I’m gonna begin this by saying I’m not a lactavist or even all that knowledgable about nursing rights. Basically, I won’t be referencing any bills passed or incidences where a woman was shamed for nursing at a target or anything.
But I had gotten into a bit of a war about if nursing photos on Instagram were appropriate with a bunch of people who weren’t even mothers and it was just a hot mess that lead to flagged nursing photos and people comparing breastfeeding in public to sexual acts in public. And I didn’t even know where to go from there. But I’ve had time to collect my thoughts and decide what nursing photos on Instagram mean to me. This is what I came up with:
No woman should ever be ashamed of or cover up her child eating. If a mom formula feeds, for any reason,she should be able to proudly share photos of her infant eating no different than she would proudly share photos of her infants first bath or chewing on their favorite toy. She shouldn’t fear any other mom judging her for not nursing.
The same right should be given to nursing moms. I proudly show off my sweet little Mila eating no different then I proudly share her sitting up, or blinking. It has nothing to do with my breast being seen for sexual purposes.
But why all the hashtags? And using the term “breast is best”? Because breastfeeding is the best feeding. And more women will be successful at it if they feel supported by their spouse, family, and peers.
The other day as we were walking to a restaurant Mila was trying to latch on but I wanted to just get to our destination. The moment we were seated I just started nursing Mila. Mom instincts kicked in and any modesty went out the window. I looked up at Justin and assumed he would have been so embarrassed. The waitress was trying to hand us menus as I’m trying to latch a baby on. But he wasn’t affected at all. Just smiled and said “oh whatever! She was hungry!” And didn’t seem to even notice that I was nursing.
Maybe it’s because he sees me nursing Mila all day every day and he is oblivious to it, or normalized to nursing (or is it nursing has been normalized to him? ). I want everyone to be so used to seeing it that there is no reaction other than “oh cute! A baby eating”. Just like if I pulled a bottle out of a diaper bag.
So avoid saying things like “cover up” or “why does she have to post photos of her nursing? Shouldn’t that be private?” Because all your doing is shaming nursing. Which may discourage a mom from breastfeeding.
but here, the huffington post said it much better than me: