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Pickle Me This

November 22, 2009

The only proper way to breastfeed

It’s strange, I think, that while breastfeeding is so ridiculously revered in our society to the point where bottle-feeding can raise eyebrows, the image of breastfeeding itself might raise those brows even higher. Mostly because we never see it, in real life or in the media, which perpetuates breastfeeding imagery as taboo, and so it goes. So I’ve been eagerly keeping track of breastfeeding imagery during this last while, on television (Being Erica) and in children’s books (lately, Busy Pandas).

But I especially like this picture, from Susan Meyer’s Everywhere Babies (which acknowledges breastfeeding as being just one of many ways that babies everywhere are fed).

While we don’t see enough breastfeeding imagery, even rarer is imagery of the only proper way to breastfeed– with a book in hand.

It is telling, however, that the mother has fallen asleep. Some days are just too much for multi-tasking.

2 thoughts on “The only proper way to breastfeed”

  1. Kristin says:

    Will and I LOVED that book when he was a baby. We read it many, many times. That particular image always jumped out at me because you're right, you don't see it very often in the media or books.

    Can I just share with you that I saw a coworker for the first time since I've been back to work and we were chatting and catching up, and when I told him I had to go back to my office to pump, he was clearly disgusted and said, oh, you're STILL nursing? My baby is 3.5 months old!

    There are many people who turn up their noses at bottle feeding, but I can vouch for unfortunately meeting the many people who don't like anything about breastfeeding either. I live in a very educated, liberal city, but I have been criticized by family and strangers for nursing my kids (I nursed my son until he was 11 months old and hope to do the same for my daughter). And I am fairly prudish and always either nursed under a blanket or in a private room. People are weird.

  2. Kerry says:

    I think that's what makes breastfeeding enthusiasts so incredibly obnoxious (and I'll put myself in that catagory). Society is stacked against us in so many ways, and breastfeeding is *so hard*, and then others go on and on about how it makes no difference at all, and maybe they're right, but that's hard to hear. And yes, those who find it disgusting are everywhere, which is pretty hard to deal with. I try hard NOT to nurse in private, because I think people have to see breastfeeding as ordinary. But that is very hard sometimes.

    Also, cheers to you for breastfeeding and working. I don't know how you do it, but you (and all those others who do it) are amazing.

    (And this is where I give thanks for my 52 weeks maternity leave, and thank my lucky stars for Canada).

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