I spent a little over three weeks in Portugal last summer and quite a bit of time visiting its beautiful beaches. I couldn’t help but notice how many women were breastfeeding babies of all ages. I have to admit that I’ve never witnessed so much extended breastfeeding as I did while on the beaches of Portugal. Babies from birth to what looked to be as old as five.
Women openly breastfeeding their babies. No covering up. No embarrassed looks from them. And most importantly, no disapproving looks or snide remarks from people walking by (none that I witnessed anyway). Isn’t that such a beautiful thing? The way things should be. No judgement or controversy around this, just simply feeding babies. I loved it.
What I also loved was when we visited an amusement park, while my kids were having fun driving motorized play cars, my mom and I were sitting in the shade. Beside us was a family and a woman was breastfeeding one of her babies. On our way out, my mom smiled at her and said,
“I have really enjoyed watching you with your babies. You are doing the best you can do by breastfeeding. More women should do this for as long as they can. You’re a good mother, God bless you.”
The woman was happy as a result of my mother’s words and she thanked her. I gave my mother a hug and told her that more people should give women — and especially new moms — supportive words no matter how they are feeding their babies. That’s what we need more of: Moms supporting moms. After all, it really does take a village.
Have you ever felt judged on how you feed your baby?