I am glad i have prepared my toddler for all the breastfeeding that happens with a newborn. I do a fair amount of breastfeeding promotion and education in my job, and was able to provide the toddler with pictures, art, books and breastfeeding friends to prepare her for what to expect. Every time the baby cries, the toddler pronounces, "MOM: The baby needs to breastfeed!" She told the baby yesterday to not bite me and she insists that her nipples need to be moisturized by lanolin as well (yesterday she needed lanolin on her nipples AND belly button).
When the toddler came to visit me at the hospital, i was feeding the baby. She insisted she feed her "baby" as well. There is a very cute picture of both of us breastfeeding our babies. It will not be posted here.
Speaking of public acts of breastfeeding, now that i am feeling a little more comfortable getting the baby latched i have been reminded of how uncommon it is to see breastfeeding women in public. Because i was immersed in breastfeeding education and promotion prior to having the toddler, i was aware of this issue in our culture when it came time to breastfeed my own child. I always felt it important to not hide in the bathroom or the corner of the room to feed my baby. I also felt like it was my duty as a breastfeeding mother to show people that it is ok to breastfeed in public and there should be no shame. I almost snapped at the man sitting next to me on a flight when i was feeding my first. She was kicking him as she was nursing and i apologized, but he couldn't even look in my direction less acknowledge my apology.
It is strange how our culture can be so tolerant of all-but-nipple-breastage everywhere--on TV, movies, tween idols--but to see a woman breastfeeding her child is somehow crude and perverted.