If you look around the internet about ways to bond with a baby, you’ll find many many ways. But let me tell you the truth, there’s no right way or wrong as long as you care for that baby and spend time with him or […]
Whatever is the choice of a parent to breastfeed their baby or not, it’s important to remember that it’s about feeding a baby one way or another. I might be getting in troubled waters for some people, because while I’m not getting in the war of what’s best to feed a baby I don’t mind getting in the one that there’s a breastfeeding in public controversy.
Let me paste here the definition of Mammal from the website of Cambridge Dictionary:
Humans, dogs, elephants, and dolphins are all mammals, but birds, fish, and crocodiles are not.”
So not only is a choice, biologically we are designed to feed our offspring like this (although some times for some reasons out of our control it’s not possible, and you shouldn’t beat yourself up, it just happens), so why some people want to make it a taboo or belittle it?
After long thinking and wondering, sometimes chatting about it with family and friends from different countries, I came up with some reasons.
Sexualization of Breasts
We all know that normally breasts that are plumpy and rounded (not necessarily big) are attributed to the female species of mammals. They were made for the sole purpose of feeding their babies until they were grown enough capable to feed for themselves with other sources of nutrition. In fact, in the first weeks of gestation of a human being, skin and bones are made including nipples, but the chest area will develop depending on of the existence of the chromosome Y, if there is it’ll grow the fetus to be male but the nipples will still be there.
Talking about it this way there’s no sensual connotation in it, just pure science, doesn’t incite much about the act of mating either. So why it’s sexualised? I blame media and perverted minds, and some people do’t know how to differentiate when something is so natural to something that is obscene.
A mother breastfeeding a baby is natural, a woman showing off in sexy underwear fondling herself in an ad is obscene!
Some cultures are more prude towards their viewing of things, fashion style, mannerism… In the paragraph above I might look prude but I’m not, while I do prefer to cover a bit myself while breastfeeding I don’t have any problem to see other mothers breastfeeding with their boob out, or even topless!
I think some people of countries that have a tendency to cover a lot their bodies either because religion dictates it or because it’s a norm, and they fail to respect to those who prefer to show more skin (obviously there’re places and moments for everything, you can’t expect walking nude everywhere like if you were in a nude village/beach and not to expect negative reactions), will feel an array of bad feelings when seeing uncovered breasts even if it’s for a humble purpose of feeding a hungry baby.
I sometimes believe what matters depend of the meaning behind an action, a matter of perspective, the why… So when next time you see a mother breastfeeding their baby they don’t do it to flash you with her breasts, in fact it has nothing to do with you at all but to feed her baby, to fulfill her responsibility of nurturing and caring for her child.
I’ve encountered some people very close to me that didn’t like to hear the idea of me wanting to breastfeed. I grew up in a family that considers breastfeeding essential, at least for the first months of life of the newborn. Some of my aunties weren’t able to breastfeed due to medical and health issues, yet they assure me all the time that what I’m doing is great and they would have breastfed it they were able to. So naturally for me it was my number one choice, I really wanted it to work and I’m grateful it is working still now that my baby is ten months. But not all of my close family were supportive, not at the beginning though, they don’t mind now but I felt they were trying to get the idea off my head.
The people that weren’t very supportive were actually bottled feeders, one of them tried with her first child yet it didn’t work. She was put on a lot of high pressure from her midwives (of the hospital she was in) to breastfeed her little one even though she was in pain, consequently she developed an aversion to it. In a way she wanted to prevent me from going through the same ordeal or something, in her mind the thought of it made her very wary.
Some other people I know also from a bottle feeding background, they didn’t look very happy and told me their thoughts of why I shouldn’t. Most of those thoughts were non-sense and scaremongering. I wondered if they were maybe jealous because they lacked the confidence to also breastfeed or just because they were arrogant and ignorant. I’ll advise that in the event you meet people like that just smile and don’t let them to get you down.
Are we all in the same page?
Please next time you see a breastfeeding mother, don’t shame her, don’t be rude to her, don’t disrespect her, do not do anything that won’t help her to fulfill her task of caring for her child. Mothers feeding their children, whether breast or bottle, aren’t there to bother you or to make you uncomfortable, in fact, they are feeding their little children in order to prevent them to feel hungry which could make them be irritating and very nervous. Babies that are hungry and unhappy have a tendency to cry very loud, scream and screech. Depending on their age they can even throw a big fit that can last for what it feels an eternity… And you wouldn’t like to have a very upset child around you right?
These are the reasons I can come up so far, please comment below if you think you can contribute with anything else or if you want to share any situation when you were subjected of criticism because you were breastfeeding in public.
Thanks for reading and remember, R-E-S-P-E-C-T!
