Breastfeeding in Real Lifeby Elizabeth MacDonald
You can look at all the gorgeous photoshopped professional pictures -- heck, you can spend the money on a photographer and do a breastfeeding session! (Actually, I highly recommend one!! I LOVE my professional breastfeeding photos.) BUT -- There is a need for TRUTH. There is a need to #NormalizeBreastfeeding.
Breastfeeding is normal and natural - and the best form of nutrition for our babies, but somewhere along the decades, it became viewed as disrespectful to nurse in public places.
It became discouraged to breastfeed past a certain age.
It became normal to offer formula in combination with or instead of breastmilk from birth without medical need.
Decades ago, mothers were made to believe that their bodies didn't work right; that they were failing at nourishing their children naturally - and that formula was the superhero. Not only that, but EVERYONE began viewing breasts as purely sexual. No one wanted to see a woman feeding her child with her breasts. (GOD FORBID an actual child witnessed this heinous act!)
In more recent years, there has been a call to action - to normalize breastfeeding again - and it has taken off. Breastfeeding is now the popular choice again. Great! Although, I hate saying that it is 'popular' because this is not some big contest!
Formula is not the enemy.
There is a need for formula for many families -- but there should not be a big battle between it and breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding in Real Life
There is definitely a slight life change once you have a baby. (HAHA - slight.) Then comes the frustration, education, learning curve, exhaustion, and love. During this time, you learn to nurse your baby. I say 'nurse' instead of breastfeed because the term nursing implies that you take care of your baby instead of just feed him from your breast. Nursing your newborn - your baby - your toddler - even your 'older than toddler' is real. The professional photos make it look like a breeze, as if you are a magic fairy mother who has life perfectly cupped in your tiny hand. But that's not true. You are a nursing mom. You may or may not have your life together, but you are doing the best you can. This is nursing. This is nursing in REAL LIFE. (Thank you to everyone who donated pictures for this post! Thank you for sharing your real life!)
Beach and Boobs
5 hours post marathon - and life is back to normal.
Breastfeeding at Playdates
More beach; more boobs.
Who knew our nipples did this?
Real life is nursing through tantrums - and through your own frustrations.
When you do St. Patrick's Day in Savannah.
Bows are the perfect breastfeeding accessory.
Silly little elf!
Nursing is nighttime snuggles.
The view never gets old.
Walt Disney World supports breastfeeding!
Making airport layovers a little more bearable.
The only thing that makes the sunrise better is sharing this moment.