Thursday 10 October 2013

Got milk? A few thoughts on breastfeeding.

Selection of milk products
There is something quite gross about using cows milk for our food. It is produced to nourish calves yet for thousands of years we have also been consuming it ourselves. Our modern dairy breeds have been developed to provide far more milk than one calf would ever need. This is not to say that I don't use milk, I do. We love cheese and yogurt but when I overthink about what it is I can't help but cringe.
Which brings me to this image here. You may have seen it doing the rounds on facebook a while back. A mother feeding her child (which is, from some peoples point of view, obscene) in front of the milk that we take for granted. An interesting juxtaposition.

In the news the subject of breastfeeding and the intolerance that people have to put up with comes up on a regular basis. There is an excellent poem by Hollie McNish (here on youtube) about her experiences. It all sounds very negative and doesn't paint a good image of our society. But is this a true reflection of society?

I breast fed both of my babies. It was hard at first, it felt quite alien and both my son and I had to learn what to do. It certainly didn't feel natural at the beginning but we both settled into it and both of my children carried on until they self weaned at around 2/3 years. We didn't go out a great deal in the early months but when I did I never had any problems with breastfeeding in public. I am far from an exhibitionist but I never felt exposed (and I rarely was, baby hides all) and we just got on with things. Perhaps I was just lucky.

It would appear that I had an unusual upbringing with respect to breastfeeding. My mother breast fed all of my siblings and I also saw most of my aunts breastfeeding (I come from a large family). To me it was normal though my mother assures me that they were very much an oddity at that time! I wonder how much this has helped me with my own experiences feeding my children which I have always done with confidence.

I think that confidence is the key. Whenever you appear to be confident people are less inclined to make ignorant remarks. What would I have done if somebody had said something? I don't know. But I am glad that I never had to find out. And I'm glad that the negative breastfeeding coverage didn't stop me from trying.

No comments:

Post a Comment