No Apologies for My Lactivism
I'm a lactivist.
I show up at La Leche League meetings. I press my pregnant friends to breastfeed. I could go on and on about the benefits of foremilk and hindmilk and all of the milk in between. I breastfed my son for a year and a half and I'm well on my way to breastfeeding my daughter for longer than that.
I've bared my boob in restaurants, in public parks and in front of my father-in-law. I've been known to whip it out in the middle of a church service or in the lobby at the bank. I've protested in front of Congress for pro-breastfeeding laws. I've signed petitions and e-mailed my congressman. I've even participated in a giant nurse-in where thousands of mamas nursed their babies at a local grocery store at the same time.
The scary thing is that I have no idea how I turned into such a La Leche League-thumping, lanolin-wearing activist. I swear I'm so not that type of girl. I'm a rule follower to the core, someone that you'd more likely find in a church pew than at a rally downtown. Before this whole breastfeeding thing, I would never have dared say anything that could offend or hurt anyone.
But all of a sudden, I'm a regular lactivist. I offended a friend the other day when I told her that she really should breastfeed for longer (she was weaning at 3 months). I feel bad, but suddenly I'm an outspoken advocate, saying what I think and feel even when it offends. I should apologize—but I'm not going to. Have you ever heard a sign-carrying activist apologize for how they feel? Of course not. Then why should I?