for you. Plenty of friends used formula and I never judged. It was what worked for them. At the end of the day all mamas want is what's best for their children, why can't we feed our children in public without feeling awkward about something so natural?

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