Turning Shame Into Support Of Breastfeeding Moms
When my daughter was ten months old, she was still breastfeeding around the clock. She refused to take a bottle so I was pretty much her only source of liquid. Thankfully, she did eat food to supplement her diet.
Even though I was still producing a lot of milk, the initial perkiness that had been such a welcome change to my rack (hello, cleavage!) was starting to wane. But whatever I (still) had, I was happy to flaunt.
It was around that time that I attended a friend’s wedding. Thankful that I had a dress to fit me, I was excited to dress up for such an important event.
A Frustrating Turn of Events
Sadly, what I remember most is a comment made to me by a friend of a friend, who was actually a nursing mother herself at the time.
She looked at me and said, “Wow, you can really tell which side your daughter likes to eat on more!”
I was aghast.
I looked down and noticed that yes, my left breast looked plumper than my right one. But not to the point that it warranted a comment. Clearly that was going to be the side my baby nursed on next. But my left breast was always a bit bigger than my right. That’s just how I am!
Thinking back to that moment, I probably should’ve said something to stand up for myself but I was stunned. I think I just mumbled in agreement.
Taking A Stand
What troubled me more than her calling out my boob in public (in front of a few other acquaintances, I should add) was that she, as a new mom, should have been the first to support me, not tear me down.
Every woman will tell you that breastfeeding is challenging. First it’s a challenge for baby to latch, then for you to produce milk. Then, if you’re lucky, the pain will eventually subside and you’ll go on to nurse baby for the next several months or even years. You may encounter awful side effects like thrush or plugged ducts. You may have to deal with mastitis. Or you might not have to deal with any of that stuff because you and baby were just never able to make breastfeeding work. We work hard to make breastfeeding and pumping easier with our stylish nursing tops and pumping shirts. Just one small thing to improve the lives of moms everywhere.
After that encounter, I always make sure to offer words of encouragement to every new mom. I’ve been there and done that and know how much a moment of support can really be of benefit. Every day should be Mother's Day.
I don’t know if that mom ever saw the error of her ways, but her behavior certainly inspired me. I hope it motivates you too.
The information contained on this site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician and/or lactation consultant.