Anyone who knows me knows that I am a huge breastfeeding advocate. I know that it’s “not for everybody,” but I feel that if a mother chooses to breastfeed her child, she should be able to do so without fear of negativity from the general public. Yes, breastfeeding is a special act between mother and child but it is also nourishing and life giving. As the mother grows and nourishes the baby in her womb, she continues that growing and nourishing after the child is born. For me, the biggest disconnect is the fact that the female breast is seen only in a sexual nature and that breastfeeding is seen as a lower class option especially since formula, crafted by scientists and created by man is viewed as to be much better than the God- crafted Mother’s Milk.
While I view myself as a lactivist, I have never had the occasion to put that title to good use, until last night. On Friday evening, the entire extended Frey family went out for a traditional Wisconsin Fish Fry. (If you are not from Wisconsin, fish fries are HUGE… during Lent, some places have drive thru fish fries. If you are from Wisconsin, you know what I mean!) Anyway, upon arriving at the crowded restaurant in Sturgeon Bay, I proceeded to place Lucia in the sling so I would have the chance at eating with two hands rather than one. The rest of the story was told to me by my brother-in-law:
As soon as I got Lucia in the sling and snuggled in, a lady at the table next to ours was overheard saying to her tablemates, “if she breastfeeds that baby at the table, I am going to slap her.” (*shock*) BIL could not believe that he heard what he did and immediately told FIL, DH and MIL what was said. The restaurant was quite loud so I did not hear anything. Lucia began fussing and DH asked me to wait to feed Lucia “until Mike (BIL) returned to the table.” Thinking that BIL was weirded out about nursing in public, I happily agreed. Once BIL returned, I latched Lucia on and we all continued chatting.
As the table next to us cleared out, FIL very loudly and sarcastically said to the woman “Bye-bye!” and I asked what was going on. It was then that the slapping statement was relayed to me. Needless to say, my adrenaline spiked and I was ready to throw down. I looked at DH and said, “give me a minute,” grabbed Lucia and walked up to the woman, with DH at my heels. I gently tapped her on her shoulder and when she turned, said: “I am sorry that my nursing my daughter offended you” and I smiled sweetly. She started stuttering and stammering in reply and finally said to me, “No, no… your daughter is beautiful.” I said, “thank you” walked back to my table. Upon returning, I said to DH “and you thought I couldn’t do that without grace.” His reply was that he was not worried about me. I then asked that we all pray for her to learn tolerance.
1 Samuel 1:23 “Do what seems best to you,” Elkanah her husband told her. “Stay here until you have weaned him; only may the LORD make good his word.” So the woman stayed at home and nursed her son until she had weaned him.