The beauty of breastfeeding

“Do you mind if I feed Jonathan?” my sister-in-law asked me as she threw an oversized blanket over her shoulder – but the question she was posing to me wasn’t really “if,” it was “where.”

My sister-in-law was gauging whether or not I was comfortable with her breastfeeding my 3-month-old nephew around me in her own house. I felt guilty.

I felt guilty because – somehow, not by what I’d said, or how I’d treated her, but somehow – I’d been a part of making my sister-in-law feel like a guest in her own house, feeding her own child.

Awkwardness followed. If I stay in the room now, I thought, I might seem like a voyeur, a spy prying into a moment of intimacy between mother and child.

But if I were to leave right then? I worried that I’d just seem like the stereotype of a celibate seminarian: Too uncomfortable and too pious to witness my nephew latching his mouth onto his mother’s breast.

I stood still for a moment as all this ran through me, torn between honouring their privacy and honouring the naturalness of breastfeeding, and then my sister-in-law put me at ease. “It’s no big deal if you want to sit and stay.” Continue reading.

Jeff Sullivan sj is a Jesuit seminarian, and studying an MA in Philosophy in Chicago. 

Source: The Jesuit Post


Additional reading

News category: Analysis and Comment.

Tags: , , , ,