To All Mothers:
Despite all of the outspoken people that show off their ignorance by speaking out against public breastfeeding, there are many people in support of a baby’s right to nurse in public.
Let me add my voice in support of you.
When I see a nursing mother in public, my heart lights up with happiness. Covered, uncovered, nursing in an aisle, nursing at the table in a restaurant, on a bench at the playground or at the pediatrician’s office.
You are an excellent example for the children that see you, the young women who may someday nurse their own babies, the young men who see a woman ‘s body as something nurturing. This world is so sex-obsessed, so accustomed to objectifying women’s bodies and shaming them into hiding and hating themselves and surgically modifying their bodies into artificial “perfection”.
You are beautiful. You have chosen to listen to the needs of your baby, to love your baby, to hold your baby close and to nurse him. You have not made him wait, you have not denied him comfort, you have not caved in to your own need to avoid the possibility of being harshly and unfairly judged.
I love seeing you nurse your child. I smile. In seeing you, you give me a boost in confidence every time I must nurse my own child in public.
Wait.. I have three children. All have nursed. All have been fed in public. Why does seeing you nurse your child give ME a necessary boost in confidence?
Not many people speak out about the beauty, the wholesomeness, the example of mothering. Not many people speak about the smiles that they gain from seeing another mom take care of her baby.
Instead we hear from ugly people, virulent and ill-educated minority that feels compelled to show themselves in public as people who are so selfish that they place their preference to not see a baby eat over the baby’s need to eat. They would hide motherhood away from society.
Postpartum depression is worsened by social isolation, by weaning, by harsh judgement of strangers who have no informed basis for their judgement and who simply parrot the most ridiculous phrases ever, suggesting that babies should eat in rooms so disgusting that people try to avoid the need to use them to defecate.
You are doing nothing wrong. You are doing something right. Those who spew baseless criticism or that suggest you hide away, those people are the ones that need to be shamed into hiding. Those are the people that are ugly, disgusting, shameful.
Please do nurse in public. Go out. Breathe the fresh air. Go to the park, the mall, grocery shopping. Live your life. Be social. Be around people. And when your baby needs to eat, don’t second-guess your child’s needs.
For every person that spouts ignorance, there is a person like me. A person that smiles. A person that you pass confidence to. A child that will someday nurse her own babies or that will tell his wife that it’s okay to feed their child. Then beyond that, there are countless people that simply do not notice or care.
Nurse. Offer comfort. Soothe that crying baby. And look for the people wearing smiles. I promise you will find them.