By the time my youngest child had moved onto solid foods, I had spent hours on hours staring at my breast pump, imagining all the ways I could improve the design. The small ones didn’t have enough suction. The ones that did were the size of a car battery. And the noise was something else. (I briefly even considered patenting my own design. I like to think that in an alternate life, I’m a breast-pump tycoon.)
I think a lot of us go into motherhood with these idealized images of breastfeeding in our minds. But what those don’t show you is that keeping a tiny baby alive comes with a tremendous amount of pressure.
A mom has to worry about whether her baby has properly latched, whether her baby is gaining weight, whether she’s producing enough of that milk that everyone keeps lecturing her is so essential to her baby’s survival and success. There are plenty of people telling her what she’s doing wrong or what she should be doing better. There are fewer who show up to actually help her — or who are designing policies with her and her family in mind.