Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Breastfeeding is beautiful!

Remember when I blogged about this photo of Miranda Kerr breastfeeding her infant son, Flynn?
image source here

Well, for a lot of women, that photo is disgusting.

In the February 28 issue of People magazine, People reports that "readers' opinions were dramatically divided," and that it "outraged" many women. Women! Reader Allie Anderson described the photo as "disrespectful to all those who believe in a woman's right to breastfeed but don't want to see it!" Rose Bird added that the photo "crosses the line and makes mother/child bonding provocative."

Wow. I am reeling from shock. How can fellow women think that a woman who breastfeeds is provocative? Breasts were made for feeding babies! How can fellow women think that breastfeeding is such a forbidden act that to see it is embarrassing and shameful?

Now I understand why a lot of women don't breastfeed--they're ashamed of it! I'm not saying that all moms who didn't/don't breastfeed feel the same. I have friends who couldn't because they had stressful jobs or their milk wasn't enough, and I respect their choice to turn to formula to nourish their babies. But some women have told me that breastfeeding makes them uncomfortable because their breasts "hang out all the time, it's so immodest."

Mommies, there is nothing shameful about nurturing your baby. I am so proud of breastfeeding that I just whip my boob out and pop it in my baby's mouth. No matter where I am! Even when I pump my milk at work, I don't hide in an empty room--I just express the milk right at my desk and everyone's passing by and they don't say a thing.

Of course, I do cover myself with a thin blankie because I have gotten shocked/nervous/disgusted stares--mostly from women. Why?!? Men just glance then look away, accepting that it's a natural thing. Why can't we women support each other in this most beautiful act?

Women are our own worst enemies sometimes. This just makes me so sad! I'm so upset, I'm going to eat leche flan cake.

14 comments:

  1. thanks for the post frances! can i just say that usually women who are shocked/nervous/disgusted are women who never breastfed OR were unsuccessful.. i have to admit that when i was a singleton, the thought of breastfeeding was also strange to me. thanks for sharing and looking forward to your post ;) oh, and here's a blog you should check out - http://fearlessformulafeeder.blogspot.com/

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  2. Sigh. I guess all those National Geographic docus of tribal people did me some good then. I saw so many breasts and breastfeeding women that I think nothing of it. I also have no problem with the naked body. Vito's yaya sees me almost naked all the time! Kasi I breastfeed! And I am so not shy about my body =)

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  3. Yes, I've know a few women who have refused to even try. Or didn't try hard enough. I am glad I lived in Spain when I was breastfeeding, no one minded when or where I did it. No one stared, no one gave dirty looks.

    To a certain degree I understand why women cover up here. The country doesn't allow double breast exposure in films, most women will never ever go braless and, as a foreign friend once told me, Filipino women's nipples never ever mark on their shirts.

    Once we start being more comfortable with our bodies, then I think breastfeeding will be more natural.

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  4. I am very grateful and proud that I breastfed successfully, it just became so natural and effortless after a couple months. And I always encourage my new mom friends to breastfeed as long as they can. I also cover-up when I b-feed in public coz I'm just not comfortable just popping out my boobies, hehe...so i really admire those who can. It's just sad that many are still disgusted by this, there's something really wrong with that/them.

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  5. What has to be said has been said and I am brimming with pride with this blog post. Thank you for this!

    Now, share that leche flan!


    Jokes aside, it saddens me that people are desensitized with FHM and Playboy covers but are inappropriately angry at the sight of breastfeeding moms. Nakakagalit sila!

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  6. Rone, yes, I wish we were more like Europeans and just celebrate our bodies and what they do--from making love and giving birth to breastfeeding!

    Mom-F, yeah, we all have different ways to feed our kids but grabe naman the reaction to a breastfeeding picture! Outrage? What is up with that?!

    P, the leche flan cake is beyond yummy! And worse, people think it's ok to show rape, murder and violence on tv, movies, etc but to show a woman breastfeeding is unacceptable?! WTF.

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  7. This is one of the most beautiful mother and child photos I've seen. How sad to hear about so many negative reactions. While I don't flash my boob in public while I breastfeed (Thank you, Nursing Mom, for pretty covers!), like you, I have no problem about showing others that I'm comfortable with it.

    Hey, even Mother Mary breastfed, so legend portrays her, and she got the rap for it: http://www.pinoybaby.com/2009/12/breastfeeding-madonna-and-child.html

    Breastfeeding is misunderstood, even in our matriarchal society. Even my mother-in-law one time remarked that by breastfeeding Vito at 16 months, he might be lacking certain nutrients. That shocked me, since I came from a family of extended breastfeeding moms, on both sides! My aunts would even donate milk amongst themselves, if needed.

    Wouldn't it be great if non-breastfeeding women could still feel empowered? Wouldn't it be amazing to have all women marvel at the female body's capacity to nourish another life--and feel no shame about it?

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  8. I was unsuccessful breastfeeding but that has not stopped me from trying or being proud of women who do and in public at that! I'm also disgusted at women who think of breastfeeding as downright ugly. The breasts are there for nourishing.

    Women are, in my opinion, really catty by nature. I hope that we can help support each other na lang and celebrate our bodies especially mommies whatever our shape. The fact that we gave birth should always remind us that we are gorgeous regardless of our size or shape! So, Ms. Frances and to all you breastfeeding mommmies, I salute you!

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  9. I only breastfed for a couple of months because my milk wasn't a lot but i loved it. I thought this pic of miranda was beautiful. What could be more natural than breastfeeding? Now please tell us where you got that leche flan cake!

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  10. At work, I also pump at my desk and not in an empty room. I'm happy to say that my officemates (especially my team) are all supportive of my breastfeeding. I also bring my son on Saturdays so I can breastfeed him directly.
    It's a pity that some women are not educated enough towards breastfeeding. When I was still pregnant, I had some girlfriends who told me I won't last and I won't have enough milk. It's so sad. Good thing I never listened to them. Now, im breastfeeding at almost 7 months and counting, and I'm loving every single minute. It's true that it's not easy at first, but with LATCH, my family and friends' support, I was able to overcome it.

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  11. I don't understand how the picture can be "disgusting" and worse, "provocative"! If people were more supportive of breastfeeding, then more women will do it without reservation! I breastfed (and am still breastfeeding) my 2 year old baby, and while we are at the tailend of our breastfeeding journey, I am very happy and feel very blessed that I was able to nourish my son for that long.

    And I applaud you for having no qualms about whipping out your boobies to breastfeed anywhere you are, so to speak, even though not all women are as comfortable doing it. And frankly, part of it is that some people who look and stare give you the feeling that sinisilipan ka nila while you are breastfeeding your baby in public. That's why I'm glad that some places provide breastfeeding stations where nursing moms can feed their babies privately.

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  12. Martine, thanks for sharing that link. Poor Mary!

    Cheann, yes, why is it that we tear each other down like that?

    Menchie, the leche flan cake is THE BOMB! Grabe, ang sarap sarap sarap. We bought it at the bakers' fair sa Power Plant. I didn't get the name and number! Stupid me.

    Global, HOORAY! Me too almost 7 months na breastfeeding. But I have formula on standby. I can't express a lot of milk kasi.

    Chi, correct! Let's work together to make breastfeeding a natural act so that everyone will accept it as NORMAL.

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  13. It baffles me really Frances why we, women, are like that. Why can't we be just happy for other women's accomplishments, eh?

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  14. My friend said it was the men who started it all. They made women compete with each other to keep us in check. Interesting! Sad but interesting. I'm going to look this up.

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This is all pretty new to me so please feel free to share your mommy wisdom!