Thursday, August 11, 2011

And We're Out the Door!

Be forewarned! This post is about nursing in public as part of the Breastfeeding Blog Hop, so if you don't want to know, stop reading now. :-)

First airplane ride!

I remember when I first had my daughter, how nursing wasn't even a discussion for me. I fought hard to be able to nurse her, even switching medications so I could. And I fought even harder when I struggled with latch issues, resulting in excruciatingly painful, bleeding nipples. But she and I won the battle! I remember looking at her nursing one day, thinking "So this is what my breasts were meant to do!" It's convenient to never have to remember bottles because I always have her milk with me. I can and do feed her whenever and wherever she needs to eat.

But not everyone feels that way. People are entitled to their own opinions, but I get frustrated when their opinions cross the line. I've read so many articles in the last few months about how some woman was out  nursing her baby in public, and some manager of whatever business asked her to stop. ABC's series, What Would You Do even had a scenario about it! It makes me appreciate even more the places that are more family-friendly, with changing stations in restrooms men use, with chairs in discrete places for mommies to nurse their babies, etc.

Family-friendly restroom!

Nursing in public is...interesting. There have been many times when I've grabbed my child and run out the door to an appointment, needed to feed her while we were out and about, and realized I forgot my nursing cover at home in the wash. And it's summer, so there are no baby blankets in the diaper bag. I try to be discrete, but that's more for my peace of mind that I won't have any weird stalkers ogling me as I feed my daughter. When I do remember the cover, I feel like I draw WAY more attention to myself, trying to keep my flailing octopus from ripping the cover away and giving a show to the whole store, church congregation, or whatever other audience might be around.

One time, my husband Daniel and I were on a date at a bookstore. There was a lady who weighed at least 400 lbs. carrying around a small baby. She was walking around the store with her breast completely exposed and she wasn't even trying to cover up or be discrete in any way. The baby was only sometimes latched on as she ambled around for a good 20 minutes. We kind of looked at each other with eyes wide open (ok, the baby was smaller than her giant boob!) and laughed about it later, but we weren't upset about it. It was funny to us. But that isn't how I nurse my daughter. Even when I forget the cover, I'm not about to whip out my boob and walk around an entire bookstore like I'm daring someone to confront me. Yes, I believe that I have the right to do that, but no, I'm not going to do it. There are perverts who won't see me feeding my baby, they'll just see "boob". I don't want my baby associated with that. Not to mention, at 8.5 months old, my daughter would be waaaaay too distracted to nurse if I marched her around a store while attempting to feed her! So I will continue to sit in my corner quietly, cover her with my shirt or burp cloth or whatever I have handy, and focus on feeding her. After all, that's the whole point...


  1. Great post! I remember seeing that scenario on What Would You got a dialog started between my husband and I while I was pregnant...and made me realize that we felt differently about it (at the time). I was all for nursing in public...he said it shouldn't be done in public. He now sees things my way. Hooray for boobies and what they were meant to do!

  2. Glad you linked up this week!
    I'm all for NIP, although that wasn't always the case. I think that those who have never breastfed, or even been exposed to it, feel shocked and embarrassed at the sight of a woman's breast simply because our society lacks the proper education on this subject. Instead of learning what our bodies were designed to do, we are taught that breasts are meant for sexual desire and are to be hidden away unless we are intending to draw that type of attention. It's just sad. We need more bfing mommas out there to share their experiences. My hope is that over time, bfing will become a normal part of our culture in the United States.
    Thanks for sharing, Shelley!