A Breastfeeding Rant

A couple of days ago, I was mindlessly scrolling down my Facebook timeline when I saw this picture on xoJane.com’s page:

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If you want to get a group of people in an uproar, talk about breastfeeding!

I instantly connected with this picture. I have two girls, ages 4 and 10 weeks, and both of them have been breastfed. With my oldest daughter, I breastfed her until her first birthday. I intend to do the same with her little sister. And, I know all about the harassment that breastfeeding moms face in public. People constantly frown upon moms breastfeeding their children outside of the home. Some people even have the nerve to suggest that they breastfeed in a bathroom.

Once again, people are in an uproar about breasts. Thanks to current fashion trends, we see them out and about every day. But, their function is not to attract a mate. Breasts are meant to nourish our babies. If a mom feeding her child makes you feel uncomfortable, then don’t look. She should not have to hunker down in a bathroom stall or sit in a stifling hot car because you have a sexual hangup with boobs.

Personally, I have breastfed in public before and I use a nursing cover. The primary reason for me using a cover is to keep my baby focused on breastfeeding. Babies are extremely curious people who like to look around, which prolongs breastfeeding. I don’t cover up for other people because I don’t care. Some women don’t use covers because their busy babies will kick and fight the cover. And, if it’s warm, who wants to eat with a blanket over their head? Yes, I could take a bottle, but where would I warm it? My kids like warm milk!

My four year old knows what breasts are for. If your child asks, then tell them. They are for feeding babies.

The strangest part of the breastfeeding debate is the ridicule from other women. My husband, father, and father-in-law applaud me for breastfeeding. Meanwhile, some of my female family members and friends were giving me the side eye and telling me to “get with the times” and formula feed. When I read articles, I see more women opposed to breastfeeding than men. When there are comments from men, they are generally in support of breastfeeding.

Women should support each other. If a woman decides to formula feed or breastfeed, she should have support. I support the message in this picture.

-Tai Gooden

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2 thoughts on “A Breastfeeding Rant

  1. honey says:

    hi there,

    this is a long response. i hope you can bear w/me + read w/patience:)

    i’m commenting here because i just learned of karyn washington last week. while, i did not know her or her work (i don’t know how i stumbled upon her) i feel as if she tumbled out of my arms. i watched the huffpo live segment twice, applauding your eloquent + clear honesty about your journey. i’m thrilled for your triumph in becoming a wife + mom + writer. your poem, black girl genes is so on point- i love the last line:) this breastfeeding article is great. i remember a woman pulling me to the side once telling me it was rude for me to breastfeed my son out in public w/o considering others who were eating in the same restaurant. it’s disheartening to learn 14yrs later when women are doing it big, there is still a debate about something so natural + ancient.

    i’d also like to share that i read your xojane piece. you have no idea how much your story resonated w/me. almost 30 yrs ago as a high school sophomore my biology partner named karen took her life. she ironically started the peer counseling program in this very wealthy suburban school, was head of the girls’ volleyball team, certainly dissected the frogs + mice that i was too frightened to touch when we had class. she was the most bubbly person whom i never once saw frown. she sat in her car + turned on the gas + was found on her front steps, having apparently changed her mind. within a month of her death, another young women who rode the bus w/me to this school from the inner city, named tyesha attempted to take her life by swallowing a bottle of tylenol. she + i were not close, however when she got on the bus she told me she’d taken the pills. woozy + losing consciousness + me not knowing what to do as a 15yr old w/such a serious circumstance i told the bus driver discreetly. he called paramedics and they met us at the school. this is so strange to read about online all these years later. congrats and much love to you.

  2. Wow, thank you so much for your comment! I’m glad you had a chance to read my xojane piece and learn about Karyn. She was a truly remarkable young lady. I hope you found some healing in the midst of your reading. And, I could rant on breastfeeding all day lol. People are true morons when it comes to such a natural and beautiful subject! Much love back to you 🙂

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