Let’s talk about nursing, shall we?
I'm gonna put this out there: I’m not a fanatic about breastfeeding or anything, but I am proud. Proud that I have nursed my two babies into chubby, squishy balls of perfection. Nursed them until they had full tummies and happy closed eyelids, night after night. Nursed them out of tears, and into soft baby snuggles. Nursed them, rocked them, held them, and loved every second of it.
But not everyone feels this way about nursing moms.
Here’s the thing. There is a sort of embarrassment that comes for some women with nursing, which I get, but hate. Why should we be embarrassed by such a natural, beautiful thing? We shouldn’t have to feel ashamed of feeding our babies, society. You’re kind of the worst.
So let me throw you some scenarios.
There’s the whole ‘awkward mid-restaurant nursing episode’, with wide-eyed patrons and waitresses digging holes into your skin with their eyeballs, saying [but not saying],
“Um, you’re doing that here? Now? In PUBLIC?”
Why yes, yes I am. My baby is hungry, so I’m going to feed him. You’re eating, aren’t you? He wants to, too. And no thank you, I wouldn’t rather sit in a bathroom stall and try to balance uncomfortably on a nasty toilet while holding the most precious bundle in the world. Thanks, though. For the offer I mean.
Then you have the whole ‘nursing in the car in between stores while shopping’ episode, feeding your tiny babe in the front seat. People walk by and try to act cool, but they snicker to their friends and lift a shoulder in your direction…as if to say “Geez lady, that’s disgusting. Doing that for the world to see.”
Guess what, friends? It isn’t. It isn’t gross or weird or inappropriate in the least. In fact, it is a beautiful miracle for both mother and baby to experience. Over and over again. It’s wonderful. If you could see those sweet baby eyes looking up at you, feel those chubby hands clinging to your shirt, smell that powdery and sticky baby newness, you would know. You would know what a precious thing it is.
Nursing isn't always the easiest thing. And I know there are situations when a mother cannot nurse her baby, and I have no judgment for that. Each mother knows what is best for their baby, and in my case, that has always meant nursing them, even when the situation isn't ideal. I have nursed in dressing rooms, various parking lots, restaurants, vacant church classrooms, at family functions, ward parties, standing up- sitting down, you name it. When a baby's gotta eat, a baby's gotta eat!
Like I said, I’m no fanatic about this issue. But also, I am not ashamed. Not ashamed to share beautiful moments with my sweet babies, and not ashamed to talk about it. Nursing helps me feel empowered as a woman, and mother. It helps me feel of my Heavenly Father's love and divine roll for me. It is a blessing, and I wouldn’t trade it for a thing.
Oh, and and an sa-weeeet slam poetry sesh on breastfeeding here. (Watch this, now. It is perfection.)