The Gentle Advocate- A Story

The following was sent to me by Lily Alayne Owen and I thought it appropriate to share here.  I love this story of gentle education and compassionate advocacy.  A beautiful example of how compassion and care kept someone from crossing the line into bullying.


A Happy Story about Breastfeeding Awareness:

Over Christmas break while visiting with my new husband’s family, I found out the happy news that my brand new sister in law was expecting.  I wasn’t sure how any of these relatives felt about breastfeeding and as a long-term nurser with both of my kids, I was curious.  I did hear my other new sister in law make a comment about how nice her boobs would look when she was nursing and decided to ask.  She said she wasn’t sure what she wanted to do and that she hadn’t nursed her older child, now 7.  She expressed concerns that it would be weird and that she didn’t know if she was disciplined enough to go through with it.  I just listened, told her how great it feels to experience breastfeeding with your dear little baby and that it is actually way more convenient than fussing with bottles (at least it was for me).  She was interested in the health benefits which I shared, including the long term benefits to her.  We had a very amiable conversation about the whole thing which I was grateful for, having botched similar interactions plenty of times in the past.  I have been known to get wrapped up in my own passion over certain subjects (which is neither helpful, nor productive, mind you).  I really feel that detaching from the outcome and really caring about her feelings, including her feelings about me, allowed me to be a better advocate for the breastfeeding relationship.  After our visit, I decided to send her a book (Ina May’s Guide to Breastfeeding) as a surprise.  She emailed me a few days later wondering if I meant to send her something?  There was a box at her house from amazon- should she open it?

A few days later I received one of the best emails of my life.  Its message was short, but brought me to public tears:

“Just wanted to let you know I’ve started reading the book you got me and its absolutely fascinating! Its changed my mind already and I’m not even half way through. I will definitely give Bf a try now! Thank you :)”