Honest Body Project: “We are not ‘still’ nursing, we are just nursing.”
A majority of women start to wean their child off breastfeeding after 12 months. While the mothers who continue to nurse are seen as weird or overbearing mothers. Sadly, that is an overly judgemental misconception. No mother should be judged for how she cares for her child, and nursing is a natural and beautiful thing. That’s why Natalie McCain created a photo series of mothers nursing their children with the hopes to open the eyes of people who wrongfully criticize mothers with extending nursing.
“The question that bothers me the most with full-term nursing is, ‘When are you going to stop?’ Why do I have to stop? Do we have to have a date in mind? My child feels comforted, she is smart, confident, and independent so nursing isn’t holding her back in any way! She loves to nurse, she loves to be close to me. Let’s face it, all these cute little faces are going to be teenagers one day and want nothing to do with their parents.”
6. Highly Explosive Milk
Despite the hassle of nursing a mother will not let her child starve because it makes someone feel uncomfortable. Especially mothers who are on long flights that don’t want to pump or give formula milk they can’t just let their kids starve. A new mother once asked Delta Airlines what their policy was for nursing and she got mixed responses. The Federal Aviation Administration does not have any rules about nursing. In a different situation, a Delta airline flight attendant threw a blanket at Emily Gillette and told her to cover up. Emily’s lawyer gave a statement saying:
“The ongoing discrimination suffered by breastfeeding mothers nationwide illustrates the continuing relevance of Emily’s story. Incidents of discrimination against public breastfeeding – in Target stores, restaurants, sports stadiums, and in one recent incident, a pastor calling a nursing mother ‘a stripper’ because she was nursing her baby in church – reinforce the need to make people aware that this legal right exists in many, many states and where it doesn’t, it should. The settlement demonstrates that providing rights to mothers, as Vermont did, can create positive results and that such legal protections are crucial. But, as Emily’s story also shows, the existence of such legal rights is not enough in the absence of education and societal support.”
Actress, Alyssa Milano also experienced discrimination when she was switching planes at the Heathrow Airport. There is no U.S. law that limits the amount of mother’s milk that a woman can pass through security. The U.S. law says that a woman can bring “as much breast milk as they need to.” In Europe, the child must be present with you or a 100ml restriction can be placed on the amount of milk they will let you pass through. The actress took it to Twitter, and an invasion of fellow mothers came to her support. Others made fun of the airport’s rules saying, “just admit it – you have highly explosive breast milk.”
Mother’s from coast to coast, all over the United States, are united and rising about covering up when nursing. After a sign had been posted telling mothers to cover up while nursing, a group who supports nursing in public started a hashtag #ThisIsHowWeCoverBFMT. Women took photos covering their faces and left their nursing bust exposed.
British poet named Holly McNish even created a poem titled, “Embarrassed” addressing the double standard of anti-nursing a “billboard covered in busts.”
Katharine McKinney also expressed her opinion about how backward society have become when it comes to nursing. “Why have we made the act of feeding a child something obscene instead of something necessary? Before pumps, before bottles, when a woman nursed her child, even when she was covered neck to wrists to ankles, it was not considered private. Just necessary. It’s still necessary.”
It’s nice to know that Target supports in-store nursing for their customers. They are making mother’s feel more welcomed in their stores than ever. The store supports nursing in any area of their stores, including fitting rooms. They recently got commended because of their policy that was posted in a breakroom for their employees. The policy reads:
Guests may openly breastfeed in our stores or ask where they can go to nurse their child. When this happens, remember these points:
– Target’s policy supports nursing in any area of our stores, including our fitting rooms, even if others are waiting
– If you see a guest nursing in our stores, do not approach her
– If she approaches and asks you for a location to nurse, offer the fitting room (do not offer the restroom as an option)
If you have any questions, partner with your leader.
There is a non-profit organization helping all military personnel (active, reserve or guard) who want to nurse while serving their country. Nursing has been proven to help a baby’s physical and mental growth development, but it also benefits the mother as well. Recent research from Brown University studied the MRI scans of babies. It revealed that infants who were breastfed showed improved brain development compared to those who were just on formula alone.
Mother’s milk is the complete form of nutrition for infants. It has the right amount of fat, sugar, water, and protein needed for the child’s growth and development. Babies are also able to digest it much easier than formula. The nutrients and antibodies it contains help protect the child from bacteria and illnesses that baby formula can’t match. When mothers are away on deployment being able to pump and stock their milk is necessary to ensure that when they come back they can continue to nurse properly when they reunite with the child.
Nursing also helps the mother and child bond in the critical first few years. The site helps women approach nursing while on active duty. The site gives women the resources and the military policies about nursing in the workplace.