Breasts, Apes and Bare Cheeks

Oh breastfeeding.
The never ending topic of debate, passion, heartache and judgement.
The gift that all women bear, but unfortunately not all women can always easily do.
The most amazing thing in the world for a mother, a mammal like all mammals, to be able to nourish her child; and yet the most heartbreaking thing when a mother feels like she failed her child.

All mammals nurse their offspring.
Yet for some reason, humans receive the most crap about it.
Mammary comes from the Latin word, "mammae."
Mammae referring to the sound a baby makes when looking for their mother's breast.

The most amazing and intricate part of a woman's body.
A hidden little factory that makes enough milk to feed a village.
Women only have breasts for one, God given reason.
And if you don't believe in God and believe we evolved from apes, then it still doesn't change the purpose of a boob.

How do we think Jesus ate?
I highly doubt Mary hid him under a cover to feed him or stood in a bathroom stall to nurse him.
He's proud of the fact that I'm breastfeeding, and he's proud of the efforts of those who tried.
He's proud of the fact that I'm not hiding.

Why should we hide the most natural thing in the world?
You don't hide to feed a baby a bottle, so why should I hide to feed my baby with the tools God intended?
Why do you find it rewarding to tell me to hide?
Don't you know that YOU can control what you see?

No one asked you to look.
I didn't pop my tit out for your satisfaction.
But seeing is believing.
And you better believe that, yes, my child is suckling from my breast as we speak.

Why do you believe that I'm doing something wrong?
Why can't you just believe that I'm doing what is best for my child?
Believe in something that is ancient and natural; something that so many others work hard at and cry endlessly for hours when they feel as if they've failed.
Believe me when I say that your mean words hurt.

Breastfeeding can sometimes hurt physically and emotionally.
I've had cracked nipples that have bled and breasts swollen painfully hard.
The sheer exhaustion that I've faced to get to where I am as a nursing mother took hard work.
My heart hurts when I think about ending our breastfeeding journey, something you know nothing about.

Breastfeeding isn't rocket science, but isn't also not the easiest thing in the world.
I've pumped at work countless times a day inside of a cold, dark storage closet.
Why can't you accept this extra "work" that I am doing and tell me "good job mama?"
Instead you tell me that a sign that reads "Pumping In Progress" is offensive to my co workers.

I never meant to offend you.
Actually, I never even thought about you, I just thought about the life that is thriving 
and living off of the milk that I am providing.
I'm sorry that you think I am offensive and distasteful.
But if you thought that my breast was offensive, then I can't wait to see how you feel
 about my bare cheeks as I bend over for you to kiss them.

Inspired by learning (like an hour ago) that many places of work find it offensive to place a sign on the door that says, "Woman Pumping In Progress" or anything along those lines. Why must we continue to hide to feed our child in the most natural way possible? How can we ever normalize breastfeeding if we can't even say that we're "pumping?"  I do not work, as I am a stay at home mother, but for everyone who deals with the bull crap at their work when it involves pumping, my heart aches for you. 

This was written for every person who has ever felt like they were being judged for breastfeeding in public, judged for pumping at work and judged for even nursing their child to begin with. One day, ONE day, public breastfeeding and pumping at work will be much more accepted. 

At least we can hope. 

Now, that was my rant for the day. 

Happy Weekend! Sasha
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