Mother of God of the Milk
I just read some very good news on another one of my soapbox obsessions – breastfeeding. The Navajo Nation has passed a resolution guaranteeing breastfeeding rights for working mothers and assuring them a place to pump or nurse their babies. (Though I wonder why this is such a good deal for moms when it’s unpaid leave. How much you wanna bet me the smokers are getting paid during their smoke breaks! Think of how much leave time you’re saving when those moms have to take less leave time to stay home with sick babies.)
You find much less information in breastfeeding books and popular parenting magazines about the business of breastfeeding and pumping much beyond three months and even less about nursing the older baby or toddler – that’s because a lot of mothers stop after that point, the point when their maternity leave is up and they have to return to work. A lot of research has tracked the major cut-off points for breastfeeding and the biggies are two weeks (just about the time those first growth spurts happen and mothers begin to doubt their ability to adequately meet their baby’s needs) and three months.
Way to go Navajo Nation on your first steps to breastfeeding progress! (Couldn’t you just maybe see those moms get paid during their break time?) Nursing and breastfeeding need to become as natural and important in the parenting process as we’ve made the acceptance of dads in the delivery room and car seats. I know from experience that it isn’t easy to make all the pieces work, but if you persevere, you’re going to have a healthier, happier baby.
I’ve pumped on planes. I’ve pumped in rain. I’ve pumped on a boat. I’ve pumped under coats. I’ve nursed in stores. I’ve nursed doing chores. I’ve nursed in plain view. I’ve nursed toddlers too. You cannot make me nurse in loos, you cannot make me nurse when you choose. I am a nursing mom you see and my baby’s needs are what matter to me. Not your sense of body shame, not your rigid moral blame. Not your disapproving stares, not your outdated parenting cares. Don’t give me those dirty looks or those horrible Babywise books. Keep your bottlefeeding opinions to yourself and put that formula back on the shelf.