The one where the woman approaches me about breastfeeding

I'm standing in the well lit lobby of the Freeman Coliseum for my cousin's high school graduation.
Kids are walking to and fro, chattering and laughing. A teenage couple a few yards away is arguing.

And there I am, hands strategically placed as I nurse Rowan in the Boba. I'm leaning against the wall, looking at her and back at the people around me. This goes on for at least 5 minutes.

Suddenly an older woman and her preschool age daughter approach me.
"I just want to let you know you're doing a good thing, and keep it up." she tells me.
"It's the best thing for them." I feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside.

Can I stop right here and say how odd it is for this to happen?
The closest thing I've come is when I attended a friend's wedding and I nursed Rowan as a newborn.
A woman across the room smiled at me and through a grin mouthed, "Good job."

I have mixed feelings on this one.

I do believe, as most people do, that breast is best. There is science to back this up.
I think encouragement is wonderful for moms who struggle to nurse their babies.
And I totally felt some crunchy cred when I received accolades for simply feeding my baby but really that's just it.
I was just feeding my baby.

Has it become so commonplace now to see mothers bottlefeed (or maybe hide somewhere to nurse) that it is worthy of praise when a mother is seen simply breastfeeding her child?
It is a little sad.

The other side of me thinks what if I were bottlefeeding Rowan instead? Would this woman have just muttered to herself how I'm just like all of the others who "gave up" on breastfeeding?
Surely no one is going to praise me for feeding my baby via bottle.

I almost felt guilty about feeling good about this encounter. What does that say about me? That I think I am better than bottle feeders? I enjoyed the connection to a stranger over something so intimate but then there is that issue. Was it really any of her business to talk to me about it?

Things to ponder...

1 comment:

  1. It always annoyed me when people asked if I was going to breastfeed River when I was pregnant with him. So what if I am? So what if I'm not? What do you have to say about it? Why is it your business, anyway? And then half the replies I got when I said I planned to were "oh GOD, good luck, it's awful, I didn't last for three weeks." Wow, thanks for the encouragement. As much as a "lactivist" as I am (because I am, I really am, haha) I never ask a pregnant woman if she is going to breastfeed. None of my business.