As an Australian Mum, I am very fortunate to live in a country where my legal right to breastfeed anytime anywhere is acknowledged. And where, for the most part, women can breastfeed their child without someone making a fuss.
Yet, as a mother, I can tell you I have experienced the constant lurking worry that someone will object to me feeding my child. Or, even if they don’t object, I still worry they are unhappy or uncomfortable in my presence.
When I was a young adult, I worked in a cafe. I’d never been around anyone who breastfed and I knew nothing about it. I completely admit that when a customer fed her child, I felt awkward. I didn’t know how to look at her face to take her order and I bluffed an attitude of being totally comfortable with it.
Now, with three children who have all been breastfed in plenty of cafes and other public places, I look back on that ignorance and cringe. I wonder if, perhaps, this had an impact on the issues I experienced with breastfeeding. Never having seen it, I had no idea how to do it. Maybe if I had been surrounded by it in an everyday sense, the entire process would have been less overwhelming.
I believe that the idea of normalizing breastfeeding is not about throwing breastfeeding in the public’s face. Rather, I see it as a way of letting everyone realize how incredibly every day breastfeeding a child is.
My hope is that by getting the image of a breastfeeding mother out there that feeding our children will become a part of the scenery rather than a discomforting sight. And maybe it might help future mothers to understand a little bit more about the art of nursing a child.
This post was written by a mum who works at Mamaway.