Support With Integrity

This week's Breastfeeding Blog Hop topic is Support With Integrity. Support with Integrity is an online pledge that many people have signed promising to support breastfeeding, judgement-free.

I have been very lucky to have wonderful support from my husband, family, and friends. Even my work has been supportive of me pumping for E while working. One of the first places I turned to for support as a new nursing mom was online forums. Kellymom, The Leaky B@@b, Facebook, and Livejournal's Breastfeeding community helped me navigate through those first trying weeks. What I was oblivious to at the time was the amount of unsupportive behavior on those forums and that it was coming from other breastfeeding moms.

Let's sit around the campfire nursing and singing Kumbaya!

Recent news events have thrust nursing in public into a pretty large spotlight. Everyone has an opinion on it, whether they breastfeed or not. I have lost track of the number of times I've seen the uncovered versus covered debate. Moms who choose to cover for whatever reason get accused of not helping to normalize NIP. Uncovered moms are told that they're drawing attention to themselves by not covering. Rather than debate about the best way to feed a baby in public, more importance should be placed on the fact that nursing in public is the exception rather than the norm in most places.

The word discreet is usually thrown around in this argument [side note: discrete is not the same as discreet]. Something that's often forgotten is that discretion is subjective. What's discrete to me may not be discrete to you. Instead of discrete, let's use the word comfortable: I cover when I nurse in public because I am comfortable. I nurse uncovered because I am comfortable doing that. See? Isn't that much better?

To me, unsupportive behavior from a fellow nursing mom is the worst type of unsupport. Breastfeeding is difficult enough without having someone on your team offering judgement in place of encouragement. Whether you sign the pledge or not, we should all be more considerate of our fellow nursing mom. Next time you you see a mom NIP (covered or uncovered), catch her eye and smile at her. Give her a thumbs up if you feel so inclined.
Best for Babes' Facebook page had a great idea in their status this morning: Friday morning challenge: reach out to a pregnant or breastfeeding mama you know and post some words of encouragement/support on her Facebook wall. What an easy way to show support and encouragement!

Have you felt that you were supported without judgement by other breastfeeding moms?