Monday, May 23, 2011

Free Range Nursing

My youngest brother was born when I was five.  I have just one memory of my mother nursing him.  It was when two ladies from the church were over visiting.  My mother was sitting on the couch and had a blanket draped across herself and my nursing little brother.  This memory stands out because I was curious and confused about why my mom had a blanket over herself.  I'm guessing that means that wasn't her regular practice around the home. 

Owen was five when Wyatt was born.  I've never tried to cover up while nursing around the house.  I didn't see the point--nursing is an activity of mine and the baby's and it's simply a part of our family's lifestyle.  When Owen was a baby, I would bring a bottle of expressed milk to church for him, because "people" said that would be more convenient than nursing away from home.

It's six years later, and by now I've realized that nursing is the ultimate convenience.  It's a lot easier to nurse in public than gather all the supplies and go through all the steps of preparing to bottle-feed when outside the home.  Along with that it is easy to sit right where I am to nurse rather than go to a special nursing room (though sometimes I do--like when I want a nap).  And speaking of sleep--it's so easy to nurse a baby while sleeping at night.  And for all of this I do no extra work, and give it no additional worry.  I eat food when I'm hungry, drink water because it's healthy, and my body does all the rest.  I get a greater satisfaction from nursing my babies than any other mothering task I've participated in--knowing that it's doing only good, no harm. 

Breastfeeding is normal.  We are mammals after all.  My children see it and know it's normal.  My husband supports me--he knows it's normal.  It is normal; it is good.  So I nurse my babies without apology, and most of the time--without a cover.

Me and Wyatt at a campus event on Wyatt's birthday.

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