It is National Black Breastfeeding Week. Those who choose to participate are posting photos of themselves breastfeeding. The idea is the more we see these images the more normal breastfeeding can become.
I wanted to participate because one of the challenges I faced as a single mother with a newborn is having family show up to help me be visibly uncomfortable to see me breastfeeding. In particular a male family member said he felt like he should leave the room. Though he didn’t and I assured him that it was perfectly natural and it fine for him to stay, he still felt uncomfortable, which made me feel anxious.
Now me being anxious might mot have been a big deal if I’d have had an easy time with breastfeeding. But I didn’t. As a matter of fact it was super difficult. My baby refused to nurse from me on day two. I never made enough milk. I supplemented and bottle fed both breastmilk and formula. So my only picture of me breastfeeding is from right after he was born.
I hope pictues like this help us to grow accustomed to seeing nursing moms. I hope pictures like this help us to not automatically make seeing breasts as sexual. I hope pictures like this help peope to not feel uncomfortable around a breastfeeding mom.