“Your Milk is Dancing Today, Momma”

I don’t recall a lot about my first few years as a mother-and that’s typical I think. Days are a sleepy blur and getting a shower was what I referred to as a good day. I was not educated about motherhood as much I was learning as I went, and that is something I am forever grateful for with my first child. She taught me so much. I am not sure she will ever understand the education she gave me. And the eternal unconditional love for all the mistakes I made.
There was a time where I was scared to nurse in public; we had just gotten our first haircuts as new parents and took our friend Charles out to a Mexican restaurant as payment for our beautiful new do’s. My baby was getting fussy so I learned real quick  what that meant. “Excuse me guys,” I said, snagging one more tortilla chip loaded with guac as I took her from the table. Here she was, a newborn, and I was making her leave the table where we were all eating. We went to the bathroom instead.
I remember the tile. It was a clay color with bright orange and greens and yellow Spanish designs that were beautiful and intricate, but there was also the smell. A rank stench that the bathroom had not been cleaned in a few hours after various patrons ate too much spice and had to use it.
There was also the discomfort. How do I hold her and sit without getting anything wet, including her blanket?
And the guilt.
I am feeding my child in a stall.
Like an animal.
At the time, I did not think much of this, naive and young and wanting to be perfect, and not attract attention, but what a disservice to my child. As I grew, she taught me. Her brother came along a few years later, and he and I had nursing experiences together. He nursed so hard and heavy that I couldn’t keep up which was a new problem for me. I learned to drink more fluids and eat food rich in nutrients to help my supply increase. And to also pump more often, as tough as it was.
We nursed more openly.
With my third baby, and longest nurser, I was more confident and prepared. Both my previous babies educated me that mom needs to take care of herself first so she can take care of us. My third child reaped the knowledge of her siblings. She was able to nurse close to three years. And she told me one day that “my milk was dancing,” and I laughed and said, “it’s dancing with you.” That’s when I knew I had to thank my oldest babies for this bond. Without listening to their needs, and learning from them, my youngest would not have been able to experience the openness I had with nursing on demand any where she needed, at any time she wanted. I received very few looks and only one real issue, but most people don’t even realize when it is happening.

I think people tend to be concerned with things they cannot control, and they are also scared of asking questions, so they make judgements. If you find yourself in a situation with a question, I am sure that any mom will gladly answer. Most of us, who are blessed to be able to nurse, just want others to know that we are doing what we feel is natural and right for our children. No matter the location, situation, or age, our babies are growing and need nourishment, and as long as we can provide that, we will.

No human should be fed in a stall, and everyone who is able, should enjoy an eating experience where their milk dances.

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