Thursday, September 30, 2010


Breasts and babies.


The big taboo over the most natural thing in the world.

I don't have a problem breastfeeding in front of others. Yes, it's a private time between Ganon and myself, but the mere presence of others doesn't lessen that. I put him in position, pull my shirt up and my bra down, and my nipple is in his mouth. (Not that it was always that easy - but that's another post.) My brother and stepdad got used to it within a month. It's not like I'm just dangling my boobs out there for all to see - I cover up and angle as best I can without making things unnecessarily difficult for either Ganon or me. My grandfather (once it was explained to him that regardless of what he had been told, breastfeeding was better than formula) has never expressed any discomfort at the idea, nor when I managed to nurse in the same room as him. I have never known this man to hold his tongue. Though he would rather make a joke than say something that might be taken as insulting, he gets is point across. My mother and grandmother, however, seem to think that nursing in front of a man - especially a family member - was highly scandalous.

The first time I nursed Ganon while visiting my grandparents, my mom got up, got a blanket out of the diaper bag, and threw it over the baby while I was nursing him. Now, it was a very warm summer day, and my grandparents don't have air conditioning. There was no need for the blanket other than to 'hide my shame'. As my mother so delicately put it: "Your grandfather doesn't want to see that." [emphasis hers] More recently, my grandmother was holding Ganon when he got hungry. I stood up, took him into my arms, and went to sit back down on the couch. As I turned around to sit, my grandmother gave me a very no-nonsense look, and said, "You can go in the other room to do that." Rather than cause a scene, I pursed my lips and sequestered myself in her bedroom.

Slightly grumpy, I sat down on the bed and began to nurse Ganon when, to my pleasant surprise, my grandfather came in the room. He turned on the TV and fetched the remote for me. I couldn't help but smile, feeling both grateful and righteous. Not only was I made more comfortable and relieved of my guilt, but I was right in that my grandfather wasn't offended by my nursing. Not that that changed my mother's or grandmother's views, but I'm no longer insulted by their ignorance.

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