Breastfeeding In My Family

Welcome to The Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival!

This post was written as part of The Breastfeeding Cafe’s Carnival. For more info on the Breastfeeding Cafe, go to www.breastfeedingcafe.wordpress.com. For more info on the Carnival or if you want to participate, contact Claire at clindstrom2 {at} gmail {dot} com. Today’s post is about family and breastfeeding. Please read the other blogs in today’s carnival listed below and check back for more posts July 18th through the 31st!


My family dynamics in my immediate family have worked to my advantage for breastfeeding. It may seem weird from the outside,  but my husband gets me stuff a lot. Not going out and buying stuff, but if I’m sitting down he’ll get up and get me things I need. I’m not entirely sure how this started, but it’s just what we do. Of course, I’ll get up and get most things for myself, but when I’m otherwise occupied, he’ll get them for me. I do it for him too, but not nearly as much.

This became very important when I stared breastfeeding. Especially in those early days, it was very, very useful for me for him to bring me a glass of water or something to eat or my cell phone or my book. It meant I could focus on the task at hand and not really have to worry about my other needs so much. Even now, 16 months into the breastfeeding relationship, he still takes care of me a lot. A few nights ago I forgot to turn the light off when I was trying to nurse Peanut to sleep. Yes, I could have gotten up and walked across the room and turned off the light myself, but that would have ruined all of the progress I had with getting her to sleep. My husband came all the way upstairs and turned the light off for me without a single complaint.

Breastfeeding has also changed my extended family’s dynamics. As far as I know, I am the first person in my family who has breastfed for a long time and the only person in my husband’s besides one cousin who lives across the country. When I first started breastfeeding Peanut, you could easily see how uncomfortable everyone was—myself included! I would leave the room to feed her. Even after I felt comfortable enough to stay in the room, others would leave when I started breastfeeding. Now it’s just become normal. Everyone stays where they are an acts like Peanut isn’t even nursing. Some of them will even continue to play with Peanut while she nurses!

I think a big part of it is how you look at breastfeeding. Many of the complaints that your family may have about your breastfeeding and the awkwardness that it can create even if they don’t complain is due to thinking that breastfeeding is sexual. No, they don’t think “breasts are for sex so babies eating is sex!”, but there is a mentality there. Breastfeeding can not be gross to see in public if it is not sexual. Breastfeeding can not be inappropriate if it is not sexual. You do not need to leave the room if it is not sexual. There is nothing to hide.

If you can keep this mentality and display it to your family, hopefully they can be more accepting of your breastfeeding relationship. Even if you’re afraid, just try to pretend you’re confident. When you’re confident, people are less likely to try to make you feel awkward. This goes for family as much as it goes for people you don’t know.

 


 Here are more posts by the Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival participants! Check back because more will be added throughout the day.