Sunday, January 9, 2011
Breastfeeding: A Difference in Culture
So Americans are boob people right? That's the theory anyway. Personally, I think they are Boob looking at people, not touch and interaction. It explains both the fascination with fake ones and their fear of breastfeeding. Cause let's be honest, they never feel real and what's the big deal with feeding a baby?
I really can't understand the last one. My boys were popped out in Brazil. I wasn't even allowed to bring a pacie into the public hospital my oldest was born in, much less a bottle. Actually, I had nurses in regularly harassing me to breastfeed him more. Let that milk come in! And oh did it ever.
Then came life. I had to leave the hospital and continue on with my life, baby and breast included. And you know what, that baby and breast came out wherever and whenever they needed to. Every member of our circle of friends, family, and any bystander nearby when I was on a walk got an eyeful of boobage.
And you know what, it was no big deal! Because, here's the shocker, it's not a big deal. I actually had a harder time with the amount of comfort Brazilians feel with breastfeeding as opposed to the other side. I had family coming up to look and love on the baby while on my breast. Awkward but apparently only for me.
Once my second came, I was practically pornographic with my breastfeeding. I guess I got a little too comfortable, as my husband actually asked me to be a little more modest. Obviously that set me off on a hormonal rage that was totally irrational and made my brother-in-law practically vow to never procreate. To say I feel strongly about breastfeeding is like saying I like to eat.
At the same time, to each their own. I feel that there is nothing worse than a miserable Mother breastfeeding. Energy, spirit, pheromones, whatever you believe, it passes to the mini-me. It is a personal choice... one that Americans do not appreciate.
That's what I don't get. Why we have to see every woman's ass crack from 10 yrs old to 50 but can't see a top of a breast is beyond me. At least the breast is being used for feeding. Unless you are stuffing hot dogs in that crack, I really don't need to see it.
So what's the big deal?! Does this country really have nothing to bitch about that we can be offended by a Mother feeding their child? Do we really find it disgusting and inappropriate? If that is the case, this economy really needs to drop. The comfort level needs to fall to a new low. If the US has reached a point where something so maternal and natural can be deemed NC-17, it is LOST.
I dear you breastfeeding haters out there, eat your lunch with a sheet over your head. Hell, half of you eat like starving mammoths. I'd love to send you to a special room to feed. Hell, if I have to cover up my hungry child, I don't want to see your ass inhaling a super-sized meal. Consider this a compromise.
Oops, got a little feisty there. Like I said, I feel passionately about breastfeeding. There is nothing better than milk, a little boob, and a snuggle. All you men agree, don't lie!
In this way, I have yet another reason to stay an expat, besides the fact that we really don't have another option. It is a universal fact that breastfeeding is the best choice and not the easiest, even in an accepting culture. Every time a woman pulls out her boob, it's a little bit of a "thing" for her, no matter how comfortable she is. I prefer to surround myself with people who understand that.
I will accept Brazilians telling me to put socks on my child in 90 degree weather, informing me that my child is too fat or skinny, and saying that they really should be walking instead of in a stroller (at 18 months in a big city). And I am happy to have a Grandmother ask me, as with my second, why they are taking a bottle at 8 months instead of the breast. You know why, because they actually care.
Wow, mind blowing caring about other people besides yourself.
Children are a compromise and there is no romancing that. Your job as a parent is to try your best to do your best for them. Your job as a society is to support that. I think we Americans forget that sometimes.
As for my regular readers, if you are wondering about this twist to the normal rants, as if there is a normal, it's because of Twitter. I follow a lot of Mommy Twitter Tweeters. You can find my page at @rachelsrantings.