Meet the next mama in our Moms in Focus Series: Vanessa! She is the mom to four darling children and she is an advocate for breastfeeding. In her discussion, she mentions how she has felt judged for breastfeeding. Please read snippets from her discussion below and follow the link at the end to read the discussion in its entirety.
“I’m a part-time working, part-time stay-at-home mom of four children. I lived and worked in the city of Chicago for 10 years in a fast-paced career in marketing/advertising of consumer packaged goods. I decided to re-invent myself, to seek out something meaningful to me that I felt passionate about, and pursued a second career as a lactation consultant. I now work as a lactation consultant both in a hospital setting as well as in the private practice I established in 2015.”
“I’ve felt judged by others for extended breastfeeding of my children and breastfeeding in public. Cumulatively, I’ve breastfed for 7+ years. I breastfed all of my children at least one year, with my second child continuing for 2-1/2 years and my fourth child for over 2-1/2 years and counting. Once I became comfortable with nursing in public, I’ve confidently and comfortably nursed out and about discreetly but without feeling the need to ‘cover up.’”
“It has made me feel hurt and angry when judged. When comments have been made, I have tried to take the emotion out of my response and respond by sharing my beliefs and educating the person making the comment. As far as nursing in public goes, I believe that the more we see moms breastfeeding their babies, the more ordinary it becomes. And the more moms see it, the more comfortable they are doing it.”
“I believe breastfeeding is a natural, beautiful thing and shouldn’t be shamed or covered up. In terms of extended breastfeeding, I believe breastfeeding is a gift for as long as a mom decides to give it. I respect mom’s decision to feed baby how she chooses and for as long as she chooses and I desire that same respect.”
“Most of us moms strive to do the best we can! None of us are perfect. It goes back to the basic principle of “treat others how you would like to be treated.” I would love for us to listen to each other, teach each other, learn from each other and support each other.”
Thank you for participating in the series, Vanessa! To read Vanessa's discussion on judgment related to breastfeeding, please visit A Life From Scratch. And stay tuned for more mamas!