Why Do We Stop Prematurely…

…I had a delightful call today from a young lady who made nursing bibs. These are similar I am sure to the “hooter hiders” who due to poor name marketing changed to http://www.bebeaulait.com/. I told her politely that I did not want to sell anything like that because I felt it made a statement of shame in regards to breastfeeding- not just discretion but that the statement was that the mom should be hiding her breasts to nurse.

She asked some great questions regarding moms who were concerned about nursing publicly and felt they wanted discretion. I do sell mobeleez nursing bonnets for nursing discreetly- but it does not seem the same to me…does not scream- I am hiding my breasts and I am breastfeeding like I feel the bibs do. I encourage women to nurse in public- not in a nasty, germ filled bathroom- and to wear clothing that encourages ease at getting the baby latched on without flashing their breasts. (Although in our state you can flash all you want when nursing in any public place- you do not have to be discreet. We worked hard to make sure the law did not say that since it is so discretionary in what someone feels is discreet.) But…

I feel like if a mom tucks the corner of the blanket into her bra strap at the top and into the back band of her pants the blanket stays put. And for the baby who despises and fights with the blanket a nice bonnet helps and also wearing a button down shirt and a cami or nursing bra underneath and then buttoning the shirt from the top and leaving it open at the bottom also offers a great deal of discretion.

But we also talked about how her mom told her that you must wean a baby before they will potty train. And that the whiny, clingy stage that some babies go through is totally due to the nursing too- and they will not outgrow it until she weans. Hogwash!

So I thought about why we nurse for such a short period of time and here are my thoughts- I would love yours…

1. We just don’t fully understand the benefits of nursing past the first few months- if we did we would continue it.
2. We get so much flack from others who do not understand the value of nursing that they wear us down.
3. We are still not the “norm” in our society so folks give us strange looks or comments.
4. We feel we need our lives back- and therefore we consider ourselves more highly than the baby or toddler who wants to nurse
5. Others make us feel we are strange for continuing to nurse and we cave to pressure from them.
6. We never did get the nursing in public thing down and we hate being banished every time we need to nurse.
7. Being banished led us to using bottles and now nursing is not something that the baby does very often- soon weaning.
8. We are afraid that if we don’t wean the baby we will have a nursing teenager- have you ever really seen a nursing teenager?
9. We want our bodies back- we are tired of leaking- tugging- being demanded of- hmmm not sure if motherhood is what you are seeking to get away from here since nursing is not the cause – it is you have a baby or toddler!
10. We think the baby will…sleep better at night…sleep better during the day…gain faster…gain less…potty train…whine less…like others more…whatever.
11. We are afraid when they get teeth that they will bite.
12. We want to get pregnant again… or we want to go on birth control and not get pregnant again.
13. We think we will be happier if we quit nursing- although now you just got rid of the prolactin that was making you happier.
14. We want to diet- hmmm did you realize how many more calories you can have when you nurse?
15. We are afraid it will cause our breasts to sage…afterall look at National Geographics natives- could it be no support of their breasts all their lives? hmmm
16. We have sore nipples – hmmm a good latch will deal with this almost immediately. It is a lie that you have to get sore nipples when you nurse!
17. Rather than help a mom to learn to breastfeed, others including the medical establishment suggests supplementing and then it is a short time before milk production is diminished.
18. We don’t know anyone else who is doing this- join La Leche League!
19. We see breasts only as sexual objects- we failed to understand why God made them- maybe they can be a two- fer!
20. We start offering solids- cereal is a solid ladies- and that is like giving dessert instead of a main course to our babies and soon they are not interested in what is best for them… wonder if they will ever brush their teeth when they are older?

It is disturbing to me that we have made breastfeeding such a difficult thing over the years. The ads in the magazines show the breastfeeding mom alone and banished in the nursing chair in the bedroom alone- while the bottle feeding mom has a cute husband- happy baby- huge diamond and is well dressed and out in the public having fun! It is a lie! But we have bought it!

I almost wish we could have a huge number of “brazen” women who would start nursing really indiscreetly in public- now wait before you say it will give nursing a bad name- perhaps it will become so common place that it causes no reaction at all… kinda like Victoria Secret bra ads on television with scantily clad women… or bikinis on the public beaches that only cover her pubic patch and her nipples… or violence on television… we have become numb to that. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if when a mom met her baby’s needs by unbuttoning her blouse and putting her nursling to her breast it did not cause a stir- instead elicited a smile!

Pinch me I must be dreaming!