Thank you for yesterday’s overwhelming response to Courtney’s article. As a guideline, I wanted to remind everyone that even if you disagree with something that is said, please be respectful. Thank you all for reading.
This issue is ridiculous. Thanks for standing up for it. Here is my story (so far).
When I was pregnant, I solely focused on the birth of my son and what on earth we were going to do after for income as I was the primary breadwinner supporting a student husband. He is our first child and we were nervous and excited. I didn’t think much about nursing. I knew I would try at least but my mom had an easy time with 5 of us so I didn’t think beyond that. Once my son was here, I was incredibly overwhelmed. I was pretty much solely responsible for his nurturing, feeding, and comfort, and my hormones were out of control. My husband did what he could (happiest baby on the block is a life saver!) but no matter how much pain I was in (my nipples were scabs! Scabs!!) my son was clearly most comforted at my breasts. We sort of got into a routine when I had to return to work, resulting in bottles 2-3 times a day that I pumped. This caused a bottle preference in my son, despite following all of the tips I had read. I delved into the research about breastfeeding. Why was I being so stubborn? Why was I fighting what seemed like a losing battle?
After literally two months of being screamed at when I tried to latch him, he began feeding normally! But it was short lived. He entered the distractible phase quickly. He would only nurse in a quiet room laying down in the dark. I was trapped to going places where we could facilitate this. I wasn’t about to pump more bottles (I was still working full time!) to go out with when I was worries about the bottle preference returning! And a nursing cover just got swatted at by him. He would scream and scream if I tried to cover him (but wouldn’t you? Who wants to eat under a blanket with a lot of body contact? It would get so hot!).
Finally, at 6 months, he would nurse sitting up. I cannot describe the relief and huge sense of triumph at this. I could nurse him anywhere! Everywhere! He still wouldn’t nurse with a blanket or cover. So, under the advice of breastfeeding gurus, I practiced at home latching him sans cover to see how discrete I could be. I was surprised that it really isn’t hard to latch my mister without flashing, and I could be ready to pull my shirt down over my breast should be decide to unlatch quite quickly.
We will celebrate his birthday on March 1. Breastfeeding him this whole year has been the most empowering thing I have ever done. I have no plans to wean him yet.
Family members have told me that I was tempting men with porn addictions by nursing without a cover. Because clearly nursing is sexual and also, I am responsible for another person’s thoughts. I’ve talked with a social worker who works with porn addictions and she has never heard of that being a trigger. It’s infuriating and I really am interested in what happens with that case. I’ve read of a ward in one of the islands (I can’t remember!) where the RS president conducted while nursing, uncovered. We are so weird about it here.
The best part was my sister in law nursed 3 babies “but always managed to use a cover”. My baby screams if I cover him-wouldn’t you if someone threw a blanket over your head?-but obviously I should make his comfort my last priority and strangers’ my first.
Do you know that the World Health Organization recommends nursing for 2 years plus? Do you know that if 90% of women breastfeed exclusively for the first 6 months, BILLIONS of dollars a year would be saved in healthcare? It’s not hard to find links like this explaining why: like this one
I believe had I grown up seeing women nurse that I would have had a much, much easier ride. I can’t tell you how many breastfeeding videos I watched in the early days and weeks and months, trying to see if I was doing it correctly. My husband served his mission in Mexico. He often saw women nursing openly. He was uncomfortable but noticed the Mexican men were not. Why? Because they had grown up seeing it and learning that breastfeeding is the purpose of breasts. Perhaps they can provide sexual pleasure, but so do mouths and we don’t cover them.
As for the modesty part, I found this blog
to articulate well exactly how I feel about it.
We are modest because we are created in the image of God. Does breastfeeding honor God’s image? Yes because that is what my breasts were made to do.
Bio-wife of an engineer, mother to one mister, lover of learning and reading and helping others connect and succeed. Aly is learning that she should never say “I would never ___” because she keeps getting bitten in the bum for it. She plan to become a lactation consultant in the future.
To follow the rest of the Breastfeeding Series click here.
To submit your own stories about breastfeeding, email me at experimentalcritic(at)gmail.com