A resource to inspire, inform and empower parents.

Breastfeeding Feedback

Abby Theuring, The Badass Breastfeeder, breastfeeding advocate

It’s worn out now, but this shirt used to say, “Human. Kind. Be both.” I think this is a good motto when going about life. I often see comments under breastfeeding posts (especially when the child is beyond infancy) that it’s “disgusting,” “ridiculous” or “inappropriate.” Listen up, these statements are subjective at best and totally insulting. You don’t get to hide behind “Well that’s just my opinion.” It’s not an opinion, it’s an insult. And you can take your insults and shove them. You are welcome to ask questions, we love to answer them and share our experiences. We are moms making decisions for our families just like you. It might not look the same as yours, but that doesn’t matter. And you should be capable of understanding that you are not in charge of anyone’s life but your own. We’ve got this. We promise.

 

Breastfeeding Ends, No Need to Rush It

My husband caught this slice of life today at the indoor festival. My littlest son was tired and overwhelmed. He asked to nurse so we sat and had a snack while he had mommy time and dozed off for a nap. My biggest son gave the hot dog a thumbs up. Just a couple years ago my biggest would have done the same thing, sought me out to nurse for comfort. But now he, like all the kids, has adjusted and finds comfort in other ways, like a hot dog or hug or just sitting and resting with the family. He is beautiful living proof that they all stop breastfeeding eventually, that breastfeeding beyond infancy does not cause bad habits or psychological harm and that even if left to breastfeed until they themselves decide to stop it will all happen sooner than you think and go by in a flash. And when the comes it will resemble a punch to the throat. Hold them close, badasses, there’s no need to rush it.

The Badass Breastfeeder, Abby Theuring, breastfeeding in public

10 Things I Hate About Breastfeeding

It’s Breastfeeding Awareness Month 2017 baby! And I am here to rant about things I cannot stand about breastfeeding! Why? Because this is hard. Breastfeeding is really hard! It’s magical and empowering and all that stuff but I need all you new parents and parents struggling right now to know that you will not like everything about breastfeeding. And that’s OK! We do a disservice to each other when we wash over the negative feelings that breastfeeding can bring us. We can find comfort and community in the tough things that we deal with just like with any other journey in life. It’s the secret to our success. So let’s get to it. 10 things I hate about breastfeeding!

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Is Nursing in Public Narcissistic?

If you ask any number of people on the internet the answer to this question is a resounding, “Yes!” I mean, “Can’t you use a cover?” “You should be more modest!” “Women should be more discreet.” “You need to do that in the bathroom.” “You just want attention!”

I get these comments all the time. I get them on the internet, that is, because no one yet has had the balls to say it to my face even if it’s what they were thinking. I read comments all the time such as, “You are such an attention whore!” “You are a narcissistic mother!” “You are just trying to show off.” “You just want people to look at you.” [Read more…]

Breastfeeding Toddlers and Small Children

I recently wrote a post called Common Toddler Breastfeeding Problems. In the comment section a woman asked me to write more about breastfeeding toddlers “because it can get really lonely.” That comment really stayed with me. I breastfeed an almost 3-year-old and almost 6-year-old. I have many friends and an online community who do the same so I don’t feel lonely all the time, but I certainly feel that way when I am not within that community. And I remember what it felt like when I had no mothering community at all. I didn’t even know another mother when I had my first son, Jack. [Read more…]

Bottle Versus Breast: The Real Fight

I have never been shamed for breastfeeding. But saying that I have never been shamed for breastfeeding is like saying that I have never been raped. It doesn’t really matter. I still live in fear of it. No, I don’t mean shuddering in fear and unable to live my life. I mean my behavior (and yours) is shaped by the experiences of other women. I don’t walk alone at night. I am always aware of my surroundings. I walk briskly through empty parking garages. I would never think of cutting down an alley at night. As a matter of fact, I won’t even do it during the day in my neighborhood. I have lived my whole life being shaped by a culture where women are brutally abused every single day, where the responsibility lies on me to not be victimized. [Read more…]

Is Breastfeeding a Feminist Issue?

“Abby, why are you steady blowing up my newsfeed with feminist posts? This is a breastfeeding page, I don’t need to hear about all this. Stop trying to make breastfeeding a feminist issue!”

the-truth-will-set-you-free-but-first-it-will-piss-you-off [Read more…]

The Year Breastfeeding Goes Mainstream

It’s happening. The exposure that women have given to their breastfeeding harassment is climaxing. Women have had enough of being verbally abused, called “disgusting,” and being kicked out of restaurants, doctors’ offices, court rooms, playrooms, public pools and stores. We are sick of being bullied by businesses, having photos deemed pornographic, being told that we should expect to be abused if we are going to do “that” in public/without a cover/near children/near husbands/past infancy/etc. Breastfeeders all over the world are shedding the cover and coming out of hiding. The world is feeling our power.

Photo by Ivette Ivens

Photo by Ivette Ivens

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Breastfeeding Perspective

Abby Theuring, The Badass Breastfeeder, breastfeeding in public.

I recently thought I’d like to start watching a TV show. I don’t watch much, but thought it might be fun to get into something regularly (besides Seinfeld reruns). I tried a couple of those prime time dramas and every time I had to turn it off after 10 minutes and was left emotionally triggered the rest of the evening. It seems we’ve become completely desensitized to rape, murder, beating, blood, gore, etc. Some of the plot lines were so outrageous, so violent that my mouth literally hung open. It’s always the same cheesy lines, void of any human emotion and more excessive violence. Yet I regularly receive messages over social media that I’m, “gross,” “disgusting,” or “harming” my children in response to my breastfeeding or gentle parenting posts. Get a clue, people. What is harming our children? What is harming the world? Breastfeeding and co-sleeping? Or glamorized violence, violence in our neighborhoods, free-walking abusers, intolerance, hate and fear?

A Sickness

Abby Theuring, The Badass Breastfeeder, breastfeeding in public.

You will most likely not have a negative breastfeeding incident in your life. But that means nothing really. You live in a world where this happens and we all suffer the consequences of misogyny. Breastfeeding incidents occur often. Most of them are not reported. (Sound familiar?) Women are left humiliated, frightened and broken. Something is taken from women when this occurs; a sense of safety and innocence. These are not isolated incidents. They are part of a pattern of hatred of women, violence against women, abuse of women, shaming of women. Where porn is a billion dollar industry, where we pay a ton of money to see women take their clothes off, but women are told to cover up and go to the bathroom when breastfeeding their babies. There is a sickness in our society. One rooted in misogyny and double standards. One that hurts women and children everyday. One that must be cured. Cured by speaking up, speaking out, speaking often, making waves, not shutting up, not waiting for it to get better, breastfeeding whenever and wherever, shouting for each other and not giving up ever, ever, ever.