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The Impact of Mothers on the Breastfeeding Community

MommyCon attendee breastfeeding.

I was just browsing the MommyCon page enjoying the memories of a couple weeks ago when I saw this photo and its caption. I am 100% sure that the Admin who posted this does not know how amazing it is that they coupled this woman with their shout out about my appearance at the convention. THIS woman.

My first public speaking engagement was with MommyCon 1 year ago. After my presentation it was opened up to Q&A. This woman raised her hand and expressed how she felt anxious about nursing her toddler in public. She said she has no issue with her baby, but with her toddler she felt nervous about other people’s reactions. She began to cry. And in true Abby form so did I. I didn’t know what to tell her. I could only validate her feelings. Breastfeeding beyond infancy is not something you see often. I could empathize with her feelings and told her so. There wasn’t much more I could do for her even though I wanted to make it all better. I spoke with her more on the topic after later that day and then she left. I felt so unsatisfied. I always do when I can’t make something all better for someone.

Later that day I logged onto Facebook to share more pictures of the day. I noticed that she had posted to my page. She posted a picture of her breastfeeding her toddler at the airport on her way home. Right there in the middle of the airport. She said talking about it helped and no one batted an eye. I bawled my eyes out, of course.

Since that first speaking engagement a year ago several people have referenced the moment that this woman and I shared. They point it out as something that really stood out to them. My husband brings this woman up often in conversations.

This year at MommyCon I gave a presentation. At one point I referenced my talk from the year before. I asked the audience if anyone had been in attendance. Only one person raised their hand. I looked out at her and recognized her instantly. It was her! Of all people it was this woman. I was so happy to see her. Of course the day went by so fast that I didn’t have much time except to hug her and speak briefly with her, but I will always remember her. She will always represent what a very small conversation with another mother can do for us. What simple validation of feelings can do for us. What The Badass Breastfeeder is at its very core.

Abby Theuring, MSW

Comments

  1. Real brain power on dispyal. Thanks for that answer!

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