With light and joy,
Who says that motherhood is easy? That it should come natural and women are somehow genetically “programmed” to cope with all the needs of a child effortlessly. Well that is completely science fiction because the burnout is real! Only mothers, and breastfeeding mothers in some […]
So you’ve decided to breastfeed, congratulations! I’m sure you are aware that it is not an easy task, it takes a little bit of time to get used to, and that there will be some times that you’ll feel tired of it. Baby is worth all of that, nothing is easy but with love, patience and knowing you are doing your best for your precious one, you will be fine.
You know well that at least you’ll need breast pads and breastfeeding clothing. You might be thinking of wanting to pump and store some milk but not sure what to buy exactly? I’ve been there too so don’t worry, I’ll be showing you what I bought that thought helpful. Here’s what I found to be the best breastfeeding accessories.
I used to associate bibs with feeding, solids feeding rather than anything else. The truth is, when weaning a baby a small bib won’t do, you’ll probably end up needing to change your childs’ clothes or make her wear a waterproof top like the ones used for arts and crafts making.
Now, bibs are pretty much needed for teething when they are drooling all the time, and also for breastfeeding! By putting a bib on your child when breastfeeding, it’ll help collect any leaks and spitting and/or drool. I’ve learned that not any bib will do, but bandanna bibs!
Why bandanna bibs? Because they wrap closer to their neck which doesn’t leave any gaps for liquids to go down to his top, when breastfeeding my baby I’ve noticed the bandanna would gather and scrunch together a bit making like a barrier (without suffocating the baby), so the milk sliding down his chin or the side of his mouth would be caught on that gathering of cloth. Make sure also that bibs are made of cotton and lined with soft fleece. Oh! And poppers are better than Velcro.
I’ve noticed some bibs have some stuff hanging from them like chewing toys and/or cords for soothers. Not wanting to be too overprotective but I found them irrelevant and somehow potentially dangerous. Those hanging objects if caught somewhere else could fatally injure the baby’s neck. Wonder why industrial workers need to wear hats and/or all hair gathered up in a bun?
The nursing pillow is an item that some mum will find it a waste of money, yet to me it proved very helpful. I’ll tell you why.
- Reclining Pillow. I bought it on the second trimester of pregnancy, and I was starting to feel a bit heavy. Reclining on anything hard was not ideal as there was an added weight and the muscles of my lower back were starting to be a bit sore or sensitive. I used then the pillow which gave me the additional support, my husband looked like he wanted another one for himself, mostly when reading his books in bed (I’ve let him had it a couple of times, and some other to beg for it!).
- Nursing Pillow. When I had Bee it fulfilled its purpose as a nursing pillow, and it was very helpful indeed, without it I felt a heavy tension in my arms after holding the baby a while in that position, not a very comfortable one but eventually you get used to it.
- Baby sitting throne pillow. When Bee was 5 months we started sitting him a bit every day, we used the pillow as if it was his throne and he loved it, sometimes he would fall back and slouch yet he loved it. We would sit on front of him to catch him if he fell onward. We also used it for him to lie on his tummy, he wasn’t very keen with tummy time so he didn’t enjoy it much.
Hair clip or scrunchies
You are wondering why is it so important, right? Well, if your hair is shorter than the level of your chin than skip this one! But if it’s longer than that, imagine feeding your baby when your hair gets on your face, or gets stuck on the chair or wherever you are reclining on to. Or that your baby decides to pull it. You won’t be able to put it up, basically you’ll only one hand free to do it, but lets face it, why to bother trying? There’s a saying, Better to prevent rather than trying to fix it!
I use hair clip claws like the ones of Revlon’s strong hair clips.
Thermal mug with straw/sip
When you breastfeed you’ll feel very thirsty, which is pretty normal after all you are feeding your baby from your liquid reservoir, which consequently it dehydrates you. One of the things my midwife told me on day one was, drink a cup of well diluted tea (check which you are allowed as some are prohibited when nursing) or water every hour or half an hour!
I borrowed my husband’s Thermos and had to buy a special straw for it, I love hot chocolate and peppermint tea, but as you are aware, drinking hot drinks while having your baby on your arms is not very wise. Yet, with precautions like drinking from a sippy Thermos cup or with a straw in an enclosed cup does reduce any chances of spilling.
Am I missing any accessory you think is way more important than these? Please share it with us by commenting below! We appreciate any ideas or advice 🙂
With joy and light,
If you are breastfeeding one of the things you normally buy are breast pads, if you don’t buy it before having the baby, eventually you’ll buy some as the breasts tend to leak. There’s two types available so far: reusable breastfeeding pads and disposable ones. […]
Portrait this: lovely sunny day, you decide to go out with your baby to catch some rays as Vitamin D is good for both of you (and hopefully getting a little bit of a tan). You get everything ready, packed some snacks and drinks, got dressed and baby ready and cozy in the pram… Smooth so far. You arrived to the park and baby is starting to be a bit uneasy and you check the time, it’s time for his feed!
