breastfeeding

This Mom Asked Her Friend To Breastfeed Her Baby, And There’s Nothing Strange About It

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It’s a fantastic essay that examines certain rituals that have become taboo in our Western culture — questioning why we are so quick to accept the label and judge the action. In Albert’s case, the ability to lean on another woman was what got her through an incredibly difficult postpartum time:

It took me a long time to regain my confidence. The state of early motherhood was in many ways a state of crisis, and although my husband was characteristically stalwart and kind, a full partner in every sense, it was the women who calmly, lovingly took my hand and led me through. It turned out I didn’t have to feign invulnerability whatsoever. The more vulnerable I remained, the clearer my vision became, and what I could see, at long last, was a circle of woman comrades, offering me fortitude and nourishment when I was bereft of all. My gratitude only grows with time.

It’s obvious why an observer wouldn’t be immediately comfortable with this scenario – the possibility of disease transmission being the thing that comes to mind first. But if this was a close friend of hers, she knew her health status, and was comfortable asking for help – why not? It worked for her, it worked for her friend, she was able to go on to nurse (which seemed very important to her) so alls well that ends well. The only thing that saddens me about the story is that it highlights the incredible pressure some women feel to breastfeed. The fact of the matter is that we’ve made advances that help women move away from certain limiting aspects of motherhood – and breastfeeding can certainly be one of those aspects. We have formula now – rejoice! But Albert questions the “cross-nursing” taboo and writes about it in such a way that she may just make you question why you accept certain things as “taboo,” too.

(photo: Getty Images)

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