Today on the #AtoZChallenge we move on to the letter B, and my chosen topic is breastfeeding. I never had an opinion on breastfeeding before I became a mother, not surprising really since it was totally irrelevant to my lifestyle. Now I have been breastfeeding my children for 3 years, and I feel that breastfeeding has come to define an aspect of my character.
There has been a lot of media interest about breastfeeding in the UK recently, when a stranger posted a photograph of a breastfeeding mother on Facebook. It prompted outrage from the breastfeeding community, and when I heard about it, I was totally bemused. Here was a mother out doing her shopping, her baby was hungry so she sat down on an empty step and fed the baby. There was no flesh on show, she did not do it out ‘in the open’ so to speak, and yet a stranger in the crowd took notice and decided to make a fuss. Interestingly I don’t think the person concerned actually spoke to the mother. He was probably afraid to approach her, lest she shove her milky flesh in his face!
Anyway, I have never received any negative reactions when I breastfeed in public, and for that I am relieved. I do notice the uncomfortable reactions from people around me sometimes, but so far nobody has approached me to complain when I feed my baby. However, because of the mixed reactions so often reported in the media, I find myself purposely trying not to draw attention to myself and my baby. I mean, I was raised in a family that are uncomfortable with nudity anyway, so I never wear anything remotely revealing, and sometimes I will change a t-shirt if I feel it is a little too low cut for my tastes. In truth I have received compliments from strangers when they see me breastfeeding in public, and I treasure these reactions, mainly from older women who have breastfed their own children and are happy to see the tradition continue in a world where bottle feeding has become the norm.
Breastfeeding is about far more than the opinions of strangers. For me it is a very natural and totally wonderful experience. Yes it is painful, uncomfortable and difficult at times. Sometimes I feel so exhausted and so frustrated about no longer having control over my body that I become agitated and grumpy. But ultimately I know that my children are being fed properly, as Mother Nature intended.
Thank you for stopping by, now why not check out my fellow writers on the #AtoZChallenge? See you tomorrow!
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