You choose the lovely sunny spot near the flower bushes, sit down and park the pram beside you. Picking baba up, she is already getting anxious jerking her head with mouth wide open. With one hand you unbutton your jacket clumsily, baby is getting anxious. You are already with your hand underneath your top and trying to pull it up, and then trying to reach the bra… Baby is screaming her head off and you are getting a bit nervous too, the hot sun is not helping much either and makes you wonder why you didn’t choose that bench under the shade.
Some of you might think I’m either crazy or stupid. We know that breastfeeding that looks picture perfect (with no effort nor struggle) is either in our dreams, staged; or possible if you are mega rich and have a lovely army of helpers (paid, and also non paid aka reliable and kind family members). We can’t predict when our baby will be thirsty or hungry, we can kind of guess when they are though by some gestures our little ones do, such as suckling noises or tongue licking.
By the time we know it’s feeding time we find ourselves hurrying to get one breast out to feed our now hungry and hysterically crying baby. Some of us prefer to cover ourselves for privacy and yet that adds extra time for our precious child to wait, which makes her even more impatient and therefore results on a high-pitched crying that could shadow a police car siren. That’s far from the picture I mentioned in the beginning!
I made a small list with helpful ideas I came up with from all the times I had to breastfeed. Tips that most of the time worked for me and helped me to get access quickly to feed my baby.
Breastfeeding bra or top
In the beginning I wasn’t sure either to buy a bra or a top, so I ended up buying both. Wearing a breastfeeding bra or breastfeeding top is a must if you need to access quickly to your breasts although wearing pads can make the task a bit harder or uncomfortable.
A breastfeeding or nursing bra is a bra that opens easily on the front to reveal the breasts, it has either a small hook in each side that drops the cup, or it can be buttoned on the middle opening the cups sideways. I think there’s also bras that have a zipper in the middle but I never bought nor tried any of those.
My preferred choice is the top as I find it much easier and comfortable to use, also it is great for its multiple use (which I’ll cover soon in a detailed post), and it’s available in many colours, designs, and even styles. As with the bra it has hooks that when unclasped it drops the cup or layer that covers the breast. Some doesn’t have hooks, instead they are tops that have an extra layer, the inner one has one vertical opening/slit in each side.
Loose buttoned cardigan/jumper
They serve as an extra layer on top of the breastfeeding top, they are handy as while wearing it you can hide a bit your baby from unsolicited attention. The looser or wider the cardigan the more fabric you’ve got to cover or shield your child. It’s also handy when you forgot to bring with you anything to cover baby with.
It’s also good for wrapping her while you are holding her in your arms when it’s very cold and windy, or even when it’s snowing or raining!
These are not specially for breastfeeding, they are just normal wrap shirts, wrap dresses and wrap cardigans. The advantage is as you probably noticed is in the wrap!
You see, the convenience of wrap is that the way is done is like a layer crossed on top of the other on the chest area, which enables quick accessibility. They normally tie up or have a button on the side, or a diagonal zip, features that helps to get in and out of them too! I’ve got few wrap cardigans that came out very handy when going out.
I normally wear a breastfeeding top underneath, mostly because I don’t like feeling like I haven’t got anything to cover (and hold) my breasts, I’m too used to wear bras! Some people, past the engorgement episodes and once the milk fluctuation becomes stable (by around 3 months, though there’s the occasional leak) don’t need breastfeeding pads, therefore a breastfeeding bra/top is optional. If you like going “au-naturel” underneath your clothes then it’s a plus mostly on those boiling hot summer days!
Ponchos and very loose tops or shirts
Again these are very, very easy to access too. So much that one has to be careful if the fabric is very light when wearing them on a very windy day! You can almost hide baby underneath, protect them from wind or sunlight, etc.
With ponchos, I recommend wearing a top underneath, basically because it’s like wearing a towel with a hole in the middle to put your head through, it’s pretty much open both sides. Some are closed on the shoulders down to midway to your elbows, still it’s for aesthetics purposes nothing functional.
Loose tops and shirts had become the main choice for many mamas out there as they are simple, cheap, and accessible. As a matter of fact almost everybody has at least one very loose top/t-shirt/shirt, or at least someone you can borrow any from. Very good for those lazying-in days, or when getting all messy playing and painting with your child!
Sometimes I bring along a shawl with me and when wrapping it around my shoulders is the same effect as a poncho or wrap top. It’s handy and it can be used in multiple ways depending on its length and fabric composition, such as:
- Breastfeeding aprons
- Baby carriers
- Baby blanket
- Pram shade or wind cover
- Babby Swaddling
Well, these are my tips so far concerning quick access for your breastfeeding necessity and routine. I’ve tested them all and it’s up to you to choose which one works for you and your baby. If you think you can contribute in this list please comment below!
With light and joy,