If there is anywhere that you’d imagine would be breast-feeding friendly, it would be Europe, right? Well, after meeting the husband of the chick who brought La Leche League to Germany today (I feel famous!) and after talking to several of my French friends, it would seem that many mamas in France and Germany breastfeed as little as possible. I got asked twice today alone where Ayo’s food was! I of course pointed to my big guns, giving a wink and the thumbs up sign. I know what you’re thinking, awkwaaard! Talking it over with Tall Mountain, the only reason we could find to explain this phenomenon is that women want to recover their bodies as soon as possible. If that is the reason, I certainly understand that feeling as breastfeeding is most definitely a sacrifice for mama. But then again, both Germany and France have way more generous maternity leave policies than the US has. So, if you aren’t immediately rushed back to work and are able to breastfeed, why wouldn’t you want to give the absolute best to your child even for a few months? Even formula can labels state that “breast is best” for at least 4-6months (I’m not sure anyone has ever disputed that). In fact, I read just today that boys benefit even more than girls from breastfeeding. Woah! Anyway, as awkward as breastfeeding might be in public when you know it’s not really the done thing, you just have to run with it and try your best to carry on with conversation (yes, even when there is a lot of kicking and tugging going on under that cover). Breastfeeding has been totally been great for Ayo on this trip. It not only provides him with protection against many diseases but it is über practical on the go and it provides him with a bit of familiar R&R after being constantly hyper-stimulated with 25 new faces and loud voices.
Why do you think breastfeeding is so unpopular here? I’d love to hear your theories!