Two days ago, on this past Sunday, I had a flashback to the early infant days when Lo would nurse himself into oblivion. We had been visiting cousins (more on that visit to come in another post with pics!) and I noticed the chaos of a dozen children and half a dozen adults interacting had been wearing on our Little Tam. I trekked up four flights of stairs to a secluded alcove and nestled there, swaying my body back and forth to help Lo get focused and latched. He sucked deep, long, slow, and soon both of us seemed to bask in waves of relaxed pleasure. By the end of his nursing, Lo had fallen into a limp and glorious latency. Which promptly got broken/awoken when we went back downstairs to the din. But I have clutched at that memory since Sunday, because it is the way I want nursing to be for us--an escape, a break, a bonding time amid the crazy business of life.
We had the sister missionaries over for dinner a week or two ago, and I asked them if they minded me breastfeeding in the living room (which is just off the side of our dining area). I was slightly out of view, but could still chat while nursing. One of the sisters is from Mexico. She commented that where she is from, women will just nurse anytime, anywhere. "You could be in the middle of a conversation with a woman and she would just start breastfeeding if the baby needed it."
Ah! I wish the United States had such a child-friendly culture. I have breastfed while walking down the grocery aisles, huddled in bathroom stalls, on planes & automobiles, while typing at this computer...! etc. and sometimes have felt a deep embarrassment. Not embarrassed for myself, but rather an empathy of sorts for the awkward people around me. What a troubled world in which evil and good get interchanged and puzzled between each other. A culture that revels in breasts as sex objects, but feels distaste for the woman who gives nourishment to her infant from this part of her body...These are the rambling thoughts I have today.
And then I came across this video which shows the beauty of breastfeeding. Do you feel embarrassed by any part of it? If you are embarrassed, is it the same feeling you get from glancing at the cover of Cosmopolitan magazine while in line at the grocers or is it a different type of embarrassment? If you do not feel embarrassed, what do you feel? Do you have a favorite image? My favorites:
- the one with the priest busying himself on the side of the woman breastfeeding (does he feel the normalcy of the nursing mom? I would not be surprised if he does, depending on the country where the photo was taken).
- the winter snow picture, because with Lo being a winter baby, I have breastfed outside in the snow and know how cold that can be! ;)
I should add that I believe strongly in modesty. Admittedly then, it is curious to me how I do not feel I am immodest to breastfeed without a blanket/cover over me & Lo in public. Nevermind the fact that my baby rips the cover off of us both. I wonder why I feel how I do, and I wonder why other people feel the way they do...? Usually I try to reserve these musing types of posts for my personal journal. Sorry to subject you all to the meandering lack of points to this writing. Anyway. I'll be done now.