Monday, August 5, 2013

Thank you for breastfeeding.


To the couple who wrote me this note and paid for my meal, thank you.  Thank you for encouraging me and reminding me that breastfeeding in public is okay.  I shouldn't have to hide in a closet or bathroom to feed my baby.  I was truly touched by your act of kindness, and will certainly pay it forward when the opportunity presents itself.  I have kept this note and will remind any of my discouraged friends about it.

While the girls were in town, TL, Andie, and all of us went out to dinner at a local restaurant.  We ate outside at a casual table, played cards, and listened to a live band.  All of the tables were taken and it was pretty lively.  I knew she was hungry and just decided to feed her outside.  I covered up using my favorite little cover and hunched down comfortably on the couch.  I didn't think anyone would notice or care.  But, I did hesitantly look around to make sure no one looked agitated by it.

Later that night when we asked for the check, our waitress pulled out a note from a stranger who was also eating at the restaurant.  It said "Thank you for breastfeeding.  Your meal is on us."  I ordered a delicious and somewhat expensive meal, and it was all paid for.  I was completely blown away.

I posted it on facebook and right away, it gained attention and got shared on a few pages.  Breastfeeding isn't easy.  So much more comes into it than I ever thought.  You have a baby and you think 'well, it's natural, it should be easy to just feed your baby'.  But it definitely isn't like that for every mom.  Some feel lots of pain, some don't produce enough milk, others deal with painful infections.  I have been so fortunate to have a somewhat smooth journey in breastfeeding.  Andie latched on well from the start, I produce enough milk, and I only had to deal with a clogged milk duct once.  It is definitely a commitment to your child.  I have been able to pump milk and store it, but I get very nervous about giving her a bottle too often because I don't want her to have any confusion.  Everyone has to figure out what works best for them and now that she is approaching 3 months old, I am starting to get a little more comfortable with her getting a bottle of my milk.  I love breastfeeding her.  It's a special time for just the two of us.

This note has made me feel better about my decision to feed her when we are out and about.  Hopefully, because I shared this experience, it will help other moms feel confident to do it as well.

And a note to the moms who aren't able to breastfeed... just like I appreciate that people don't judge me for breastfeeding, I don't judge you or think you're a bad mom because you give your baby formula.  There are many reasons women can't breastfeed and it is not anyone's place to make you feel like you're less of a mom because you don't.  I know there can be a lot of guilt associated with not breastfeeding for some women and there shouldn't be.  We do our best as moms, and that's all that matters!  Being a mom is all about figuring out what works best for our baby and us and we need to embrace the fact that everyone does it differently.  #mommysupport

27 comments:

Katie said...

Wow how cool is that?!! I'm not yet a mom, but I think that is very neat that someone went that far and made you feel good! :)

Tess said...

This is an amazing post. There are some incredible people out there.

"B" said...

What a wonderful thoughtful pay it forward you received while doing something so beneficial for your babe! I always am nervous about nursing in public. Even more so now that my (15 month old) tells me when she wants it and REFUSES anything covering her head. But she still needs it and loves it and we are not ready to wean b.c society is not ok with an older babe nursing.

The Danielson's said...

This is so wonderful! I too agree that we all make the best decisions for what is right for our little ones and our families. No matter what, we are all doing the best that we can. I think it is great that people out there recognize that! Bravo to you mama for continuing with what you think is best for you and your sweet baby Andie. Kendall and I are going on 10.5 months now of breast feeding! It hasn't been easy, but I will say I love it more than I ever thought I would. My goal of 12 months is fast approaching and I think we will continue past the 12 month goal I originally had. XO!!

Kaity said...

What an amazing gesture!

Lizzy said...

That is wonderful! It's so nice to see people being so nice these days in a world of judgement!

I tried hard to breastfeed my son, but he wouldn't latch so I pumped for 6 1/2 months before my supply was nothing. I recently had a baby but gave her up for adoption, and if the adoptive parents lived closer to me, I would have pumped and given them the breast milk.

Breastfeeding is such a natural thing, and too many women judge or get judged for either doing it or formula feed. The way I see it, a baby needs to eat, my son had both formula and breast milk and he is a wonderful 4 year old now. Just because I did both doesn't mean I'm a bad mom!

