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Keka Araujo's picture

Breastfeeding was something that I knew I wanted to do since I was a little girl. I remember Mami nursing my baby sister (we're 19 months apart). Her cocoa skin was radiant and beautiful. Her afro was EVERAAAAAYTHAAANG! Mere mortals couldn't dare compare to her. Thank you for being my inspiration and the embodiment of motherhood, Mami. La quiero mucho.

Now for the nitty gritty. 

To be able to nourish your child with your perfectly made food is an incredible feeling. Unfortunately, everybody doesn't share the same the sentiment. Folks will give their unsolicited opinions and their negativity to a natural process which, by the way, is embraced by the rest of the world. I guess American boobs must be dipped in fairy dust because apparently they should be worshipped and not be used as nature intended.

I am cursed. I've no poker face, filter or fux for most topics but breastfeeding seemed to bring out the the nasty with an extra side of petty. Stay with me.

When my daughter was six weeks old, I went to Pizza Hut to eat with a friend. I hadn't presented my baby with a bottle so my breast was all she knew. I was also a free boobing type mami (to my husband's dismay) but I understood that everyone wasn't comfortable with seeing a real-life "National Geographic" moment so I was always sure to have a blanket in tow. I was so excited about my outing. I wore my new, ugly nursing bra and had nursing pads on just in case.  We were at the table. Negrita With Tumbao began to cry, my breasts filled and I reached for my blanket. 

Yemi and I were completely covered. We placed our orders. And then it happened. The server came over looking uncomfortable as hell. She, quietly, says, "Uuuum. Ma'am some of the guests are uncomfortable so could you feed your baby in the bathroom?"

I may have blacked out. I'm not sure. I DID look around at everybody to get an inkling of who may have said that bullshit. I, immediately, knew it was the troll sitting at the table with her husband and two sons. She couldn't look at me when our eyes met. There were about 20 people in the restaurant. I was sure to deliver a rousing message to every patron in there as to not having ANY misunderstanding. 

"Whoever has a problem with a mother feeding her baby under a blanket can get the hell on. If you don't want to see a blanket, YOU GO EAT YOUR FUCKING FOOD IN THE BATHROOM!"

I looked directly at that woman. I felt so empowered. I had often heard stories of people who pulled stunts like this and I wondered what I would have done if I was ever confronted with that situation. So many times, mothers will go out of their way to make others comfortable when their ONLY responsibility is to ensure their baby's comfort. That day I was NOT having it. Well any day for that matter because forget that. 

I was also an extended breastfeeder. I breastfed Yemi until she was a month shy of her third birthday. A vicodin, percocet cocktail ended that dream. Stupid sciatica. Cold turkey weaning was not the bomb. I digress. 

My baby was an articulate toddler. I would wear a big sweatshirt in public so she could nurse on demand. It was the cutest thing. She would request "to nurse please". OMG. The.cutest.thing. EVAAAAH. She was not discrete. She would ask in Target, in the grocery store, at the zoo... dondequiera. I, happily, obliged. Again strangers were quick to give their opinions.

You better give that baby a cup."

"She is too big to be nursing."

"You're gonna mess up her teeth."

"That's weird."

My daughter was reading by 3. Yemi was virtually never sick and never babbled. She used whole sentences and articulated beautifully. She's well-adjusted and  loved.  MIND.YOUR.BUSINESS. Because MIND.YOUR BUSINESS.

Breastfeeding is a beautiful act of love. Do it on your own terms. As long as your baby/babies are happy and healthy, that's all that matters. 

Live. Love. Nurse. 

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