Posts Tagged ‘nursing in public’

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Nursing in a room full of people you know

June 14, 2009

Welcome Carnival of Breastfeeding readers! This month we are writing about Nursing in Public. Please read more of the posts, found at the bottom of this post. More links will be added until Monday

When I decided to breastfeed, I didn’t realize it would be so hard. I didn’t realize it would hurt. I didn’t realize that nursing my daughter in public would require an advanced degree in acrobatics to keep from showing a little skin. I didn’t realize that our civilization is shall we say… less than civilized?

Long before Adam ever thought about groping Eve, breasts were created to pass sustenance on to our offspring, thereby keeping them alive and perpetuating our species.

With this in mind, I have been trying from the day of my daughter’s birth to comfortably nurse her in public. To me, public means anywhere other than the privacy of my own home. And even that sanctuary is breeched at times by people I don’t feel right nursing in front of.

I have progressed, admirably in my mind, but I still have a long way to go. I can nurse Penny in a purely public place (say that 3 times fast), where I know no one, and could care less what they think. Recently, I’ve been able to add nursing her without a cover. Any cover I do use is mostly to cover my bare tummy (or I wear my maternity pants with the armpit-high elastics to cover it). Some women stay home for fear of nursing in public. I don’t give in to the justifiable fear but instead, I try to time it so that I feed her and then leave the house. But if I get stuck out, it’s fine. I admit, I’ve sat on the back seat of the car to feed her, but to save my back and arms, it works in a pinch.

Filling Penny's belly before the start of the MS Walk

Filling Penny's belly before the start of the MS Walk

What is still a problem for me, and apparently my friends and family, is nursing Penny in front of them. Oddly enough, I feel completely comfortable with my in-laws. I’m also fine in front of the females in my family, and obviously with my very supportive husband. But the rest of the males? Ha! They are so unbelievably (ok, very believably) uncomfortable with me nursing Penny in front of them. The few times I’ve tried with men in the room, they quickly make excuses to be elsewhere as soon as it becomes evident that I am going to breastfeed. Or pointedly look anywhere that’s not in my direction – including peripheral vision. I’ve even had them stand in another room and carry on a conversation with people in the same room as me. I hate having to leave the room to nurse Penny. I feel like we’re being shut out and excluded from the festivities, just because my little girl has an empty belly. Thankfully, no one’s even suggested bottle-feeding, but still…

The newest problem I am facing, and one that some of you pros can maybe help with, is an easily distractable baby. Penny has taken to feeding for 10 seconds or so, then looking around for 30 seconds. It has resulted in some nursing sessions being cut short because I don’t particularly like flashing my nipple around that much. I know the first step is to feed her in a darkened area with no distractions. But when we’re out in public, that’s not an option. What do you suggest doing to help limit the wandering eyeball syndrome?

Other Carnival of Breastfeeding posts:

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Week End

May 29, 2009

Week end, being the end of the week. Oh my, you have no idea how this week went. I am so glad the “work week” is over. Although Court is still on call 24/7 until 6 am Monday morning.

Monday was our visit to the breastfeeding clinic, where we determined that Penny has essentially been starving for about a month now. Nope, I don’t feel guilty for that… not one little bit. HA! I know it’s not my “fault”, but the fact is she wasn’t getting enough to eat. If we had continued at that pace I’m pretty sure she would have been “diagnosed” as failure to thrive. Instead, I’m taking domperidone (Motilium), and Penny has gained 11 oz in the 3 days I had been taking it (now 4 days, but I haven’t weighed her).

I’ve been working on an anniversary “do” for my grandparents. It is their 50th anniversary this year, and no matter how unassuming and humble they are, I’m not letting an achievement like that go unmentioned. Alot of their family is in Quebec, and without meaning to be offensive, old. They won’t be traveling to Calgary for the festivities. So it seems there will really only be close family and a couple of close friends. We decided to take them for a really nice dinner, and get them limo transportation to and from. In the meantime, I snatched old photo albums from their house to look through for ideas. I happened to grab their wedding album, as well as commemorating the births of my uncles and my mom. I went to Blacks Photography to have some of the photos scanned, retouched and reproduced. The bridesmaids’ dresses really weren’t that horrible, so I’m going to attempt to find something similar to wear to the dinner, and we have an absolutely stunning florist who I’d like to recreate my Nana’s wedding bouquet.

It was bizarre looking through all the photos! I’ve never looked at old pictures of them and never knew what they looked like before the image that I know now. I saw photos of my mom as a child, as a teenager! Again, I’ve never seen them before. Actually, my mom passed away 19 years ago (last Friday was the anniversary of her death). I was 9 at the time, and really the image of her in my mind is the photo that all of us have that was current when she died. It’s amazing how much she looked like me, or I guess I should say I look like her.

In the midst of all my running around dropping off photos, picking up photos, shopping (because we finally got money back from Manulife for Penny’s first glasses, and for Court’s, which the dog ate in January), Penny inevitably got hungry. I try to time it well so that I’m not really out in public to feed her. But it doesn’t always work. Turns out that she got hungry on my way to pick up Court from work the other day. I’m not exactly a fan of making her wait while I pick him up and fight through rush hour traffic out of downtown Calgary. In fact, I won’t do it. It was hot, the car doesn’t have air conditioning. So I told Court I was going to sit in the shade beside his building to feed her before we head home. Needless to say I didn’t have anything even resembling a blanket to try to cover up a bit with. So I sat on the bench on 8th Ave, at 5:10 pm with all the busy worker bees streaming by on their way home and fed my little gal! Most of the women that noticed turned up the corner of their mouths into a bit of a smile. The guys that noticed immediately looked away again. Regardless of their reactions, I finally nursed in public! I was so proud of myself!

And on top of my busy week, my bestest friend ever (since grade 1!) had her second baby girl on Wednesday, May 27th, which was actually her due date. So we welcome little Kacie Michaela! Looking forward to pictures and visiting her soon, and with 5 months difference between her and Penny, they should becoming great playmates.

So as the “work week” comes to a close, we are enjoying an evening of video games with friends. That’s before I put Court to work tomorrow! Muahahahaha!

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