Dear Hands-Free Breastfeeding Mom that I saw in IKEA,
You might have noticed me staring at you. It wasn't because I was appalled that you were feeding your baby while walking around the living room showroom. It wasn't because I thought that what you were doing was inappropriate either. It was because of one thing and one thing only: I admire your ability to breastfeed your child without having to use your hands. You see, I would love nothing more than to do a little handsfree breastfeeding the next time I breastfeed a child. I just can't seem to get the knack of it though. You could say that I'm blessed (or cursed, depends on who you're asking) with a large bosom, and the British rock band, Cornershop, did say that everyone needs a bosom for a pillow, but it makes it exceedingly difficult to mimic your handsfree skills while wandering around IKEA. I am just amazed by how effortlessly you nursed your baby, covered with a delicate gray shawl, walking about the showroom. It was discreet and it was beautiful. It actually made me want to another another baby, which is a good thing.
While my family and I were shopping for pillows at IKEA today I saw so many women breastfeeding their babies in public. Some were sitting on benches with breastfeeding covers. Some were wandering around the store; some were discreetly covered by a shawl and one woman I saw had a cami on and that was it. And one woman came into the family restroom I was in changing my daughter's cloth diaper to sit in a comfy leather chair and nourish her baby.
I walked about the store with a sense of pride. These women are my people. They know what it's like to not only give physically give their bodies to growing and sustaining another life for at the most 40 weeks. They understand what it's like to continue sharing their body with a child ensuring he grows healthy and strong. Maybe I'm hyper aware of public breastfeeding
because August is National Breastfeeding Awareness month and there have been a few breastfeeding in public debates on the morning network shows? Whatever the case, on this particular Sunday afternoon, IKEA was surrounded with beautiful women breastfeeding their babes confidently. That right there, being able to feed your child publicly in confidence, is what this awareness month is about.
On a lighter note, can you breastfeed your baby without your hands? What's your secret? I want to make this happen next time around!
Special thanks to the beautiful mothers who shared their breastfeeding pictures with me: Shannon, Erica, Karine, Kim & Meg.