Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Breastfeeding: USA Women Need Support

Yes they do. Most women breastfeed or don't, the research says, based on a decision before the baby comes. But why do the legions of women quit early or never start when they know it is good for them and great for the baby? I have an idea: the woman is either a narcisstic, self-centered person who fears losing her body or wants to get back to work without the hassle or societal pressures make it nearly impossible to easily nurse. Or both.

A woman may not want to sacrifice so much while being shunned socially and losing her body at the same time. Who would do that, right? Let's see: Leers from men, dirty looks from older ladies (remember Barbara Walters stupidness?), public facilities which force women into dirty bathrooms if they want to breastfeed privately (mostly to avoid the leering and sneering), no time or facility at work conducive to the task, a woman must be extraordinarily confident and willing to suffer publicly to breastfeed.

Today, I am such a woman--when it comes to breastfeeding anyway. My child has been breastfed at the top of the Empire State Building (I kid not) and at every Disney theme park in Orlando, Florida--and not at the nursing stations only (who can walk ten miles with a crying baby to nurse? come on.)

But with the first kid, I nursed in dirty bathrooms (are there any other kind?) mostly to spare my child-free girlfriend embarassment. She had made very judgemental comments about her sister-in-law not having the sense to go to the bathroom to nurse. Very subtle.

What an idiot I was to be bullied. But as a new mom, you're not necessarily all pulled together in the baby department. You actually remember a time when your breast belonged to you and was a playground for your spoiled husband. No more. But as a new mother you're still trying to cling to some dignity.

Dignity? Buwahahaaaa! Time to do anything else? Eeeee heeee. (Evil shriek) That goes when children come. Women and men need to be taught what mammaries are for (and their primary purpose is to not to keep Hugh Hefner perpetually infantile): they are to feed babies. It's a boob with the perfect food.

Use it with pride, Sistuh!
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