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Friday, June 19, 2009

NIP still not normal

Breast is best.
So everyone says.
The American Medical Association promotes it.
Most pediatricians will tell new mothers that breastmilk is the best food for their growing babies.
Then why oh why are mommies expected to first express it into a bottle before feeding it to their babies?
And if, horror of all horrors, we decide to let the babes suckle the magic milk straight from our breasts why are we expected to cover up said breast?
Nursing in public is still somewhat tabboo here in the U.S.
When I was pregnant I remember an older co-worker telling me how she used to go sit in bathroom stalls to nurse her boys in the early 1980s.
Another female co-worker came in to work one morning and rushed to tell me about this really cool tent-like contraption she saw a woman using to nurse her babe in a restaurant the night before.
"It kept her covered and the baby was able to eat in private!" She regaled me while I wondered why on earth a baby needs privacy to eat.
When I first started nursing, I carefully kept my breasts covered while I held my often wriggling daughter in one arm, unlatched my bra and stuck my her head under the covers of my shirt and a blanket.
In May.
In Texas.
Earlier this week a woman on my online Attachment Parenting group wrote a scathing account of being verbally assaulted while out for a jog, needing to nurse her baby and realizing she had nothing to drape over herself, so she nursed anyway, exposing herself.
The attacker, a woman, said my friend was being rude, was disgusting and told her to go do that in the barn with the other animals.
And this is Austin. It's a pretty liberal town. I've been told that being topless is legal here, although I don't know it for a fact.
And another thing.
MEN don't have to cover up their tits when they are in public and they don't even need to be bare chested for any reason other than to keep cool! How fair is that?
Luckily for me, I've dropped that puritan attitude about my breasts.
Are they sexual parts of my body? Sure, sometimes.
But they are also a way for me to nourish my child physically and emotionally.
I'm not going to cover that up.
No way.
No how.
I'm here. I'm bare-breasted. Get used to it.

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