Friday, 27 January 2012

(Day 56) Breastfeeding - in PUBLIC!

I am cheating today, posting a photo of day 55 in day 56 (naughty Mummy!) but I really, reaaaally wanted to include this photo of you breast feeding at the baby naming ceremony for Australia Day. 

As many babies were wriggling around and excitedly ogling all of their new baby friends, you and your bestie Sophie (featured in the background behind your big sister) were happily having a feed, oblivious to the fuss - and nowhere near the makeshift 'feeding room'! 

Sophie's mum and I have talked a lot about this in the last 8 weeks and have come to the conclusion that we are both happy to feed you and Sophie wherever you happen to be hungry. Not in a toilet, and not locked away somewhere (as if we are doing something that should be hidden), and not always in the baby change room (which is sometimes the size of a very small closet, and crammed with 50 Mums, all trying to feed babies, warm bottles, entertain toddlers and change dirty nappies). 

Some of the baby feeding rooms are very civilised, with their own little cubicles, some with an added television, and feeding chairs, but with toilet locks on the doors so that you can sit in there, in solitary confinement, for however long it takes for babies to feed, locked away from public view. 

I would prefer not to be locked away. 

I would prefer that you are able to eat in a restaurant if we are eating in a restaurant. 

I would prefer that you be able to eat at a park bench if we are eating at a park bench.

I would prefer that we be able to sit and talk with friends and family when you are thirsty, rather than being locked in a stuffy little room with lots of other Mummy's who are also locked in their little rooms, not talking to each other (it is a bit hard through locked doors). 

I love that your big brother, in particular, is learning that breasts are for food for babies, so that when he grows up to be a man, he might not be one of the (many, many) men who stare at me while I am feeding you in a public space (with no breast visible whatsoever) as if they weren't aware that this is what breasts were for! 

And I love that as we were waiting today, in a room full of new babies, for a certificate from the mayor, that you and Sophie were able to have a quick feed (rather than running off to find a feeding room) and be on time to meet the mayor, happy and content, with a belly full of milk 


Pamela said...

I remember the first few times I fed my daughter in public... It was nerve wracking, waiting for someone to say something about it.
But after a while, it was just normal. She had as much right to eat at the table not a toilet as anyone else.
And nobody ever said a thing.
Well done! Lunch is lunch wether it is served on a plate, from a bottle or a breast. :)

leaha said...

Go mama! i feed everywhere too :)

Rebecca keals said...

Wow, good on you, I remember the looks I got as I breastfed each of my children as they were younger, especially as they grew out of their baby phase but I never once let those looks drive me into a toilet cubicle or "feeding room", if you look at how some of the adults eat in food courts, I think it may be them who needs a "Feeding Room" not our little babies. It is so lovely to have the luxury of food on tap for little ones and its such a comfort to them too. I hope that one day society accepts that it is completely natural and embraces all mothers feeding their babies be it breast or bottle.

Hannah Joy said...

Oh hooray!!!! I totally agree. I think it's so gross that people expect babies to eat in a public toilet. Do any adults eat in public toilets?! Gross!! And, like you said, I think it's so incredibly important that men and women and children see breasts for their most beautiful and nourishing purpose. At least as much as they see boobs for their other uses ;)

Nicole said...

I so agree with your post! Lovely photo too!