Today's events reawakened something deep inside my soul. I could not get my fingers to the keyboard fast enough to get this post out! For those of you who are not my personal Facebook friends let me fill you in. I posted a beautiful picture of my toddler nursing. The comments and attacks on the photo from acquaintances would have broken most women. I am not most women. Here are the three things I have to say about it.
1. This may seem petty, viewing this from online BUT it couldn't be further from petty. The verbal assault on my picture is EXACTLY why I am so passionate about normalizing breastfeeding. The fact that this is the kind of discrimination and attacks facing women every single day when all they are trying to do is feed their child. Could I feed my child without posting pictures on facebook? Absolutely. BUT I post them to give confidence to that new mom who thinks she can’t leave her house while breastfeeding. I post them for that pregnant mom to be whose entire support system bottle fed and is not supportive of her wanting to breastfeed. For that mom who is absolutely and completely enamored by her new little one who wants to post pictures of them all day long, but is afraid to because all their newborn is doing is breastfeeding. I would take these attacks ALL DAY LONG every single day for the rest of my life if it gives ONE mom the courage to do what she feels is best for her child!
2. Days like today are why I’m so glad that the laws are on our side! The state of North Carolina offers protection to the breastfeeding mother allowing her to feed her child anywhere she is otherwise legally allowed to be. ALSO, Facebook is pretty damn awesome and also protects these photos! “Yes. We agree that breastfeeding is natural and beautiful and we're glad to know that it's important for mothers to share their experiences with others on Facebook.” That is what Facebook has to say. You can report the pictures till your fingers turn blue and they will NOT be removed. If it makes you feel better, report away. It gives me a little giggle every time I get a notification!
3. I will not back down from my parenting choices! It was MY choice to breastfeed my child, my choice to NATURAL TERM breastfeed my child until she decides she’s done. And just like I’m defending my choices until I’m blue in the face, as YOUR Postpartum Doula, I will go to bat for you and defend whichever choices you choose to make for your own child! No one should feel bullied, intimidated or harassed for doing what they feel is best for their own flesh and blood.
This post may come across a little “I am woman, hear me roar!” But I am. And you will.