Is this a little too in your face?
Do you find boobs confronting? The sight of them? Seeing them in a child’s mouth?
Many people will. And do you know what is strangest of all? More women would find it confronting than men.
I read a study recently done on the reactions of hundreds of men and women when a baby was being breastfed. I can’t recall the exact figures but it was something like 60 percent of the women felt uncomfortable, didn’t know where to look and didn’t know if they should have a conversation with the breastfeeding woman, in comparison to around 40 percent of the men.
Well do you know what I find confronting?
Hearing about a woman who stopped breastfeeding because they had no support. That’s confronting.
Or watching a woman attempting to feed their newborn under a jacket, blanket or towel and struggling to get a good attachment because they don’t have a spare hand and are more focused on trying to cover up. I’ve been that woman before. That’s confronting.
Or having a baby or child cough and splutter all over you because their immune system hasn’t had the best possible start to life. That’s confronting.
Or watching a baby scream and scream whilst their mother looks around for somewhere to heat their bottle before they can feed them. That’s confronting.
Or seeing a baby’s cognitive development hugely decreased because their body hasn’t been given the right fats and nutrients for their brain development. That’s confronting.
Or seeing a woman stressed out, sleep deprived and sick because their body doesn’t get the benefits of the hormone changes associated with breastfeeding. That’s confronting.
Or being a woman who chose not to breastfeed because it is one of the hardest things in the world to do, and it was painful, and their baby was unsettled, and they were stressed out, and they didn’t get much support, and then later on they wished they had. That’s confronting.
Or the fact that in Australia, 90 percent of babies are exclusively breastfed at birth but by 6 months only around 20 percent are. And that this is because of the change in societies view of breastfeeding. That’s confronting.
So is it really that confronting to see a woman giving their baby the best food possible for a healthy start to life? I suggest you go as far as loving the next woman you see nursing in public. Give her a warm smile. Tell her she’s beautiful. Or tell her she’s doing a great job. Because it’s a tough gig and sometimes it is easier to give it all up. I was nearly that woman. That scares me.