Sunday, September 26, 2010

Mama Pear Designs Guest Post on Public Displays of Affection

I'm still copying and pasting ALL the wonderful advice you mamas gave to future our breastfeeding generation!

SO.....Since Lara from Mama Pear Designs will be our amazing sponsor this week, I thought I would start the week off with a personal post she wrote for us about Public Displays of Affection!

Thank you Lara!
*Make sure you check out her GREAT site for lactivist wear before I write all about it tomorrow!

By Lara Audelo

I can do it just about anywhere. In a car, in a park, on an airplane, on a bed, on the couch, at a pool, on the beach, standing up, sitting down, while cooking dinner, while eating dinner, really the possibilities are endless. What am I talking about? Breastfeeding of course. I never imagined that when I started breastfeeding my oldest son in January of 2007, that I would be feeding him in so many various places, and positions for that matter. I am now breastfeeding my second son, I have been nursing for 40 months and counting, and I am still amazed at how wonderful this part of motherhood is.
Breastfeeding is the best relationship; it always feels even, not as if one person is taking without giving. I have gotten, and still am getting, so much from breastfeeding my children. For me, it makes the toughest part of motherhood, the feeling like I am being pulled in a million different directions, bearable. Personally for me, motherhood requires more emotional stamina than physical strength, and the calming chemical reactions that take place when I breastfeed, make the job doable. Without fail, every time I feed my baby, I utter the words, “Oh I love you so much” and snuggle him for a smooch on the head. I cannot help it, it is involuntary, and I love it!
As I mentioned I have been breastfeeding for a long time, and I have pretty much committed the act everywhere possible. What I do not understand, and never will, is how feeding my baby can be offensive to anyone. Unfortunately, I have been laughed, sneered, and pointed at while breastfeeding in public. It has never stopped me from feeding my child, obviously his needs come first, but it certainly has made me think and wonder, why women who breastfeed in public are sometimes shamed for doing so. For me breastfeeding is not just about giving my child a meal, it is about affection, the two are inseparable. Breastfeeding is intimate, and not because it involves a breast, but because it is ultimately a display of affection. If you have breastfed your baby, you know that when you look at that sweet face as they are latched on, or as they give you a little smile between swallows, you as a mother melt a little bit, and at that moment really little else matters. Is this intimacy between mother and child what bothers people? I know that some say they are offended by a breast being partially bare in public, but is that really all that bothers them? Or does breastfeeding make them feel uncomfortable, as seeing two people kissing in deep passionate manner, does. I have to think that the discomfort and negative attitudes are about more than just a slight show of skin because we are surrounded by half naked women at all times through the media and in public.
I would love to see the discrimination toward breastfeeding moms disappear, and for no mother to ever feel that she should have to cover up or hide while breastfeeding her baby, all in an effort to make others comfortable. We as a society need to re-evaluate our social norms, and start accepting and embracing one of the most natural displays of human affection there is: breastfeeding.


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