Why I Chose Not to Expose Myself in Public
As a mom who chose to breastfeed, there is a lot of pressure that comes with it before and after your baby comes into the world.
About 8 months into my pregnancy, I had a lot of friends suggest going to a La Leche League group for breastfeeding support. I researched quite a few, but always felt hesitant on attending.
The idea of breastfeeding also made me extremely uncomfortable. The idea of having a little person be physically attached to your boob with their mouth is, well, weird. I also know a lot of women that struggled with breastfeeding because of extremely horrific things that had happened to them physically at some point in their life, and hearing about their vulnerability made me feel vulnerable as well.
I had an encounter with a few people that were very supportive of the idea of breastfeeding in public, but not in the empowering sense. Instead, I felt pressured into feeling comfortable with feeding my baby, uncovered. This made me completely overwhelmed and nervous, and I started second guessing the idea of even breastfeeding.
I began to research the benefits of breastfeeding, and realized how incredibly nutritious and beneficial it is to your little person. Knowing that, motivated me to the idea again.
I was gifted a nursing cover(or, as I like to call them, titty tuckers) and can't even begin to describe the feeling of relief that overcame me. I have always been a very private person, but having the ability to add a sense of privacy and feed my child(for free, I might add), was so relieving.
Some of you may be mortified, or assume that I am one of "those" people that will approach you and tell you how "disgusting" it is. Before you jump to this conclusion, let me explain more of my intention by writing all of this...
Every woman's story is different. Every woman has a reason for why they choose to, or not to breastfeed. But, because we live in a free country, we are allowed to make that choice. Some women are physically unable to feed, or they lose their supply because of different physical circumstances(I lost mine after 6 months), or they don't feel comfortable.
Here's the punch line:
I chose to cover myself because the only person who had the opportunity to see my boobs was my husband, and it made me massively uncomfortable knowing that my dad, brother, father-in-law, brother-in-law, or guy friend's would have the opportunity to see them as well. Again, that is how I feel and is my choice.
A lot of women feel pressured in this new generation of motherhood to breastfeed, and I need to encourage you to do what YOU feel comfortable with. If you don't want to breastfeed, don't. If you want to cover yourself, do it. We as mothers have this terrible knack for pressuring new mothers into ideas that they don't feel comfortable with, all the while forgetting that we need a support system in keeping our babies alive and loving them while we figure out how. We are already afraid, because we just brought a human into the world and now have to take care of them! We don't need people scolding us for our choice on breastfeeding, vaccinations, diapering, tv time, schedules, pacifiers, education, etc..
So please, for the love, stop. Just high-five your mom friends, because they are kicking ass. They just saved their kid from choking on a marble they swallowed.