Today was the Global Breastfeeding Challenge.
The event here in Ottawa was held in the main entry of a mall in the south end of the city. The husband, both kids and I caught a bus there from the end of our street. I think the bus was probably the highlight of the morning for the kids. Although the girl did love all the automated amusement rides in the mall (even though we never paid for any of them) and the boy was enraptured by the puppies in the pet store. I wonder if I will have some mall rats in my future.
I had never made it to the Breastfeeding Challenge before. The timing has never been quite right. Both of the kids were born shortly before the challenges took place and I wasn't quite ready to try getting newborns to nurse in public. Never mind getting myself out of the house on time. The other year I had weaned the girl right before the challenge. This was my year. Probably the only chance for me to talk part.
Turns out it was real breastfeeding challenge for me. The boy was completely non compliant. Instead of latching along with the 124 other babies and kids, he preferred to chew on his apple and wiggle out of my arms. I guess I shouldn't have been surprised. He is easily distracted that one and there was lots to distract him. He had cars to play with (cars "borrowed" from PhD in Parenting's son and his friend) and exploring to do.
It was on one of our many walking jaunts that I was reminded of the importance of the event. While breastfeeding has become more socially acceptable there is still a lot of ignorance and negative attitudes towards it. (Yup, being yelled at in the library is still seared into my consciousness). Holding the boy's hand while he walked I overheard a mom say to her teen aged daughter "Breastfeeding support? That's such garbage. I didn't breastfeed you and you turned out fine!".
I am sorry to say that my brain always seems to shut down when I hear people say things that shock me. I don't think very quickly. Instead I just gave a squawk and watched the teen watching me as they walked away. By the time I had regained my speech they were headed up the escalator.
Obviously the breastfeeding challenge is still needed. But I am sad to say that just watching other women nursing their children is not going to make a difference to the attitudes of some people.