Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Right On Mama

I have a New Years Resolution to live healthier. In doing this, I have started joining a friend and walking around the mall every afternoon, Mon-Thurs while her oldest is in school. We push our little ones in strollers, or wear them in carriers. I will admit it is normally the stroller since we are there for 2+ hours.
Since with travel time I am normally away for 3 hours or more, there is usually a need to breastfeed Lil Man during this time. Today, when that need arose, I decided to search out a bench to settle in and get comfortable. With Lil Man being easily distracted I was gravitating towards a quite bench, away from the flow of the main stores, near a barely used entrance. However, I remembered that I had made a decision to nurse in public, and felt it was especially important at this mall, where I have only ever one time seen a baby being breastfed- and it was by my best friend 4 years ago. Also, the fact that I had seen several small babies with their mothers in the mall made me want to do this even more. I wanted to send a message that breastfeeding in general, but even more so in public, is something you should not have to do in a back corner of the mall near the cold air coming in through an entrance.
With my renewed sense of my personal duty to breastfeed in public, I found a bench next to the escalator that leads to the food court. Plenty of foot traffic that would see me, yet slightly away from the path traveled by most- hopefully far enough to let Lil Man focus on eating. His eagerness to explore has made him easily distracted in recent weeks. Not just from site (as I use a cover to help with this) but with sound.
As I sat there, breastfeeding Lil Man, a slightly older gentleman, who appeared to be *crunchy* in nature (some may use the term Hippie) passed by. He smiled at me, flashed a peace sign and said "Right on Mama!"
"Right On Mama!" I sat there, nursing my son, and could not help but smile. Right on Mama echoed in my mind. Yes- Right On! I felt like he had not only said this statement to me, but to breastfeeding mothers everywhere-
So I just want to say to those who breastfeed, have breastfed, and those who plan to breastfeed "Right On Mama!" Right on for providing such wonderful nourishment to your little one. Right on for nursing in public and setting an example. Right on for being so selfless and to give of your sleep, mobility, and any other personal indulgence that you give up to nurse your child. Right on for sticking up for breastfeeding pages like The Leaky B@@B on facebook.
Keep up the good work. Share the love of breastfeeding. Help others to realize that breastfeeding is natural and beautiful. Help others to understand the many benefits to both mom and baby when a mother chooses to breastfeed. Every time you stand up for breastfeeding, nurse in public, or encourage a mother to breastfeed- remember to tell yourself "Right On Mama!"

1 comment:

Sara said...

Becca, I BF at our mall all the time when I had nursing babies. It was interesting to see the reactions of people. However, I will never forget the time when an older lady came up to me and asked to see my baby. I thought about it for a minute, decided that since it was a woman asking I didn't really mind, and I carefully moved the blanket just enough so that you could see my daughter but I was still nearly completely covered. The look on her face was quite funny as she made a connection between the baby with the open mouth and the blanket over her. Her mouth formed a little "o" of surprise, and she said, "You're breastfeeding in public?!" I said, "yes." There was no, "oh, such a nice baby, so pretty." like everyone else who saw my daughter said. This incident was after I decided that there was no need for me to go hide in the bathroom to nurse my daughter. Why should we be uncomfortable when you can nurse very discreetly. Most times people just thought she was sleeping under there. So, I'm pretty sure that when I get to be a grandma, I'm gonna be giving the girls nursing their babies the thumbs up, and saying good job! keep it up!