I honestly never thought that with a toddler and a preschooler I would even be aware of something like World Breastfeeding Week! Here I am though, still breastfeeding a kid who is one month shy of his third birthday. I have been reading a lot of stories by different women, those who have had difficulties with breastfeeding but persevered, those who had difficulties and found themselves unable to continue as well as those who never wanted to try who find themselves having to defend their choice.
For me, it was a no-brainer decision. I was going to breastfeed because it’s a lot cheaper and easier: no bottles to buy, fill, warm and then clean!; no formula to pack when going out; and no trying to fit outings into a feeding schedule to make sure I had access to water, heat, etc. to properly prepare and serve a bottle of formula.
I had absolutely no problem breastfeeding my first son, he latched on and fed like a pro from the moment he was born. The next one was a bit more challenging but nothing worth writing about again. (Our story can be found here)
Now, obviously, I’m no Olivia Wilde (breastfeeding in Glamour!) but I have breastfed my children all over the place and have never once been asked to leave, cover up, stop or otherwise change anything I was doing at all. I’ve fed my babies in the waiting room of the doctor’s office, while getting a pedicure, in the parking lot of the doctor’s office, running through a JC Penney’s on my way to the car as I dodged mannequins while pushing the stroller full of cross-border shopping purchases, sitting on the beach, going 50mph across the lake in our boat, grocery shopping, mowing the lawn, sitting in a restaurant while eating my dinner, getting my hair cut at the salon and many, many other places that I can’t remember now.
I wasn’t one of these women who sit down and artfully drape a cloth over my nursing infant either, my babies didn’t like to feel closed in and I really didn’t care if I happened to randomly flash a stranger. I’m sure that quite a few people over the years have had a peek at my boobs but let’s face it, after going through childbirth with a roomful of people seeing all sorts of bits that you usually don’t display, the odd nip-slip isn’t going to matter at all.
I understand when some women are unable to nurse their babies, my own sister ended up having issues with her milk and switched our Princess to formula when she was just a few months old. I applaud every woman who tries and send encouragement to every woman who is going through a rough patch in their breastfeeding journey, there is support available (so I’m told, I never needed it so don’t go asking me where to find it, sorry!) to help with nursing issues but there is also a whole slew of mothers who would never judge someone because they couldn’t/didn’t want to keep nursing.
We all have to make the choices that are best for us and our babies. These choices will be different for every woman on the planet and as mothers we need to encourage, support and ultimately respect each other. Happy World Breastfeed Week everyone!