Caitlin said...

LOVED this when I saw it on Instagram and love this post even more. The story is so touching and gives me chills!

My childhood best friend's mom is a midwife and loves to help new Mom's breastfeed and more. She's always supporting it and encourages people to do it public just like you. I'm glad her work is finally becoming the norm!

Lesa Walker said...

I'm not a mother, but this story of paying it forward is a reminder of kind people in the world.

KRISTIN said...

Not once in the 6 months that I breastfed did I feel secure enough to do it in public because of the unfair judgement that inevitably comes - it is SO amazing that you were able to do it comfortably and get encouragement to continue to do it. Such a fabulous idea and sweet gesture.

Lauren said...

I love this! When I was breastfeeding Elyse, it was always an internal struggle---and finally a few times, I just said to heck with it and did it wherever I could, properly covered of course!

I'm definitely going to attempt breastfeeding with any future kiddos...and hopefully I'll feel even more comfortable about it then!

The Pink Growl said...

I'm not a mama but I definitely applaud you for taking this stand and doing what is comfortable in your own situation! And how nice that people recognize it and appreciate it too!

Brooke said...

I love this! So sweet!

Laura {happily ever} Parker said...

How sweet of someone to leave you this note! :)

Jenna said...

This is so heart-warming and sweet! I don't even breast feed and I want to pay it forward :) Kudos to you for being confident enough to breastfeed in public and for showing support of all mommies, breast feeding or not!

xxx
Jenna

Carolyn said...

That is so awesome!! :)

Lindsay @ Love In Her Eyes said...

So so sweet!!! There are still nice sweet people in this world ;)

Kristin said...

Wow I love that so much!!!
My baby is 11 months and I am getting nervous to feed him in public at this point since he is getting older. Glad to know there are people that not only support it but appreciate and celebrate it like the person who wrote you the note! Love it! And good for you for breastfeeding your baby in public! With my first baby I always went out to the car because I was so nervous!

Rychelly said...

This is awesome! As a breastfeeding mom it's been a struggle. At first I felt awkward feeding in public but I have just begun to realize that people just need to get over it. It's natural and its feeding a little human being. Glad there are still people out there like this who are supportive because much of today's society pushes formula and its hard to feel confident when its a decision a lot of people don't understand. I want to give my baby the very best and yes it may require lots of hours but I know she is getting everything that she will ever need. Thanks for sharing!!

Jodi said...

Wow what a nice thing that couple did for you. So thoughtful!!!

Leslee said...

It is so refreshing to have your faith in people restored ~

Jess Norden said...

When I first saw this picture on Instagram, I almost started crying!! I think it's amazing how supportive (most) people are about breastfeeding in public. I couldn't breastfeed and got some uber rude looks when I would pull out formula in public to make Cam a bottle. I almost felt like I needed to explain myself to complete strangers! So, thank you for your last paragraph. xoxo

Darcy Potter said...

LOVE THIS!!! Thanks for sharing and I will be sharing this as well :) I am still breastfeeding my 10 month old and sometimes still feel weird in public. As women we shouldn't feel ashamed at what is natural! Kudos to you and to the very sweet people that bought you dinner!!! hugs, Darcy @ Sassymominheels

Darcy Potter said...

LOVE THIS!!! Thanks for sharing and I will be sharing this too! I am still breast feeding my 10 month old and still sometimes feel akward breast feeding in public. As women we should not feel ashamed about doing what is natural. Kudos to you and to the sweet people that bought you dinner!!! Hugs, Darcy @Sassymominheels

Carol {Everyday Delights} said...

I saw this on your Instagram post and and was just blown away too! I mean, how amazing is that! Faith in humanity restored!!

Crazy Shenanigans-JMO said...

That is too sweet! I love that people are encouraging about it!

Baby Mama said...

This is amazing!!

shekera stevens said...

I love love love this. I first saw this on some website, imagine my surprise to find this blog post about if. I immediately fell in love with your story bc breastfeedinv is not easy at all. Your story inspires me when I feel so overwhelmed with the whole breastfeeding/pumping/sore nipple madness lol. Thanks for sharing