I saw you breastfeeding today.

breastfeeding, breastfeeding story, mastitis, thrush, bad latch, breastfeeding world, nyc breastfeeding world project, alegares photography, big latch onI saw your back arched as though with pride, yet it felt more like defiance. You sat in the center of a crowd, your keen eyes on the lookout like a lioness protects her cub. You smiled and you chatted as if nothing was out of the ordinary, but I could feel your guardedness around you, thick as a wall. Your look at passersby was a silent dare that no one was willing to take.

I wanted to tell you that I admire you.

Maybe I’m seeing more than what you meant me to, but it means something to me. You know you’re doing more than just feeding your baby naturally, and you know the value of it. You’re making that statement that you are not to be belittled or intimidated into hiding. Your mind is chanting, “Let them say something, just let them,” because you are ready for battle… even if you hope you don’t have to.

I know if I was sitting with you, feeding my child beside you, I would feel in safe in your company. So many people do not or cannot feel that. Instead of taking a seat, I tried to give a smile of my thanks as I walked past. You didn’t see it though, because you were still on the lookout.

I saw you breastfeeding today.

Just out of the corner of my eye, I spotted you sitting lonesome in a corner. Some people prefer solitude, but this corner seat was like a time-out chair. Your slumped shoulders were turned protectively inward, sheltering your child from view, sheltering yourself from possible words that might hit like stones. Your family was far from your post: close enough to see if you were done yet, too far for you to feel included.

 

I wanted to tell you that I would protect you.

I know you’re trying to hide, but you shouldn’t have to; you don’t have to. There are so many people who would come to your defense if you needed us, even though we’re strangers. We know that the gift you’re giving your child is more than just nutrients; it’s love, and connection, and sacrifice. And while sometimes those close to us don’t always understand, it’s your business alone. You reminded me that no matter how far we’ve come in trying to make the simple act of nursing commonplace, we have so far to go.

I tried to catch your eye as you hastily wrapped up and made your way across to your family. I wanted you to maybe, for a second, not feel so alone. You didn’t see me though, so focused were you on the ground as you passed.

I saw you breastfeeding today.

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I was lucky enough to be sitting behind you in the stadium and a little to the side, waiting to see the show. Unintentionally, I had a perfect view. Your partner’s hand was entwined with your own, their focus on your older child who was sitting on the other side. Your legs were stretched out in the same way as the baby sprawled in your arms, who happened to be wiggling his toes. You sighed as you laid your head on your spouse’s shoulder, partially from exhaustion no doubt, but also from contentment.

I wanted to tell you that I was glad for you.

That I knew what it was like to be blessed with a supportive spouse, who could make me relax in their presence. I wanted to ask you what your secret was to feeding in such serenity here. So many people struggle with achieving what you were displaying so beautifully.

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I wanted to talk with you, I felt as though I could befriend you… but I didn’t want to interrupt such a lovely snapshot, this sweet moment in time. I sat back, satisfied just to be able to see such a perfect scene. But you felt me. You looked up and to the side, and our eyes met. I prepared to apologize in case you weren’t pleased you caught a stranger staring. When you smiled softly, I knew we understood each other. I nodded at you respectfully, and you did the same. You knew I gazed upon you with goodwill.

I got to be a part of your moment. I was glad we found camaraderie.

And I was glad I saw you breastfeeding today.

Breastfeeding World Author Jaqueline Rossi speaks about how mothers feel nursing in public, the different types of breastfeeding moms, and how it effects us as a society. A beautiful must-read about normalizing breastfeeding.

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Jacqueline Falvey-Rossi

Jacqueline Falvey-Rossi is a mother of three children ages 2, 5, and 8. After many failed attempts at breastfeeding with her first two children, she achieved success with her third child, ultimately nursing for more than two years. She has become an advocate for breastfeeding normalization, and for increasing support for new nursing mothers. Her brand-new blog, Mommy is an Oddity, is about celebrating the individuality in each parent as opposed to conventionality, and promotes embracing each other’s more unusual qualities as our strengths. She wishes to help all moms accept parenting in good humor, and feel comfortable as themselves, whoever they are and wherever they are in life.

2 Comments on I Saw You Breastfeeding Today, and I Want You To Know…

  1. Monnica
    July 7, 2017 at 1:08 PM (3 months ago)

    Will you be having a 2017 breastfeeding event in noblesville indiana? If so i would like to participate.

    Reply
    • Lauren Lewis
      July 10, 2017 at 10:15 AM (3 months ago)

      Yes! You can find more on our site, or through our facebook events page, we’d love to see you there!

      Reply

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