A new mom is vulnerable. She is tired, she is in pain, she is hormonally unstable and emotionally raw. We’ve all been there, we all know we need to be a little bit more gentle, a little bit less judgemental and intense. It doesn’t matter if it’s your first child or your seventh, bringing a child into the world breaks down our defences and leaves us a little bit more exposed. So why is it, in this tender season of life, that we feel the need to bombard her with our opinions, viewpoints, and authoritative standpoints??? From before that babe is born, we are asking her opinion on breastfeeding. The day that little one joins the world is the day of reckoning for that new mom. Which side will she choose? Breastfeeding or formula?
The “Breastfeeding is Disgusting” (BID) Camp.
There is a large group of people who view breastfeeding as disgusting. This is mind blowing! Breastfeeding is the most natural thing in the world– we have watched animals do it for centuries! Over the years however, with the over sexualization of breasts, they have essentially been recommissioned. Their primary purpose is no longer what they were biologically formed to do… provide nourishment. Instead, they are a sex tool. Because they are viewed as sexy first, men (and women) can’t reconcile pairing something kinky with something innocent. It simply does not compute! These people prefer baby’s be breastfed in a dark room, far FAR away from them. They like the terminology: “There is a time and a place.” The time is later and the place is NOT here!
The “Breastfeeding is the Only Way!” (BITOW) Camp.
The breastfeeding group is a strong one. Because of the rejection they have faced for the simple act of feeding their hungry baby, women in this camp have clung to the far reaches of the pendulum (and they aren’t budging an inch!). These women are really just trying to overcompensate for the first camp of society, however the results can be just as damaging. Breastmilk is the best food for your child, there is no question. Breastfed babies receive their mothers antibodies for the first 6 months of their lives. They are naturally protected! Breastmilk is custom made to your baby on a meal-by-meal basis! If baby is thirsty, your breasts will produce more watery milk. If they are sick, the milk will include custom medicine, designed just for them! Formula simply can’t ever compete with this constantly changing, customized solution! BITOW mom’s (and dad’s) cling to the science and (often without realizing) condemn anyone who doesn’t agree with them.
The problem with “camping out” on either side of the pendulum.
The problem with these mindsets is that they don’t apply to all women an they are oftentimes very damaging to that vulnerable new mama we talked about in the beginning. She just had a brand new beautiful little babe and she is feeling a little uncertain about herself. She needs support and confidence not people questioning her decisions and trying to force their views on her!
These standpoints are often taken just a bit too far. The BITOW camp of women start refusing to cover their breasts. They go to the most public place they can find and whip out their boob and take their sweet time attaching that babe. Let’s just say what no one else is… they feed off the drama and they are DARING someone to challenge them. Meanwhile, over in theBID camp, men and women will look for any mama who is breastfeeding, no matter how frazzled and sweaty she is from trying to calm her screaming babe, and attack!
Why can’t we all just get along?
When you are so attached to your standpoint, you allow yourself to be blinded by it. Your passion and intensity may hinder you from seeing that sweet mama herself. Maybe she wanted to breastfeed with all her heart, but had milk supply issues! Maybe she tried to cover up for your comfort but that babe would have none of it and she was desperate. Maybe she is on the brink of tears, with sore, bleeding nipples and discouraged… on the brink of giving up. Breastfeeding is hard enough on it’s own, trust me!
Maybe if we focused less on the boob and more on the baby and the mother, it would become less of an issue. Maybe if we stopped viewing breasts as a sex object we would have an easier time reconciling a sweet little babe having his lunch! Maybe if we look past the little area of flesh we can see, see past our discomfort, and see the sweating, frazzled, overwhelmed mom! She’s just a few inches up! Take a look and maybe we can start building one another up instead of attacking them with our opinions!