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.
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:
- Whozat: (Boobs) Out and Proud
- Annie @ PhD in Parenting:Would You, Could You Breastfeed in Public?
- Dirty Diaper Laundry: Breastfeeding in Public – Talents – I Haz It
- kim through the looking glass: Here? At the Restaurant?
- MumUnplugged: Aww, is he sleeping?
- Christina from Massachusetts Friends of Midwives: Nursing in Public: Chinatown, the Subway, the Vatican, and More
- Mother Mary’s Soapbox: Breastfeeding Oriana
- Tiny Grass: Nursing in Public as an Immigrant – Interesting perspective on nursing in public
- Mommy News & Views Blog: Breastfeeding In Public
- Angela at Breastfeeding 1-2-3: To Cover or Not To Cover
- Stork Stories: Little Old Men… & Nursing in Public
- Fabnaima: Why Worry About NIP?
- Warm Hearts Happy Family: Breastfeeding and the summertime
- Blacktating: Thank You For Nursing in Public
- Musings on Mamahood: NIP, no tuck
- Motherwear Blog: Get kicked off a bus for nursing in public? Here’s how to respond.
- Mama Knows Breast: Products that can Help You Breastfeed in Public
- babyREADY: A wee NIP in the park!
- Tales of life with a Girl on the Go: Planes, trains and automobiles – we’ve breastfed in them all
- Breastfeeding Moms Unite: Nursing in Public: A Fresh Perspective on Nurse-In’s
- Never a Dull Moment: Breastfeeding Hats? YES! Nursing Covers? Uh… Not So Much
- Breastfeeding Mums: Nursing in Public – What’s a Breastfeeding Mother to Do!!
- Hobo Mama: Easy, discreet way to breastfeed a toddler in public