Francesca - posted on 10/01/2009 ( 109 moms have responded )
Over the last week I realized what our over puritan society has done to us in respect to breastfeeding. Yesterday alone I came across three situations that disturbed me.
I met a women who has a little boy who is almost two. When she was asked if she is still breastfeeding, she sheepishly replied yes, but only at night. Why is she sheepish? Why embarrassed? She is my hero! What she has done for her son is incredible and selfless!
Then I took my daughter to see my italian grandparents. And as they always ask in their broken italian/english, "she on a bottle yet?" and I make up excuses on why she is not. They have some abstract idea that because everyone in Italy breastfed and is incredibly poor, and here in Canada women bottlefeed and thus it must be superior. (I am sure it fits right into the bottle company propaganda)...
Then, I check my facebook. And a women I knew, who also breastfed all of her children for at least a few months posted that breastfeeding women should be forced to cover up. Not that I have ever been so bold as to whip out my boob in public, I don't have the balls for it, but why is something so natural so shameful?
One of her friends responded that he agreed and stated it was "a matter of class, decency and courtesty" for the people around them, What, are you going to ask to cover my face in public now? Why do we have good men and women fighting for baisc rights in Afganistan when the war should be on hideous puritan ideas that set women back a hundred years here at home!
I have seen many of men who have larger breast than I wandering around in the middle of summer with their shirts off. How is that okay?
And please, the next person that asked me if I would like to breastfeed in a bathroom, I don't shit on your kitchen table, I am not feeding my baby on your toilet. YUK! (And remember I am even covering up and people ask me...)
Why is it so wrong to breastfeed in public without a cover? Maybe if more women did, it wouldn't be seen as sexually "indecent" or without "class", rather than being used for what they were made for. We all know the health benefits to both babies and mothers, but the social barriers of our over puritan society make formula feeding convenient.
Its a sad day when we need to be embarrassed over something so natural.
I wish I could say that from now on, I will not be shamed into covering up. But we all know that I could not keep such a lofty promise. But the Quintessence Foundation has a "Global Breastfeeding Challenge" on October 3 2009. I will be there. Baring it in public to make my stance.
What are your stories? What are you doing to change the views around you?