Jenny Tamas is a survivor.
Throughout a difficult childhood, she overcame homelessness, a father in prison and sexual abuse.
And now, as a mother to a beautiful baby girl, she is now learning to heal the pain of those early experiences- through breastfeeding.
A blogger and birth doula in Washington, US, she recently shared a touching and heartfelt post about how breastfeeding her child has eased the suffering caused by years of childhood sexual abuse.
Growing up, her family did not have a stable home:
"I grew up on the streets. We were dirt poor and after my dad went to prison, it got even worse. When we did live in a house, it was in the projects, and when we didn't? We were homeless, eating out of dumpsters or sleeping in shelters."
Thinking back on that time, Tamas recalls a distinct lack of breastfeeding among the women most in need:
"And do you know what you never see in those places? On the streets? Or in DV shelters?
Things, however, went from bad to worse, when her mother met a new boyfriend, who was eventually arrested for paedophilia. Tamas was then put into foster care.
"And do you know what I learned all those years? I learned that my body wasn't really mine— its true purpose? To remain attractive for men.
But wait, isn’t that what society teaches us too? This engrained generational belief- that women are here for the pleasure and servitude of man-so that the female body is then universally seen as purely sexual."
When Tamas met her now-fiancee and became pregnant, she had no doubts that she would breastfeed. Yet when the baby arrived, it became so much more than a way of feeding:
"Breastfeeding melted the shame I’ve carried with me simply because I was a girl. It gave me back the me I didn't even realise I’d lost."
For the new mother, breastfeeding was not only a way of providing nourishment, but it helped her to reclaim her body as her own:
"See, what happened was that one day I had breasts and then the next day those very same breasts, produced milk. The breasts I was taught were only for ‘him,’ now sustained ‘her’ life.
Not only has breastfeeding helped Tamas change her view of herself, but it has also changed her view of women around her. She is now proud of being able to openly breastfeed:
"It's because of that I don’t see a need to cover up. It's because of that I have never been more proud to be a woman. It's because of this, that I choose to normalize something that was not normal for me growing up."
Tamas is truly a fierce woman and mother. We salute her and all she's trying to achieve.