Stepping out of my comfort zone!
Getting real, finally.
CELEBRATING a BIG part of my life!
Taking a deep breath and BEing BOLD!
Have you noticed that it is World Breastfeeding Week? I am realizing I often live with my head in the sand of the lactation community. It is my business, my profession and my daily reality. It sometimes startles me that not everyone lives my reality (what?!). I realize that even people who I am close to and see me often do not “get” what I do.
Yes, the first week of August is World Breastfeeding Week and if you are in mothering and parenting circles you may find yourself flooded with memes and images of breastfeeding. This gets a bit controversial. It strikes a nerve. It triggers many women. I have been criticized and questioned for not supporting all mom’s despite their feeding choices (But I DO, so hold that thought). Sacred Milk has been criticized for using the word “sacred” as if we are proclaiming ourselves exclusionary or elitist. Then there is an argument that all of the nursing photos glamorize and victimize the true reality of the majority of women. This leads us to the “brelfie” movement. This is where mom’s are posting “selfies” of them breastfeeding. These “brelfies” presents some pretty raw material and even more controversy! Normally I just try to ignore the controversial conversation and keep doing what I do.
This year for World Breastfeeding Week I am welcoming all of this conversation and controversy in a different way.
I realized that for all of my work with Sacred Milk and nursing my 6th baby….. Many of you don’t know this core part of me. Most of you don’t even know I am an IBCLC or what that means. I have kept it all in it’s own little box, in effect defeating my purpose. I have been careful to keep the possibility of controversy out of my personal safe zone.
<<< So here is my FIRST offering.>>>>
Why? Because this is my raw reality. It is MY celebration!
My personal trigger with Milk out in the open (public breastfeeding) is that for all of my promoting, writing and encouraging. I have not always walked my talk.
I have hidden.
It still brings fire in my belly and shots of anxiety to be open nursing in public in the way I am in private. Anyone who has been on retreat with me or in my home knows that I am NOT SHY about my breasts, or my body. But I do get stuck in public. Why? Because there is STILL a shame seed deep inside that screams “big breasts can not be discreet and discreet is your only safety outside of law” or “large breasts are sexual and only woman of questionable morals “flaunt” them” or that obvious large breasts are BAD or DIRTY or MORE OVERTLY SEXUAL than breasts that can more “easily” be discreet. The stories associated with shaming of women breastfeeding in public often include quotes like “I was being discreet” or “hardly any breast was showing”. As if that is what makes feeding their baby in public justified. Well screw that. It is stressful for me to constantly be on guard of my level of “discreet”. Trying to be comfortable, not drip sweat or milk, and meet my baby’s needs all while covering my BELLY and my BREAST. The whole time this shame seed needling me with judgement. I KNOW better but this little seed keeps screaming at me! So with my last baby and after almost 14 years of lactating I am finally breaking through this barrier. IF it has taken me this long (as a lactavist) then how can I expect to ever really make the impact I so passionately teach if I am not willing to get real about it?
There will be no more hiding.
I will not allow that little voice of shame to say that somehow my body shape should ever cause me stress. FACT: My breast is still bigger than my baby’s head. Hiding my breasts is just not possible outside of wearing a tent or staying home. Even under clothing they are obvious. Don’t try and moralize or shame me into covering up or being discreet. It’s not comfortable for me and I am not in charge of your comfort. I’m over it. I’m stepping out of my box (and jumping up and down on top of it!) If you are uncomfortable with this then please move along. I’ve got work to do and a baby to feed.
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Much Love – Sara