I had posted one of these images from a series of maternity shots I had done with my favourite family photographer, Nicky Stowe (http://www.nickystowephotography.co.za) a few weeks ago on social media and was amazed at the range of reactions. A few people were very offended by me being in a bikini when 38 weeks pregnant. Probably the same people who would now be offended if they saw me breastfeeding in a restaurant (which I often do – there’s no shame in breastfeeding my baby) and probably the same people who read magazines and take no notice of boobs being used to sell everything from insurance to burgers to cars.
Apparently, she felt that my child would be so embarrassed when she was a teenager that I posted the picture. I’m sure I’ll embarrass my children lots during their lifetimes by applauding too loudly at their school concerts after their small microscopic part in a play or hugging them when their friends are in eyeshot, but surely they would not be embarrassed by the picture? And if so, they’ll be strong enough to deal with it, I hope. Mom wore a swimsuit and won a pageant and fought for world peace 😉 But, in the process she learnt lots, became a stronger woman and worked hard to create a better life for herself and them.
Why does my pregnant body offend you? And why does feeding my baby in the most natural (and best) way for him/ her offend you? I’m not going to enter into the whole boxing-ring about breastfeeding in public (a debate which has been raging on for a while and which has become a huge topic of conversation lately). In my (not so humble) opinion, look the other way, if it offends you and allow me to comfort and feed my little baby. I cover myself and my baby while breastfeeding and the fact that you know what’s happening under my delicately draped scarf and that it nauseates you is your issue, not mine, nor my baby’s. The fact that your husband is staring is more indicative of an issue between you and him, not my baby and I. And the fact that I’m happy with myself and my body whilst carrying a human being and comfortable in a bikini at the beach (which is where they are worn by the rest of the population) is nothing which should upset you.
I breastfed our son for 20 months (yes, and I loved it!). I was very blessed to be able to and lucky that it was easy for me. Many people struggle to breastfeed and I am grateful that I was not one of them and I do sympathise with those who would love to and are unable to for whatever reason. Motherhood is a wonderful blessing. You learn a lot about yourself. And others. You accept people for who they are and yourself for who you learn you are and have become.
Lots of love and light,
xx Modern Mommy AKA MoMo AKA Jo-Ann 😉
P.S. I am giving away a BabySense Feeding shawl – it is a beautiful and practical piece – post your breastfeeding comment below and you can win one for yourself or gift it to an expectant mom.