Monday, July 29, 2013

Christianity and Breastfeeding

I love The Leaky B@@b. Go read the amazing posts on the website, go find the page on Facebook. You will thank me later, I promise. It's a great, no-nonsense forum for real breastfeeding advice and support. And it's where I found this most AMAZING post about Christianity and breastfeeding.

I identify as a Christian, which surprises a lot of people because my beliefs are more progressive than most of the standard or traditional Christian practices of today. This is the most comprehensive, well-written, and convincing article I have ever read on the topic. My fear is that too many people will NOT read it, because it is so long. But seriously, do yourself a favor and take the time to read it. Take a few days and read chunks at a time, if needed.

I have had mostly positive experiences nursing in public (NIP). With my first, I was a good little mom and got a "cover". Anytime I  was out at a restaurant or even when we were home but other people were over, I had to get out my "cover" and preform the circus act that is slipping a cover over my head, unhooking my nursing bra, lifting my shirt shirt, and directing my baby's head to my nipple without being able to see her or letting other people see her. I shudder when I think about it. I actually remember being at home at MY OWN house with a childless friend over and she THANKED me for covering because "some people don't even bother"! I had no other friends with kids so I was so afraid of offending someone with my breastfeeding. I remember being at cookouts and going INSIDE the house to nurse! How sad is that?

Fast forward to my second child. I go to a cookout with the same friend who previously thanked me for covering in my own house while nursing my own baby, among other people. I knew she would be there with her baby, nursing under a cover. So I brought my cover and nursed my poor baby son under it in the heat of the summer. I did that maybe a few more times at a few more parties and then I QUIT. I gave my cover away on an area mom swap page. I felt free.

I know some of friends feel uncomfortable around me when I NIP. Seriously, it is not my problem anymore. I have heard snickers and comments under breath and see the eyes roll and the gestures. I could seriously care less. And I am not normally that kind of person. I am pretty much a doormat who does whatever whenever to please everyone around her. It's something I am working on in therapy. But this is one thing I do not back down on. I don't know where I find the strength in this but not in anything else, but it's definitely worth contemplating because if I could harness it and use that strength in other areas in my life, I would be good to go!

And for those of you who may be reading and embarrassed or maybe just on the fence about NIP, I will tell you that I have nursed everywhere, like Green Eggs and Ham style. In a church - both in the congregation and in a Sunday school room, in a field hockey meeting filled with teenage girls - the clothes they wear are so freaking slinky that there is no way I was the most revealing, obscene thing they had seen that day, at the doctor's office, at my midwife's office, camping in the woods with my ILs (they are so supportive of BFing!), and at a Superbowl party with all those old friends who strongly believe in covering while nursing which I'm sure annoys them. TFB for them...seriously.

So your mission is to read The Leaky B@@b post in it's entirety and then nurse wherever the hell you want to. Because God loves you and your baby and gave you your boobs to feed your baby with. Amen.

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