Salt Lake City Based Photographer Timbra Wiist owns/operates Landslide Photography & Photographs the Journey of Motherhood (see bottom of page or sidebar for more info. . .depending on what this blog is choosing to do for the day).

Saturday, July 16, 2011

In the Public Eye

Welcome to The Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival!

This post was written as part of The Breastfeeding Cafe's Carnival. For more info on the Breastfeeding Cafe, go to www.breastfeedingcafe.wordpress.com. For more info on the Carnival or if you want to participate, contact Claire at clindstrom2 {at} gmail {dot} com. Today's post is about nursing in public. Please read the other blogs in today's carnival listed below and check back for more posts July 18th through the 31st!
 
 
I was not so bold with my first daughter. Seriously, at 15 months old, I thought people would think I was crazy for still nursing her, I was the person who would try to let her nurse quickly while using a bathroom stall at an event. I actually, probably got MORE bold when she was 18 months old, about nursing in public, than the six months after her first birthday, and this was completely because of the supporty system that began to develop around me. Support is key. . . seeing OTHER mothers around us, nursing their babies without a hiccup or a second thought, is NECESSARY. . .sometimes to show little people who are watching and will grow up to be parents someday, sometimes just to show peers and give peers the confidence to nurse and be reminded it's NORMAL.

Now, I have a second daughter, nearing the 2 year mark, and I feel like she is still such a baby. I can't believe that 15 months felt "big" with my first daughter. I had not yet embraced that I would be an "extended nurser" nor did I live my life with the understanding that TWO is really a minimum recommendation for breastfeeding. After 2 years of nursing my first daughter, I began to find my stride and began to embrace my parenting, my views on sleeping arrangements and nursing as well.

Do I think nursing in public is necessary? YES! People are watching and learning and understanding, no matter what age they are. For my friends who still haven't found their footing, I want them to find confidence in being with other nursing moms. For my daughters, and for the children of others, I want them to SEE breastfeeding, hear it spoken of, to understand the risks associated with not breastfeeding, so that breastfeeding, as an art, is not lost, because it is being seen and it is being woven into our every day lives!

When a child has either 1) not been breastfed, 2) not been encouraged to explore the idea of breastfeeding even in a family where children are breastfed or 3) not experienced/seen younger siblings or other people close to them, nursing, I want to be sure that they see other mothers around them nursing their children, and how natural and normally it fits into the flow of life. That there isn't "stuttering" around it, it's just something that happens while everything else is happening around us too.
 
 
Here are more post by the Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival participants! Check back because more will be added throughout the day.

5 comments:

Sara from the Momzelle blog said...

I completely agree. The more women out there breastfeeding in public, the more normal it will be. Then new moms will be more willing to give it a try. I will be one of those new moms soon (six months to go...) and all I want is to feel comfortable and normal feeding my child in public!

Dionna said...

I have been so fortunate to have an amazing group of breastfeeding friends right here in my community. If they hadn't nursed (frequently and unabashedly) in front of me when Kieran was a wee one, I'd have never had the courage to continue NIP as long as I have!
~Dionna @ www.CodeNameMama.com

motherhooddeconstructed said...

I love this. You are so right! I love being comfortable enough now to breastfeed in public, uncovered, no matter the age of my little one- it's something I know will benefit those around me, and it makes my life easier!

Shelly said...

So true. So true. Good for you for continuing to nurse after the point you were hiding in the bathroom.

The Happy Hippie Homemaker said...

I never would have guessed you were a bathroom nurser! It's comforting to know we've all had our moments in hiding... even better to know that we've learned the importance of nursing in public!!