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Saturday, October 3, 2009

It was a challenge for me

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.


  1. I really wanted to go this year, but we have guests coming and a house that looked like a tornado hit it :( I missed last year too because it was Thanksgiving weekend or something like that. Doh.... Likely my boy would wiggle too, since he is almost weaned and it would be very distracting.

    It is SO needed! I had to nurse in a different room around some of my husband's older relatives at a function because they didn't want to see me do "that vulgar thing". Right.... I breast fed wherever I needed to, and sometimes, I would get the evil stares. Butbut! I got a lot of encouragement too.

    You know, even if you can't physically breastfeed anymore, I know there are lots of moms out there that need support from experienced nursers. I encourage all my friends and help them if they need it, when they have their wee ones. I have thought about signing up to be a mentor through Ottawa Public Health, or La Leche... although La Leche was rather militant and kind of rude to me when I contacted them about thrush issues.

  2. Not being able to breast feed is definitely the most disappointing this that has ever happened to me. I did everthing: pump, went on domperidon, went to a lactation consultant, had my midwife do everthing that she could do to help, drank dark beer... I just couldn't make enough and Max just couldn't get it from me. The first three weeks of his life were rough. He cried all the time and we couldn't figure out what it was. It ended up it was because he was really hungry. I ended up being able to pump some for 5 months, so at least he had some. But he will be my only child, so it makes me sad. I usually stare at moms' breastfeeding, but it is always with a smile on my mouth and longing in my eyes. Good for you for attempting to make it happen today

  3. Yay to you for going! That is amazing. If I am nursing next year at this time I will go. I have a history of difficulty nursing but I am fully supportive and I can imagine how hard it is to hear someone say something so moronic. I feel sorry for her daughter, who will probably be encouraged to breast feed when she has children, and her mother will be useless as support. That is sad.

  4. I will never understand other people's ignorance about certain issues, breastfeeding in public being one of them. Although I was never 100% comfortable doing it in public, I have breastfed on a bench in many a mall, on an airplane, in an airport, in my car, and at Starbucks. I am fully supportive of any mom I see breastfeeding! And my boys think it's a great thing, too. My mom never breastfed me, and that was her choice, and I have no problem with people who don't breastfeed, either. I think every mom makes the right decision for her child at the time! Hope you had fun today!

  5. There is never a good excuse for a closed mind. Just because you decide to make a healthy, cost-efficient, emotionally-bonding, less time-consuming, and above all...NATURAL choice, some ppl still see it as vulgar, or garbage(?)!!! Did she leave the mall to go burn books at the local library next?? Thankfully, I do "oblivious" pretty well and never noticed if ppl were annoyed that I was nursing in I would care what they think anyway!! :) Way to stand up for what you believe in!

  6. I missed it here. I was bummed when I realized the date had passed. I am shocked that people still feel that breastfeeding is not important.