By: Kristy Kemp
I did not grow up thinking, “One day when I grow up I’m gonna run a huge breastfeeding support community and help moms through their journey all over the world.” No that wasn’t the case. That wasn’t the case because I didn’t even know a position like that or role like that existed. Looking back I don’t ever recall even seeing breastfeeding. I remember in my teens being shocked that babies can get milk from the breast too, instead of just a bottle, but I didn’t understand the specifics of it. I thought maybe it was just something they did right after birth, but then when you take them home from the hospital it’s straight to formula and bottles. I also think that’s part of the problem in today’s society is lack of awareness and knowledge. Sure you can let your kid know that babies get milk from a boob too, but they can’t really fully comprehend the extent of it unless they are around it, they see it, they have more than a 1 minute conversation about it. Hiding your kids from knowing and understanding breastfeeding is a HUGE disservice to them, but that’s another topic for a different day.
Was I scared about the backlash I would get after the segment aired? I would be lying if I said I wasn’t, but that was a moment I was truly tested in my role as a breastfeeding advocate. How serious do I take this role? I felt like if I didn’t at least try to fight it to the best of my ability then I had no business calling myself an advocate. Everyone knew what was happening and they were all rooting for me to do this, had I not tried I don’t think I would be able to get my community of 2,000 mamas to take me seriously, to trust me, to have confidence that I would support them and fight for them. That day I realized I had a big responsibility, I had a duty to live up to. That day the little support community I started as a hobby, something to do on my free time, was turned into my life’s purpose, what I feel like I was set on this earth to do. That day is when I feel like I earned the privilege of calling myself a breastfeeding advocate. Now I’m not saying this is what everyone who calls themselves an advocate should have to do, but for my personal journey it was necessary.
No I did not grow up thinking, “I’m gonna be a breastfeeding advocate when I grow up” because I had not yet experienced what would lead me to that discovery. I have a dream that one day Breastfeeding will be so normal in this society that kids will grow up already knowing that they want to grow up supporting moms meet their breastfeeding goals.