Breastfeeding in Public – yay or nay?

breastfeeding

I whipped them out in front of the Apple store.  Yup.  That’s right.  I bared my breasts in the middle of the mall.  And I liked it.  And so did the elderly woman sitting next to me.  She actually applauded me.

This was the second time I’d whipped them out in public and BIP’d (insert obnoxious use of mommy blog-o-nym…means breastfeeding in public).  My little love bug got hungry while we were at Whole Foods having a delicious lunch with some visiting friends and my husband.  But does BIP really count at Whole Foods?  I’m not sure it does.  Just like it doesn’t really count when I’m at my mommy group or my breastfeeding group.  Granted, I was in the MOST high traffic area – the tables at the end of the check-out line, closest to the exit, where EVERYONE leaving the store had to walk by.  But, I just think the clientel at Whole Foods is far more accepting of things like breastfeeding – I mean, they’re spending about five times more for everything just to make sure it’s organic!  What is more organic than breastfeeding?  So, anyways, that experience definitely gave me the gusto to whip them out at the Mall…

I share this, though, not to recount my weekend activities.  But, I’ve come to find out that breastfeeding in public is a really controversial topic.  Before having a child I would have never thought twice about this!  Being the feminist I am, I’m really fascinated (ok, pissed off) with people’s thoughts as to why women should cover up or go home to breastfeed their babies.  But let’s be honest, I’m really just hell-bent on doing it to prove that I can.  Yup.  If you tell me I shouldn’t do something just because I’m a woman, I’m going to make darn sure I do it just to show you I can.  But really, folks, weren’t you hanging off your mother’s boob at some point, too?  A little hypocritical, no?  I mean, a kid’s gotta eat when a kid’s gotta eat.

It’s not my problem that you can’t walk by and realize there’s nothing more natural than a baby breastfeeding…that breasts aren’t a sexual organ…that there’s nothing unsanitary about FEEDING my child at the mall (umm, there’s a whole food court full of kids eating – do you walk by and give them the evil eye?).  It’s not my problem that you’ve been programmed to think of women, and women’s breasts, in a hyper-sexualized way.  Or maybe it is my problem.  Maybe that’s why I’m determined to BIP.  So that we can begin to normalize breastfeeding.  I mean, if I didn’t BIP, I’d be at home ALL day – that’s how much my little milk-monster eats!

But before I start sounding all self-righteous, I’ll be honest – I’VE been socialized to feel uncomfortable with breastfeeding…and as much as, ideologically, I believe in our right to BIP, it’s been a bit nerve-wracking and it probably will be for a while.  But that doesn’t mean that I won’t do it…I’m determined to BIP whenever my little love bug wants to eat!

So, what do you mamas think?  Bare it anywhere or barely acceptable?

Yours truly,

MomME

Image from http://www.raisingthefawn.com

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Babies don’t care…

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Do you ever wish your life were more like a fairy tale?  Well mine is.

I don’t say that to sound coy or pretentious.  I say that in full recognition of the fact that I live an incredibly privileged life full of all the material and immaterial things anyone could ever ask for.  My husband and I are high-school sweet-hearts who re-kindled our love after having gone our separate ways in college.  We’ve been dating on and off now for over 14 years and when he proposed in November of 2009 I eagerly said yes.  We were married in January of 2012 on a cold, sunny winter day after a fresh-fallen snow.  Two years and a few weeks after we said “I do”, we welcomed our little bundle of joy into this world.  (It was a far less tranquil arrival than that description alludes to, but I’ll save that for another post…)

But, let’s be honest, babies don’t care about your fairy tale life.  He doesn’t care if you’re wearing your favorite pair of designer jeans or the latest trendy blouse – he’s still going to poop that seedy, breast-milk, pea soup-like poop all over it.  He doesn’t care that your hair look hideous if you don’t shampoo it at LEAST every other day – he’s still going to fuss at the exact moment you’d planned on taking a shower.

But that’s just it – babies don’t care about all the things you once would have worried about.  He doesn’t care if you’re wearing designer jeans and he doesn’t care how greasy your hair is (or even if you have the WORST morning breath in the world when you wake him up with a smothering kiss on his pouty lips).  To him, you’re the sun and the moon.  You represent all that he needs and wants.  You fill his most primal needs.  You are the boob (and wow, did THEY get huge!) that feeds him and the heart beat that lulls him to sleep.

My hope is to to capture all of the messy, stressful, hilarious, joyous and hair-pulling moments that can only happen to a first-time mom in Maine.  And as I write this, my little milk-monster just woke up screeching for the boob!  Alas, duty calls.

Yours truly,

MomME