Life is chaotic and I’m a fly by the seat of my pants kind of person.
For some reason, special days always come up on me at the last minute…or I forget completely about them until afterwards.
Breastfeeding Awareness Week is one of the events I’ve been trying to partipate in for 5 years…but I always miss out. Luckily there is not only Breastfeeding Awareness Week, this is also National Breastfeeding Month in the U.S. whew…I can still participate!
Breastfeeding is extremely important to me because it was through learning about the practice and training to be a breastfeeding counselor during my first pregnancy, that I really learned to accept the idea of my body and myself as a mother. It gave me confidence and empowerment to learn so much about this huge thing that doesn’t really get much attention…even with all the controversy, many people go their whole childhoods without ever thinking about or considering what breastfeeding is…I grew up that way.
During Breastfeeding Awareness week apparently there were lots of controversial pictures up on facebook. There were people who loved it and people who hated it. One thing I kept seeing was that people who did not or were not able to breastfeed showing anger towards the idea of “flaunting” breastfeeding success.
I think there are few things more sad than feeling resentment because you were not able to do something so beneficial for your child…or that you simply feel resentment because others feel you missed out on that due to your own choice. I’m sorry that these people feel that people who are happy with their own success are somehow besmirching the experience of others. We can all agree that breastfeeding, like many other things is a powerful experience that is in general very beneficial to our (and all mammal) species… but we should also understand that breastfeeding, like any other act is not guaranteed and praising it’s benefits doesn’t act as a judgement against those who were not allowed that experience. It is still important to educate, celebrate and encourage education and support for breastfeeding.
So cheer up moms who have had breastfeeding issues. You are no less of a mom and no one in their right mind would suggest otherwise. It can be tough to mourn that you didn’t get to experience something you really wanted to participate in, or to mourn that you didn’t have a chance to make a more informed decision, or even that you completely feel uncomfortable about the act and wish people respected your decision. Sometimes there can be trauma in these situations. Please, if you are getting offended at other people sharing their breastfeeding experiences, look within to see if there is something lurking within that is creating this inner turmoil with others. There may be something you need help releasing from your mind and from your heart. Breastfeeding is beautiful, but there are so many other beautiful ways to nourish the relationship of parenting a child.
My mom did not breastfeed me, but she was a beautiful, caring parent in my first years, despite that. With her first grandchild, she learned about breastfeeding and began to support the practice herself. There was no reason for her to be offended or feel that she had failed as a mother because she didn’t have that experience, but she did see the opportunity she had to support other mothers in doing what she could not do herself.
Happy National Breastfeeding Month!
- When You Aren’t Breastfeeding Your Baby (everydayhealth.com)
- Breastfeeding Awareness Week- African American Breastfeeding (thesoulmom.com)
- A View on ‘Extreme Breastfeeding’ (attachedmummy.wordpress.com)
- Public Breastfeeding Advocates Partake In Annual “Subway Caravan” (manhattan.ny1.com)