The Right to Breastfeed

So a bit of a rant today. This has sat on my conscience for a couple of days now and I have to get it off my chest. On Thursday I was out with my mummy friends. We do an exercise class and then out for coffees/lunch at the local cafe. It’s great we have a fantastic time and its good fun to catch up and swap baby stories, ask questions and just be with other adults and out of the house. I look forward to Thursdays every week! We are a diverse group of mums, ranging in age, culture, breastfeeding, bottlefeeding, etc etc. And the best part about it – is there is no mummy shaming in our group. We support each other in our choices and help out each other when we can always providing a listening ear and perhaps advice if needed.

So as a breastfeeding mummy, I don’t feel ‘ashamed’ per se to feed my beautiful bubs when she needs. I am quite happy to feed her in the cafe and continue having my coffee and enjoying the conversation. And I am not the only one. I have never felt shamed or awkward about feeding my baby in public. I’m discreet about it, I will say that, not flashing everyone in sight. But to me it’s natural and let’s be honest you see more of my breasts when I wear a bikini. So let’s not get all freaked out about it, ok. Great now moving on to my ‘rant’ I guess. A new mum joined our group this week. Fantastic! Love new friends and bubs joining us. But we got on the conversation of breastfeeding or bottlefeeding and I had asked what she does, a breastfeeding mama as well. But the next comment out of her mouth struck me “but I won’t feed in public!”. Ok fine, to each their own, it’s her choice, but her reasoning. Because she is afraid of what someone might say to her. That got me. I felt hurt for her. She is so afraid at one someone else might think or say that she won’t do it. Since when is breastfeeding anyone’s business but mummy and baby’s? Since when does someone else have the right to comment on what a mother is doing for her child? Again it’s natural, she is nourishing her baby and giving her the best start she can in life. There is no way she should have ever been or be made to feel ashamed about how she feeds her child.And the best part about it -is we have a right to breastfeed. That’s right it is against the law to discriminate against a woman for breastfeeding and she is allowed to do so when and where she likes. Don’t believe me check out this link “The Right to Breastfeed”.

We need to normalize breastfeeding! And fast! This crazy world that we live that thinks that women should not be using what their beautiful bodies have in order to nourish their children is absurd. Fifty years ago this would never have been an issue. This is just the way that babies were fed and there was no shame in it. Formula was not around and there was not a push for mothers to stop breastfeeding and switch to formula. Why we think formula is better than 3 million years of evolution is beyond me. I will not hide away in a bathroom to feed my child because you are uncomfortable. If you don’t like it – don’t look. Again I am not flaunting it in your face so this should not be an issue. I feel where we live is quite progressive and I have not run in to a single issue breastfeeding in public here, and it makes me wonder what this mother’s previous experiences have been. It makes me a bit sad, that she has felt she had to consciously make this decision. And then that got me to thinking again…haha never a good thing. What would I say or do if someone actually said anything to me? Well let me tell you, I have an argument that would tear a strip up and down someone so fast they will wish they would have just kept their mouth shut! Backed up with facts and a lack of sleep you will wish you never crossed this mama bear. I will save you the brunt of it my lovely readers, but I pity the fool who dare to comment.

That being said I am travelling home to Canada in the next month and wonder if my experiences will be the same there or if I will run in to more negativity about breastfeeding and especially in public. At least I know that I have every right to feed my baby and no one can tell me to leave or actually pass judgement. “The Ontario Human Rights Code (the Code) is a law that provides for equal rights and opportunities and recognizes the dignity and worth of every person in Ontario. The Code makes it against the law to discriminate against someone or to harass them because of sex, including pregnancy and breastfeeding”. So again I should have nothing to worry about.

Sorry about the rant, just needed to get it off my chest.

Lots of love to all you breastfeeding mamas and supporters! xx

 

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