Society and Breastfeeding: Then and Now

This Facebook memory popped up and a flood of memories came rushing over me. My grandmother and I always had a very close relationship and I miss her dearly. We always talked a lot about her memories growing up and eventually starting a family. When I was nursing my first baby she told me about her experience. She had her first baby in the 50’s and her doctor told her she couldn’t breastfeed simply because she “can’t’.” No explanation was given and she said he was noticeably uncomfortable with her asking about it. He gave her medicine to dry up her milk and insisted she feed her baby (my dad) formula.

Back then breastfeeding was frowned upon especially in the middle and upper class societies. My grandmother told me people thought breastfeeding was gross and women only nursed if they were poor and couldn’t afford formula. I’m so happy our society has come so far since the 50’s and the fact that moms nowadays are more educated and encouraged to breastfeed their babies. Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot of work that needs to be done to take the perception of sex out of feeding our babies with our breasts. But I am so glad (and my grandmother was too) that I was able to breastfeed my babies without the added stress of society telling me I couldn’t.

And I feel even more blessed that my life’s work is to educate and help women do what we were give the gift to do…nourish our babies with our bodies.

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