• Public Breastfeeding...

    Public Breastfeeding...

    at an elementary school. 

    "My Grandma and my Mother breastfed. I always knew I wanted to breastfeed when I had children. When I began nursing my first child we had a very rough beginning. It took a lot of hard work and perseverance to make it through the first month.

    I felt like quitting so many times. A lot of tears were shed.

    Once I felt ready to nurse outside of my house I always used a cover. I covered for the first six months of my child's life. After that, my child would no longer tolerate the cover. It became a constant battle to try to keep him covered. I finally started nursing without it. I still had my own hang ups though. I wouldn't nurse in front of certain people. I didn't feel comfortable nursing in front of my male friends. I began hiding in bedrooms to nurse or somewhere nearby but out of site.

    It felt so lonely. I would hear laughter from the other room while I was alone.

    I finally asked my friends if it was okay if I nursed my baby in front of them. They responded by telling me just to feed my baby. As simple as that. I am grateful that this was the response I got from them. It changed my mindset completely. Why was I asking permission to care for my child? My baby was hungry and I needed to care for him. I ditched the cover from then on.

    I gained so much confidence in my journey breastfeeding my older child. Now that I am nursing my second child, I have never used a cover. I nurse in front of anyone who happens to be around and wherever we happen to be when my child is hungry. I believe all women should be supported to feed their babies however works best for them. This just happens to be what works best for us. I think a lot about where my shame surrounding breastfeeding came from.

    Breastfeeding in my family was normal and I grew up seeing my mom nurse my younger sibling. I believe it has to do with media and society's views and portrayals of women.

    I grew up with the message that my breasts were not really mine. They are there for other people to look at and touch. To derive pleasure from. To sell things. To show them off but don't show too much.

    My breasts belong to me and they are for nourishing my children. By nursing in public I have reclaimed my body." - Kathryn