Monday, January 26, 2015

A Guardian Angel: A Positive Breastfeeding/NIP Story

This story was shared in a local breastfeeding support group on Facebook. I asked to share it here because I think it's important that we hear about the positive stories. Social and traditional media are over-saturated with negative NIP stories, to the point that it may seem discrimination is inevitable. But it's not. Sometimes when someone approaches you as you breastfeed - it's to tell you how awesome you are!

If you have a positive story to share, email me at I'd like to make this a habit!

Here are Jessie's words:
"I was having an incredibly hard day today (car broke down, bills arrived in the mail that I can't pay, agonizing sinus issues, trying to move past family drama, yet another job interview that didn't pan out) and brought my four month old son to Sprouts Farmers Market off Manchaca to do my weekly grocery shopping that I had been putting off for days.

Eight minutes and a half full cart in, Brave starts having a hangry meltdown. Already scatterbrained and overwhelmed, it doesn't occur to me to set my cart aside and go out to my car - I just frantically look for a place to sit down to nurse him because I couldn't get the position right in my Ergo. So, I 'pull over' near the eggs, sit on the edge of the cooler, and pull my cart as much out of the way as I can. I'm so emotional that I forget to put on my 'what I'm doing is natural face,' and I keep my head down while blushing at my gulping, teary-eyed infant.

Suddenly, a man in his late fifties or early sixties who is looking at the vegetables to my left speaks up to me and says... (get your tissues, I'm crying as I type this), "I honor you for what you do. You are doing such good by your son! My mama, she fed me like that until I was two years old - and it made me different, it made a difference for me. Women in Europe they do it everyday; I do not understand why women here cannot feed their sons without shame. It is natural!"

I was expecting him to berate me, and it took me off guard. I got choked up and thanked him as my eyes started to water. He nodded and started to walk away when he thought better and turned back to me to look me straight in the eye and say, "Anyone can be a mama..." Then he pointed at me and continued, "...but you are a great mama." I couldn't speak and tears streamed down my face. He smiled at me and told me to have a great day, and walked away. I so needed that, right then. What a guardian angel!"

An angel indeed!  As Jessie put it, "I wish EVERY mama got this kind of love when they need it most."

Jessie with her son, Brave

Jessie is a 27-year-old transplant living in Austin from the Pacific Northwest, and a single mama to both a four-month-old ginger named Bravery and a four-year-old Labradoodle named Maggie.

1 comment:

  1. As a single man I had never really considered what women go through with breastfeeding and particularly in public. When I see a woman nursing, I am curious and so captivated with the beauty and tenderness of the situation that I want to look but I don't want to stare, be inappropriate in anyway or make the woman feel uncomfortable. So, I feel awkward, trying to act like there is nothing special and just ignore the nursing but really I'm not. If the woman should look my direction or if we are right next to one another, do I just ignore her; smile, and say hello or what? Seeing so many sweet, tender NIP photos around the web where the woman is completely natural and comfortable whether discrete in positioning and it is not really even noticeable whether the baby is nursing or not or even if the baby is not as discrete and pulling on the nipple is helping to normalize breastfeeding to me. Even by commenting here is taking a certain amount of boldness to break down a mindset that I should not even be involved in such issues. I was going to post it on fb but I prefer to do it Anonymously at this time and this post certainly encourages me to be kind, respectful, and encouraging, and not to be reserved just because a woman is nursing.
    So, I encourage women to be great mothers to your children and I pray that I and others are able to provide the appropriate, supportive environment wherever you are.