So…someone forgot to tell me that breastfeeding isn’t “normal.”
One afternoon I was nursing my three month old daughter at a local pizzeria – momma’s gotta eat and at that moment so did my daughter. Anyway, a woman came up to me and thanked me for “normalizing breastfeeding”. She told me that she never felt comfortable enough to breastfeed in public with her first and that she barely ever did it with her second. I told her that I was happy to help and as she walked away I turned to my friend and with a quizzical look on my face, asked “Wait, breastfeeding isn’t normal?”
Call me naïve, but I never wondered if I could feed my daughter where and when she needed it. Of course, there are circumstances that require her to wait a few minutes, such as mommy is using the potty or we are in a car going 70 mph on the expressway.
But outside of these edge cases, I never questioned whether I could nurse in public. Now, I’m relatively modest about it. I don’t usually just whip out my boob, I use strategically draped blankets or a Cover me Poncho and live in nursing tank tops to make it easier and more discrete. But that is more for my comfort than those around me. Momma’s lady parts were on display enough in the hospital – time to reign that back in – unless of course I’m caught out and about without something to cover up with then the ladies will have to make another public appearance.
I feel awful for women that are accosted for providing for their children, for those women that don’t feel comfortable enough to nurse in public and for those women that feel trapped in their homes so that they can feed their baby. But I also hate that there is a movement to “normalize breastfeeding” as it makes it sound, well, not normal. It is one of the most natural things there is.
So let’s stop trying to normalize breastfeeding and instead educate the confused people attacking it. To those people, I say “suck on that” – pun intended.