I’ve done it on an airplane, in the car, at the beach, during a conference call. Even in Church. I’ve done it just about everywhere and I’m pretty darn good about being discreet…Yep, I am a breastfeeding mother who will do just about anything to ensure my child gets the nutrition she needs when she needs it.
My daughter Mia is almost 16 months old and if someone told me before I had my baby that I’d still be breastfeeding, I wouldn’t believe them. I still can’t believe I’ve gone this long. It hasn’t always been easy. In fact, it has been one of the most challenging things I’ve done in my life. But it is also the most empowering thing I’ve ever done in my life.
Here’s what’s so great about nursing: it’s free, so healthy for baby because Mother’s Milk has all your antibodies so baby gets sick less often, aids in brain development, and is with you everywhere you go. Many times I feel like a dairy cow or human pacifier. But I also feel strong and confident for what I can provide to my child.
I was fortunate to have 8 months at home with my daughter before I went back to work as a lobbyist. I am even more fortunate to be working for the lobbyist who helped pass our state’s breastfeeding law that gives an employee the right to express breast milk or breastfeed on site at her workplace; says employers shall make reasonable efforts to provide a room or other location, other than a toilet stall, where the employee can express her milk in private; and employers shall not discriminate against, discipline or take any adverse employment action against any employee because such employee has elected to exercise her rights.
Needless to say my employer never had a problem with me dropping everything in the middle of a chaotic legislative session to pump every three to four hours. But despite my positive experience, there is more work to be done to improve the rights of nursing mothers who return to work for employers not so awesome as mine. But I’ll write about that in another post.
I know that breastfeeding is not for everyone. But if you do decide to nurse just know it’s a big commitment, but the rewards are SO great. And if you choose to stick with it, it gets easier and becomes ingrained in everyday life. In fact, I’m doing it right now!