Anybody who knows me, probably has heard I’m a breastfeeding fan. I support it because it’s natural and what God or nature intended for us. I trust it best and choose it over man-made alternatives. I value it because I felt its great value on myself and witnessed it on my firstborn. I nursed Aria for 18 months and (many will call me a fool for saying so but watch me care) I can still feel and see its benefits on my now 3.5 year-old. From how easily and fast she recovers when ill, to the emotional reserves she always seems to have, to the deep connection shared between us, all the way to the relatively high E and IQ!
I will not sit and name its endless short-term and long-term benefits to the baby, the mother, the household pocket as well as the planet. One can google that if they so wish. [I will only say that for those who are more brainy and earthy and speak more in financial terms: according a study published in the journal Pediatrics, the United States would save about $13 billion per year in medical costs if 90% of U.S. families breastfed their newborns for at least 6 months. Not to mention the pollution taking place for the production of formula milk. It is no wonder the theme of World Breastfeeding Week 2020 is “Support breastfeeding for a healthier planet”].
I will of course not sit and judge negatively any mother who either by choice or difficulty faced, she did not nurse her child. I fully respect and appreciate that and irrespective of the above, we all know that the food most important to our, our baby’s, our household’s and our planet’s system is LOVE and that love alone suffices and does miracles! But I would like to say that as a breastfeeding mum in Cyprus, the comments and judgements I have witnessed for it, supersede the support and appraisals it truly welcomes and deserves.
A baby nursing at a mother’s breast is an undeniable affirmation of our rootedness in nature. Breastfeeding is natural, is not easy, is a devotion, is a form (amongst many) of motherly unconditional love, can be a challenge, can be a battle, makes life easy, makes mum and baby happy, makes total sense, and it would be wonderful to see people opening their minds and hearts to it and becoming more respectful of it, if not fans of it themselves.
My second baby Aloe lived in my body for 38 weeks and she still lives off my body for the past 5 months and I get questions like “Are you not worried about how your boobs will become?” or “Don’t you want your body back!?” Yet I see my body as an instrument, rather than an ornament, fully embracing my current role. I am not one that rushes nature. I surrender to nature to guide me and not the other way round. When it’s time to stop, there will be signs and mum and baby will both know.
Some may criticize these pictures. I post them not to show off about nursing and even less so to show my breast or baby to the world. I post them because I’m an advocate of ‘indiscreet’ breastfeeding – the more that people see babies at the breast, the more normal it will be.
So let’s normalize breastfeeding and come closer to nature’s ways for a newborn baby has really only three demands: warmth in the arms of its mother, food from her breasts, and security in the knowledge of her presence. Breastfeeding satisfies all three.
Happy International Breastfeeding Week 2020!