|Avi and I sharing a special moment|
As a breastfeeding mama, I have nursed my son everywhere. In the grocery store, while hiking, on airplanes, at family gatherings, at the farmer's market, at the park, at friends' gatherings, in restaurants, at the synagogue during Shabbat service, at weddings, in the emergency room, and the list goes on. My son is 12.5 months old now (and I'm still nursing) and I can say that in all that time, I have received many smiles and nods... even an elderly man came to sit next to me at a wedding while I was nursing and told me how happy he was to see this "baby getting his mama's milk". How it was "good for his brain". I'm sure there were probably people who didn't like what I was doing, but they had the where with all to keep quiet about it... and for that I'm grateful.
Further, when I'm at work and need to pump, I slip away to the "lactation station" where I am surrounded by photos of all the babies who's mamas pumped for them. There are old copies of Mothering Magazine and a copy of The Milk Memos too. When I'm done pumping, I store my milk in the company fridge. I am so grateful to work in a great workspace that doesn't just tolerate nursing mamas who need to pump, but embrace and support them. (In fact, even before I was pregnant, another nursing mama from my work heard a woman (who worked for a different company in the same building) pumping in the building's (shared) bathroom. She offered her access to our "lactation station" so she wouldn't have to pump in the bathroom anymore. How awesome is that!!
Lastly, I have been blessed with an abundant supply of milk and have not only been able to feed my own son, but also have helped another mama's baby (along with milk she gets from the milk bank) for more than six months. And last week I was able to share 12 oz with another new mama's baby as the mama was having the worst time dealing with mastitis, blistered nipples and clogged ducts.
I know there are others out there with positive stories and we can't let our positive experiences go unheard. Please don't get me wrong, I also think the 'negative' stories that get shared are valuable too. They help us keep the perspective that all the hard work isn't done yet. But I also want first time pregnant mamas to hear that it's not always an uphill battle. So many mamas who have gone before us have done so much to 'fight the good fight'. I'm grateful for them. This is one story. One positive story. It's my story.