The pomp around breastfeeding week has never been inspirational to me. Why the week was put in place is most unjustifiable. I have always assumed that breastfeeding was so instinctive that no or a few lessons would be required. Maybe the week has its pros, I would never know. But I cannot still not help, but wonder why some district hospitals bemoaned the lack of funding for the participation on the breastfeeding week. Hello?? What sort of funding exactly does one need to breastfeed? I do not want to know what hospitals had planned or the kind of activities they carried out in participating last week. I just think that sometimes these matters are exaggerated. Nonetheless, I am a supporter of breastfeeding and giving infants and toddlers all the required nutrients ‘boobs’ provide.
I have observed many mothers who do not require persuasion to breast-feed their young, hence my questioning the essence of the week. In fact, some of it is done more as a hobby than it is as a nutrient supplementation. It is as if they take pride in undressing in public. Most of those I have observed will not hesitate to expose the breast even when the baby is not hungry and have relegated the milk glands to play things. In the thick of a chat, the woman will release the bosom inhabitants to offer to a baby or toddler who simply gurgled playfully and she mistook as a feeding siren. Some will even leave it in the open for the toddler’s easy accessibility as and when it needs to feed. Yet, others let the baby play with the nipple as it would with a rattle while she carries on whatever business she is attending to. Then there would be the total neglect of omitting to capture the duo in a bra to avoid the in and out removal during breast feeding. It is as if women do not study their children’s feeding routines and will offer the milk as a form of convenience. I ask; why attempt to breast-feed a baby who has injured itself? What is the logic of offering milk as a pain reliever? Does breast feeding mean overexposure of the assets?
Like I said, I am a supporter of breastfeeding and will not judge anyone how they indulge in it. I just believe that there are times they should be exposed purposefully with the full honour and respect of proper care such as a bra. If not, at least the proper conciliation of the same. There shouldn’t be the haphazard exposure even when the baby has little to do with it. It all boils down to adequate and orderly feeding routines.
Even as we are breastfeeding, let the breasts remain the sacred organs that they are so that the menfolk should still struggle to get a glimpse. Motherhood should not mean an unwarranted display of the twins. Feed we must, but with honour and dignity. Keep those bras on still. They remain a must lest we turn the breasts into slipper-like objects— flat. Happy belated breastfeeding week. n