On the 9th of July 2014, I was embarrassed about breast feeding Kendi in public. It wasn’t really public, it was in a hospital room, but there were people there. It was the day after she was born and I had many visitors coming to see her. Some actually came to see me too, but not many. My dad was among the visitors that day.
We were talking and laughing and looking at the cute new born. We were speculating as to who she looked like, what her personality would be like, waiting for her to ‘say’ something, all the things people do around a new baby. Then, she started to fuss and whine and carry on. Before I even checked what was wrong with her, she made a noise that sounded like ‘neh’. This, we had already learned about, meant that she was hungry. I brought her to my chest, unbuttoned my hospital gown and was about to place my breast in her mouth when I felt a tinge of embarrassment because daddy was there.
It was just a tinge. It didn’t last very long. I fed my baby. I continued talking to my dad. I doubt he noticed my hesitation. Maybe I’ll ask him about it one day.
I realized that I had had a breakthrough that day. I discovered very quickly that I had to decide whether I wanted to figure out what people thought about my breastfeeding versus how I felt about feeding my child. And I noticed, after deep soul searching, that I felt nothing at all about people’s thoughts as much as I felt about feeding Kendi when she was hungry.
People pretend. They say, that breastfeeding in public shouldn’t be allowed because they view the breast as a sexual organ rather than a ‘fridge’ as Tawi and Mich would put it. However, they are happy with that same breast being used to sell a car. I don’t buy it.
I felt embarrassed another time, because uncle Kamamo (my husband’s uncle) was among the people around me. It was also for a very short while. He didn’t seem to care. Why should I?