I’ll admit it, I like Instagram. I joined Instagram two years ago initially to monitor my son’s activity. At first I thought it was a little silly to have a social media site that displays pictures only but then I started to like it. I follow a variety of sites of interest in addition to my friends.
This week I found myself in a dilemma. Apparently the week of August 1-7 every year is World Breastfeeding Week. Each day this week as I’ve logged onto Instagram and scrolled through the feed, I’ve found a picture of one of my hospital coworkers with her bare breast exposed, feeding her one year old child. I instantly cringed, scrolled through Instagram at a more rapid pace and logged off.
I have two children. My firstborn child, my son was born six weeks prematurely via emergency Caesarean Section because I was critically ill with Pre-Eclampsia. Once I was more stable, alert and open to patient teaching, the nurses advised me that the breast milk of a woman who delivered prematurely was far more nutritious than a woman who carried her baby to full term. Even though my son had no adverse effects from his premature birth, it would be more beneficial for him to be breast fed for nutrients and immunity. I agreed to breast feed him but I told them I didn’t feel comfortable feeding the child from my breast so they taught me how to use a breast pump. The lactation consultant was supportive of my feelings and I managed to pump milk and put it into the bottle for five months for my son and nine months for my daughter. It worked. Everyone was happy and I have two very healthy children.
There are thousands of books and websites out there that emphasize the benefits of breastfeeding for mother and baby. Most of them make sense to me from a medical and health standpoint but some I just don’t agree with. Breastfed babies are demanding. They are difficult to put on a schedule and take longer to get to sleep through the night. They cluster feed. Breast milk is thinner than formula and less satisfying. They use the breast as a pacifier and you really don’t know how much milk the child is consuming because it’s not in a bottle with ounces. Some woman just sit around and breastfeed their babies all day. I don’t want to hear that its better for bonding either. You bond with a new born while they look into your eyes during cuddling, bath time, diaper changes, feeding, dressing and their awake times. It doesn’t make you a better mother. When they are teenagers I can assure you they won’t care if you breastfed them and they won’t want to discuss it either.
I’m going to get a little women’s libbish here now. I should have been part of the Women’s Liberation Movement of the late 1960’s through 1970’s but instead I was born in 1970. Maybe I got this from my mom then. My brother and I and were not breast fed. On top of that, here’s the mother of the child who’s trying to recover from a childbirth and needs the sleep but wait no, she has to get up to breast feed the baby while Daddy gets to sleep. My brother in law once said my sister in law had to breast feed so he could sleep at night. I wanted to rack him in the nuts and secretly tell my sister in law to let the girls dry up. No, no, thank you for playing buddy. If daddy enjoyed conceiving the child, which I’m sure he did, then he can get up and help feed the child in the middle of the night.
There, I said it. Now getting back to this Instagram issue. Seeing my Instagram friend with her bare breast exposed feeding her baby made me feel extremely uncomfortable. I had considered unfollowing her but I decided that was too extreme so I’m just going to suck it off and be on Instagram less until World Breastfeeding Week is over with. I shouldn’t have to do that though. I’m passionate about a lot of things too but I guess I’m just not one to post things on social media that make others feel uncomfortable. I’m happy for you that you love breastfeeding so much but maybe the rest of the world doesn’t share your same opinions. I don’t want to see your breast. I really don’t. Please put it away.