Our family is growing in many ways... Growing in numbers, knowledge, parenting skills, growing in love, in our faith, growing our culinary skills (if you can call it that), growing without gluten (some of us), growing green...........

Monday, October 13, 2008

Breastfeeding IS Beautiful

I've never been a fan of Angelina Jolie. Really. I know many men (and lots of women) think she is just beautiful. But for various reasons, I haven't cared much for her, to be honest. But...I will praise her for what she is recently being noted for - her photo for the cover a magazine, where she is breastfeeding one of her new babies.

I nurse in public (NIP - or some call it BIP, breastfeeding in public). It's not always my first choice, but it's how I feed my baby, and if he needs to eat, that is my top priority. Not my comfort, nor anyone else's, for that matter. Many women are hesitant to do this, and one reason is that others seem to frown on it. Breastfeeding a child is a beautiful thing and should never be looked at in any other way. And I will do so wherever and whenever my child needs to nurse. I refuse to nurse my child in a restroom because I might cause someone else discomfort (seriously - would YOU want to eat in a bathroom?!). I refuse to let my child cry because he is hungry and I don't want to offend someone I don't even know.

I think it's great that organizations such as La Leche League and people like your doctor encourage women to breastfeed as long as possible (they're now saying to try for 2 years if you can for the best health benefits). I think it is great that ordinary people talk about it being ok and that women do nurse in public (though I rarely see it - but maybe that's because they're so inconspicuous or because I'm not looking for it). BUT I think it's even better that someone of such high status is allowing herself to be seen by everyone nursing her baby. Kudos to you, Angelina.

Side note - I do use a nursing cover when I feed Aiden out in public - so my goods aren't just out there for the world to see. Someone recently made a nasty comment about people nursing in public - I doubt they have children (or if they do - that they have breastfed). You would be surprised to know how discreet someone can be when nursing, and nobody has ever looked at me in any negative way for feeding my child. And yes, in the photo of Angelina breastfeeding, she is in her own home and not in public - but she is allowing the public to see the picture, which is beautiful - and hopefully this will help others think differently about nursing in public (with their own child or when seeing others doing so).


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Anonymous said...

I did my senior research project on this exact topic... "Public's Perception of Mothers Who Breastfeed in Public Places". It was interesting. You go girl! I did the same thing as you with Caleb. I breastfed through his toddler years. We need more people to stand up for breastfeeding because not only is it best for babies, it's best for moms.