• Public Breastfeeding...

    Public Breastfeeding...

    while shopping.

    "I thought it was okay, I could understand the reasons

    They said, “There might be a man or a nervous child seeing this small piece of flesh that they weren’t quite expecting.”

    So I whispered and tip-toed with nervous discretion But after six months of her life sat sitting on lids, sipping on milk, nostrils sniffing on piss

    Trying not to bang her head on toilet roll dispensers I wonder whether these public loo feeds offend HER...

    So no more will I sit on these cold toilet lids

    No matter how embarrassed I feel as she sips

    Because in this country of billboards, covered in tits I think we should try to get used to this" -excerpt from Hollie McNish's poem 'Embarrassed'

    (Full spoken word poem here: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=KiS8q_fifa0)

    "This poem sums up the Normalize Breastfeeding movement to me. It puts into words what I wasn't brave enough to say nor tough enough to defend as a new mom. It validates and supports my choice to breastfeed in a culture that says breasts are for show.

    This poem gives me the confidence to go out in the world and feed my baby like I was born to do. I have breastfed two different babies, for 25 out of the last 35 months, and oh my, it is so hard. Improper latch, plugged ducts, cracked nipples, engorgement, oversupply, undersupply, tongue/lip ties, building my freezer stash, and pumping at work are just a few of the struggles we've overcome. Working through all of that, plus the never-ending insecurities that new moms face, I felt unprepared adding breastfeeding in public to the list of hardships.

    I was aware upon having my first baby that WI law states that wherever a woman is allowed to be, she is allowed to breastfeed. But I was also aware that our society doesn't support that law, and that I may not get the high-fives I felt I deserved.

    Living in a city, I breastfeed in public a lot; with a cover, without a cover, on walks, at the dog park, at playgrounds, on the beach, at farmer's markets, in coffeeshops, in grocery stores, in restaurants, and the list goes on. But this took time. I started out breastfeeding in the car, behind buildings, and on so many public toilet seats. (I am ashamed to even admit this. Yuck. Oh, the guilt for putting my baby through that.) When my confidence in my new role as a mom grew, I became braver and braver, and started nursing wherever I was, and in front of whomever was around. I realized quickly that I didn't care what anyone else thought. If my baby is hungry, I need to feed her at OUR convenience, not anybody else's.

    One day, my breastfeeding journey will come to an end, and this will all seem like a tiny blip in time. I want to set a good example for my kids, my sisters, my friends, and my neighbors. So many women struggle to breastfeed their babies at all, and we need not make it any harder on them. It is a shame that our culture doesn't see breastfeeding as publicly appropriate, and it is time to change. It is time to grow up, society. It is time to normalize breastfeeding." - Emily