I have a three-year-old and a five-month-old, so I’m a bit behind on my television watching. The other day, I finally got a chance to watch the series finale of Weeds and was surprised to see breastfeeding prominently featured in the show for a second time.
In season 5, Nancy Botwin had baby Stevie just as I had my first son, so while I struggled to establish supply, latch on, and figure out how to use a pump, I found it shocking that Nancy could go out on the town, drink so much iced coffee, and have her baby drink so many bottles without affecting her nursing relationship. Also, she didn’t seem quite as exhausted as me, but then she had live-in household help. I digress!
Who could forget the scene where Nancy is out to dinner with Andy and, unable to let down for her hand pump, she asks her brother-in-law to relieve her engorgement…with his mouth.
That blew my mind for about a month. But, hey! Nursing was on my television! It was being acknowledged. Even the Mexican druglord Esteban was reading up about the benefits of breastfeeding as compared to formula feeding his son, and he came to a new place having read some literature.
So I wasn’t sure what to expect in the series finale when Megan and Silas showed up with baby Flora. I had a chuckle at the scenes where they talked about what types of milk the finicky baby would agree to drink–Nancy only had hemp and oat milk in the house (who knew oat milk was a thing?), and Flora would only drink breast- and goat-milk. Ah, but I know about a picky baby.
And then came the scene at the Bar Mitzvah party where Megan attempted to nurse Flora outside the party, not because she felt shunned away for NIP, but because her busy baby kept popping off, distracted. Finally! A television show portrayed my daily, lived experience with breastfeeding.
I know the discussion between Megan and Nancy was meant to highlight their chilly relationship, but all I could focus on was Megan’s attempt to shield Flora from distraction so she’d get in a good nursing session. I watched this episode while attempting the exact same thing with my own nursling.
I related and felt grateful to see someone like me on TV.
I haven’t felt this way about a nursing scene since Pam Halpert had her first public nursing session with baby Cece waiting for Jim to pull the car around outside the hospital on The Office. So often, a series will either totally ignore the method of feeding new babies or else just show bottle feeding. While I don’t think portraying adults nursing from Mary Louise Parker helps to normalize breastfeeding in our culture, I do feel excited to see the series nod in the direction of breastfeeding.
The Weeds series finale, I felt, showed nursing in a way that represented my experiences.
Where else have you seen nursing on television lately? Leave a comment to let us know what you thought about the portrayal.