I wanted to share this link to a great article about nursing practices in Mongolia. I loved this article written by a woman who raised her son in Mongolia, on breastfeeding practices there. It is interesting, very funny, and a bit shocking. But overall it’s just fabulous and it makes me proud to be a breastfeeding supporter and current nursing mama.
My favorite line:
From the time Calum was four months old until he was three years old, wherever I went, I heard the same thing over and over again: “Breastfeeding is the best thing for your baby, the best thing for you.” The constant approval made me feel that I was doing something important that mattered to everyone- exactly the kind of public applause every new mother needs.
I find this so perfect because this is what lacks in our society: the feeling that, when nursing, you are doing something that matters to everyone. Too often mamas who are nursing in public get asked to cover up or made to feel embarassed about feeding their child. At best people tolerate it or “don’t mind” if you nurse around them. But nursing benefits everyone- not just you and the baby. A nursed baby has less incidences of illness, less incidence of SIDS, and is less likely to be obese throughout his or her life. Each of these things means less healthcare costs for society, over the course of that baby’s life. It also means less missed work for parents, less coworkers who get sick from a sick parent, less tax dollars spent on healthcare overall. Also, your tax dollars don’t need to pay for formula for a breastfed baby (which they currently do, through programs, like WIC). Breastfeeding means less trash in our landfills (compared to each canister of formula or bottle of pre-prepared formula) less synthetic chemicals used to make the cans and bottles, and less gas spent trasporting formula around the country to stores and into homes.
Women who can and do nurse should be supported and celebrated and never made to feel ashamed. We are doing something great for society! I think about this each time I nurse in public, and I feel a sense of pride in what I am doing for my baby and for everyone around me- even if those around me don’t know it yet.