Tuesday

Got Milk? (Tienes leche?)

I think I watched it somewhere in the news, on tv about people breast feeding in public. I didn't know that's it's a big deal over here in the US. I guess it's a cultural thing. In my five years living here, the only time I saw a mother breastfeeding her baby was at the mall. We were at the food court, there was amother with her baby seated next to our table. I was watching as she unfold a sheet to cover while she breast fed her baby. That was the only time I saw someone breast fed a baby in public.

It was very different in the Philippines where I grew up. It was a very natural thing for mothers to feed their babies even in the pressence of other people, they didn't even have to cover their breasts or anything. I recall about a few months ago when I was on vacation back home. My elder sister just had her baby. We were in their living room, when all of a sudden she just started breastfeeding her baby. The door was open and there were people, some guys hanging around because they have a small sari-sari store. When I saw her breast feeding in plain view where the people outside were able to see her, I almost said something but I just shut my mouth. Her father-in-law was sitting just opposite her, when she bared her breast and fed her baby. It was uneasy for me, but I didn't verbalize it because I realized, it's a natural thing for them. It was just me, I guess I got used to the American culture.
Growing up, I have seen lots and lots of women breast feeding in plain sight even my mom when she had my younger siblings. It was very natural, they didn't feel uneasy or that the people say anything about feeding their baby in public.

I remember that there was a party, a Filipino gathering that I went to.It hapenned that one of the ladies' was still feeding her daughter. She didn't breast fed in plain view of everybody, she asked the hostess if she could use their a room to breast fed. I just happen to walk in and saw her breast feeding but that wasn't a big deal with her. I was a bit embarrassed but I realized, what's the big deal, she was just feeding her baby.

I guess the practice of breastfeeding in public varies from place to place.Other people feel uneasy about it because the sight of sucking breast is associated with sex. And the idea of breast being exposed make some people uncomfortable. I haven't had a baby yet, and as I think about it, it makes me feel uneasy too due to my exposure to the culture. I remember growing up that I felt comfortable seeing mothers breastfeeding in plain sight while I chat with them. It was very natural at that time. No uneasy feeling, I saw mothers do that all the time even my mom while I was growing up when she had my younger siblings. But why is it that now, I seem to be uneasy thinking of myself breastfeeding in public?

I say this again, I don't have any children yet, so everything's in my head at this moment while I contemplate about motherhood. It's something that struck my curiousity. I have always thought and planned to breast feed when the time comes. I wonder if other women have thought about it even before they got pregnant. It's something that I want to learn more. They say that you'll know when you get there, but I still believe that learning things early is a great preparation. Of course when one gets there then they got to learn on first hand experience. But having an idea will prepare one what to expect, even if expectations can either be way harder or easier than it is thought to be.

I think it's great that there are classes that couples or pregnant women can attend to learn about pregnancy and pre-natal care and all that stuff. I think that attending to these classes boosts ones confidence when entering the motherhood phase of their lives. I believe the first experience is always the hardest and the scariest for a mother. And as they say pregnancy differs from one another, and so is the experience. Others may have harder times, others may have very easy experiences. Of course, everyone wishes to have that easier experience including me when the time comes.

To all of you who are one the way, goodluck as you all discover the pleasures of being a mother.

La frase del dia:

Tienes leche de vaca?- Got cow's milk?

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