I think in a world where breastfeeding has been sexualized, it’s incredibly important to normalize breastfeeding. Here are some practical ways to normalize breastfeeding other than just simply doing a #normalizebreastfeeding picture on Instagram. 😉 Though, I totally love looking at all those pics, mommas!
Talk about it. But be real.
I think it’s important to talk about breastfeeding especially with new moms or moms-to-be. Unfortunately too often, moms glamorize breastfeeding and talk it up to being something magical. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s AWESOME to breastfeed and I do LOVE it ( most days) but there are a lot of things that aren’t so wonderful.
I think it’s important to share the trials as well as the joy with other moms (cracked nipples, thrush, mastitis, exhaustion, milk puddles… you get my drift). When we don’t, it leads moms to think there is something wrong with them and that breastfeeding just isn’t in the cards for them. Which is why, I honestly think, a lot of moms give up with breastfeeding.
*Be intentional and talk about it. But don’t glamorize it to be something it isn’t. Share real experiences.
2. Breastfeed openly.
By me saying this, it is in no way condemning moms who don’t breastfeed publicly. But this is definitely a way to normalize it. Using a cover or not using a cover, it will still help make it more normalized! By breastfeeding openly, it shows there is nothing wrong with it and nothing sexual. Nothing we should be ashamed of.
“I am a fan of indiscreet breastfeeding; the more people see babies at the breast, the more normal it will become.” – Jack Newman
Here is a graph of states that allow public breastfeeding. It’s always good to know your rights!
3. Be pro-breastfeeding without being con-formula feeding.
What I mean by this is, respect other parents’ choices if you want them to respect yours. It’s like your momma always said, “Do unto others, as you wish to be done unto you.” I think a huge turn-off to breastfeeding from other moms is the stigma that comes with it that breastfeeding moms are judgemental and think they are high and mighty. Be respectful in order to gain respect. Our job is not to force everyone into breastfeeding. It’s to create an environment where we feel safe, supported, and respected in our decision to breastfeed.
4. Share images/your experience on social media.
There is something really cool about feeling like you are a part of a community of women that breastfeed around the globe. I share pictures often and share our breastfeeding journey (yes, I use the #normalbreastfeeding), and it’s fun to see all of the people who connect with me afterwards. It’s like an online support system and I love it. Plus, what better way to inform others of breastfeeding than just by doing it!
5. Be confident
You know your rights, breastfeed without fear. The worst you can do is offend someone and you can politely (or not so politely) tell them so and continue your business. Do your thing, rockstar momma!
xoxo One Merry Mama