Monday, July 16, 2007

the evolution of breastfeeding

when i had my daughter 2.5 years ago, i knew that i was going to breastfeed her.  there was no alternative in my mind and i never for one second considered that it might not work out. 

i was lucky.  india latched on like a professional within minutes and was breastfed until she was 18 months old.  i didnt really realize at the time that i was being political in any way; i was just feeding my baby.

i remember feeling slightly uncomfortable as i tried to feed her in a crowded waiting room, or feeding her in the car in a parking lot trying to make sure i was sufficiently covered up.  as india aged i felt even more self conscious and of course, i was faced with questions from family and friends about when i was going to stop breastfeeding my child.

we went on vacation when india was 13 months old to a colombian island in the caribbean and suddenly women everywhere on the island were smiling and nodding whenever i breastfed my daughter publicly.  these subtle approvals were warm and comforting and most importantly they reassured me that i was was doing a GOOD THING for my child. i went on to breastfeed her until she self weaned and i felt good about my accomplishments.

now that i have a son, i am much more confident when breastfeeding and i don't care where i am or who is in the room.  when my child needs to eat, i happily feed him.  i'm less concerned about covering up and making sure nothing is showing.  and you know what?  no one seems to mind one bit. 

so while i realize that what i'm doing is considered political - more importantly, it's just a human act of love.  and since my 4 month old weighs 19 pounds, it seems to be working out perfectly.  :)

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