"Welcome to the first Milk Mama Diaries Carnival (March). To celebrate National Women's Month, our participants share how breastfeeding has changed them as a woman. Please scroll down to the end of this post and check out the other carnival participants."
Women are human beings who menstruate, gestate and lactate.
Now, I know some have been able to control their menstrual cycles by tampering with it. And if we want the circle of life to continue, we really have to get pregnant because the men just can't (at least, not yet).
And we lactate because the same miracle that allows us to grow a child inside our bodies made provisions for us to grow that child once outside of us.
Now, a woman can choose if she'll have her period, whether or not she'll get pregnant and whether she will breastfeed or not. Yet, she is no less a woman. She is no less a human being whatever she decides.
Still, I like to think of the decision to breastfeed as something that allows women to be more than what their bodies dictate, even if it starts out as a physiological capacity. It's a decision to extend the time that your body is not yours. It's a decision to feel exposed when you're nursing in public. It's a decision to get a special wardrobe that can accommodate this choice. It's a decision to be attached to a child for six months, or two years, or more. It's a decision to make breast milk storage experts out of working moms. It's a decision that makes you fight for your beliefs. It's a decision that causes stress when dealing with non-supportive or uninformed medical experts. It's a decision that challenges lifestyle choices, work setups, family dynamics and even government decisions.
For some, it's a decision to make them fight for all the other children not being breastfed. Or at least, a decision to save their family from some expense, or the earth from some pollution. And it's only true reward is in the doing because it cannot really generate income for you that will make you ludicrously rich.
Breastfeeding is a choice to be more than a woman because it makes us intentional parents and life advocates. It requires a commitment greater than just 'putting food on the table' because it requires so much from us women. And with this decision, we have effected changes. The progress has been slow but its progress made nonetheless. None of us who got pregnant had to breastfeed, especially those of us who can afford formula milk. But we do it. We do it even when it doesn't make sense to the modern world of quick fixes and convenient measures.
Breastfeeding is one of the ways how I love my children. There are so many... but none as truly demanding, nor as truly rewarding.
Pleare read all the other insightful entries :)
Nurturing Rafael, same old brand new me by Dinna
The Breasts and Me by Apples and Dumplings/Cai
Of Nursing and Self-Awareness by Tea Cups and Melodies/Christine
Breastfeeding made me a better and stronger mom…and woman by Ethanmama/Doc Joey
The Adventures of Supercow by Rheea
Please Think Before You Comment by Jenny of Fabnaima
Breastfeeding has made me a better Woman by ruly Rich Mom Tina
My Breastfeeding Story by Manila Fashion Observer
Loving Jaden, Changing Me by Misis Teapot
Juggling Mommy Act: Breastfeeding While Caring for ME by Handy Mommy Ichel
Breastfeeding and My Career by Touring Kitty
feeling Fab at 40 by Pittipat
Breastfeeding and my Self-Image by Topaz Mommy
Joining the Milkwagon by Dotty