Before I was a mother, I had NO intentions of breastfeeding. None. I didn't see a reason to. I didn't want anything destroying my boobs. I didn't see a point and I saw formula and bottles as the "normal" choice. When I was a single early twenties cleavage addict, not ONCE was I told to cover up. I got whistles and honks and comments. Damn my boobs were HAWT and people made sure to let me know.
Then I had Jilly. And everything changed. Whether it be mental or emotional or hormonal or spiritual, I made the hard choice to breastfeed. (Some mamas give up.) We fought to do it. I didn't even know why at first. (Some mamas give up.) I cried when Jilly wouldn't latch and I just couldn't do what a mom was supposed to do. (Some mamas give up.) I sobbed when I had to give her 15ml of formula. (Some mamas give up.) We bought and used a nipple shield and she got the latch down. (Some mamas give up.) She eventually weaned herself from the nipple shield one weekend all on her own. (Some mamas give up.) I never had a plan. People asked about 6 months, a year, beyond that. I thought I knew the answer each time but I didn't. It's not my choice. It's Jilly's choice. It's her food.
Hearing my daughter say "boobie?" Is far more fulfilling than any whistle or honk or comment I ever got. I've been breastfeeding for 19 months. At first I covered because I was embarrassed what her dad's parents would think. Or what her dad's friends would think. Why should we have to worry what others think about this? Who comes first? Them or my baby? Why is breastfeeding considered shameful? Breasts are made for feeding babies. As a society we have chosen to make them objects. Of sex, money, whatever. This doesn't change anything. This is a trend. A bad trend.
Breastfeeding isn't a trend. It is life. It is normal. It is natural. It is not shameful. It is not embarrassing. It is protected by LAW!
I don't really recall seeing anyone breastfeed a baby growing up. I remember visiting my aunt one time as a young adult and seeing her feed her daughter who was over a year and probably 18 months. My first thought? That is SO WEIRD. (Cue irony). Why did I think that? Why did I not even consider breastfeeding before getting pregnant?
(Time to tune back in because this is what it all boils down to.)
Because I hadn't seen it. Because I didn't consider it a choice. Because I had heard that it was too hard, too painful, pointless. Because I was told I didn't need to!
For every single mama that breastfeeds, whether it be for one day or 5 years, I applaud them. It is hard.
For every mama who chooses to formula feed because they don't know why they should breastfeed.... I'm here.
For every mama who gave up because it was hard and people harassed them about it or they didn't know where to go or what to do.... I'm here.
I'm here. I'm feeding my baby how she wants, how nature/God intended. I'm showing the world because for change to happen, it has to start somewhere.
Our society learns though media. Through social media we watch each other daily. We learn from others actions. Our minds are opened from what we see others do.
If we teach them that it's shameful and needs to be covered up, we do every single future mother a disservice.
How can we expect anyone to choose breastfeeding if it's not seen?