May 2, 2013

Breastfeeding In Public

I had an epiphany the other day.  nursing ferryIt was the realization that I was finally comfortable nursing Munchkin in public. It might seem small but it means that there is less stress in my life. 

Before I was pregnant I knew I wanted to breastfeed.  Wanting to breastfeed and actually breastfeeding are two different things.  It was a harder in the beginning than I was expecting.  I’ve been “blessed” with a larger top half and it took me a little bit to learn how to get Munchkin to latch.  I have to hold the “sandwich” in order for her to stay latched.  This can make things awkward, especially in public.  Juggling Munchkin, my breast, the cover, and propping her up on my leg took some practice.  I didn’t think it would ever become second nature.  It used to stress me out so much that I would avoid going out.  If I had to go out, I would nurse Munchkin right before we left and would bring a bottle of mama milk with me.  That worked ok, except that Munchkin preferred mama milk from the source. So often I ended up nursing anyway.

When I nursed in public I felt like everyone was watching me.   nursing starbucksI used a nursing cover in the beginning but Munchkin HATED it.  I did too, as it was just one more thing to deal with.  I felt like I should be covered because I didn’t want to make anyone uncomfortable.  I also didn’t want anyone to say anything to me about nursing my baby.  How embarrassing would it be if someone told me to stop or to move?  At this point I no longer care if someone says something to me.  WA state law allows me to nurse in public and if someone doesn’t like it, oh well.  If someone does say something they’ll get an earful from me.  Nicely, of course!  The best part is that if The Man is with me, he’s ready to say something too.  I love that I have his support in breastfeeding our daughter.

I think what made it easier was nursing at church.  There’s a rocking chair tucked away for nursing moms.  You can see the TV for watching the service if it’s going on and there are usually only kids and their parents in the area.  I started with the cover in that area, then a blanket and finally nothing.  From there I just started nursing in other places too.  Now I don’t think about it, I just feed the baby when she’s hungry.  It’s nice to have one less thing to stress about.

 

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16 comments:

  1. I think it's awesome that you aren't stressed about it anymore. :)

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  2. You GO Mama! Yes, yes, yes! You keep nursing that baby girl whenever and wherever she needs it. *high five*

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  3. Great! I don't nurse in public much anymore, mostly because she can go longer. She used to pop off randomly to look at me, which made things awkward... now I just nurse her in the car. Easier.

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  4. I like my cover, even though she pulls on it. I don't like to be obvious or exposed. But I will not hide in a bathroom. I will sit where ever I feel comfortable. In the early days, it's sometimes in the car, because my newborns always seem to have such difficulty. After that, I sit wherever I please, with my comfy cover.
    (Not a problem now, because she only nurses upon waking and at bed time. (18 months)

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  5. I think that's awesome you openly breastfeed in public! Before I had kids I never understood why women didn't cover up but that was just me being uneducated on the subject. Now that I'm a mama myself and have had to nurse in public places (airplanes, airports, restaurants etc.) I completely get it. Our society is so ridiculous when it comes to attitudes about nursing in public. I think it's great when women are brave enough to do it because it helps normalize it. It's also good for moms to be able to leave the house and not feel like they are trapped at home simply because they choose to breastfeed their children. Great job mama! :)

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  6. That is awesome! I loved breast feeding and it stressed me out doing it in public I almost refused to do it most of the time, I'd just head on out to car and feed her. But with the next baby I've decided to calm down and just do it! All in or not right? I think it's great you don't care about others opinions anymore, your doing a great job and your giving her so much by doing that!

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  7. Oh and I have also been "blessed" with huge tatas! And I had a hard time figuring out how to not hold them so she could breathe and have a free hand. Hopefully the next baby will be patient while I re-learn all of this!

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  8. :) Thanks for the encouragement!

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  9. Haha, I'm totally with you on the before I had kids! It's so different once you've been there. I'm glad to do my little part to help normalize it. And hopefully if a mama reads this who feels like she can't get out of the house, this will help her too!

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  10. Girl I am right with you! Colin is 10 months and I am just getting comfortable doing it with out a cover (mostly because he hates them). I feel like having the cover on and him constantly tugging on it and me constantly readjusting actually draws more attention to us then if I just nurse him without one. Added bonus, I feel that the more of us who nurse in public without a cover normalizes it for the future generations. Society has been made to feel that breast are sexual and private when in reality they are neither--they are food for my little babe and if more people get thinking that way the less awkward it will be!

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  11. I totally agree about it being more obvious! And yes, if it helps normalize it I'm for it:) Glad you're nursing is public with me! Keep it up mama!

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  12. Good for you! I'm this getting comfortable with nursing in public. It's definitely a process. With my first I never did it but with my second I'm more confident and like you feel it's important to help normalize it.

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  13. That is great! I'm on my third child and nursed all three and I'm still uncomfortable nursing in public. Even around my closest friends, haha. My daughter hates the wrap and barely eats if we are out all day. That turns into a cranky, hungry baby. I just need to get over MY embarrassment and be confident like you :) Thank you for the visiting me on my blog as well.

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