Nursing in Public: Practical or Gross?
Before I had kids, I had no idea how important and beneficial breastfeeding truly was! I’d studied that it was very beneficial to both the baby and the mother, but didn’t understand how it would help a mother and child bond or other benefits that were realized once I breastfed my own kids.
Early in our marriage, my husband and I attended a Construction Convention in Vegas. We were in a restaurant eating our food from the buffet counter and were sitting directly across from a family with a nursing mother and baby, her husband, and 2 other little kids. I was facing the mother. She was nursing her child with no blanket or anything. OK, no biggie – I mean she could have been wearing a blanket or something, but whatever. I wasn’t offended by it. It was natural. However, within the next few minutes, she began to yell at one of her kids and put the child down. After removing the child from her breast, she did not pr0ceed to cover herself up, but rather sat there with one boob fully exposed. Oh my gosh!
I believe that breastfeeding is natural and beneficial, for both baby and mother. I know that this is why we have breasts – to feed our children when they are little. OK, so she didn’t have a blanket – that’s no biggie. But to sit there with one breast fully exposed while you draw attention to yourself yelling at your kids? Not cool at all!
There have been times when I’ve had a crying baby and had to sit on the bench in the back of the Target store trying to nurse him. I didn’t have a blanket or hooter hider, but made it work. I tried to not draw attention to myself and went as quickly as possible. I have nursed in the bathroom before on the chair in the “mother’s section,” but prefer to not do that in public restrooms (the one at church is an exception) because they “feel” dirty (and sometimes smell really bad). I have also draped a jacket or spit-up cloth over my should while nursing. Heck, I even nursed one of my kids in the dressing room at Wal-Mart, but I have never run around with one boob in the air drawing attention to myself.
The bottom line is that there will be times and places when nursing your child may not feel convenient or practical, but we make it work. What are your thoughts? Do you have a story to share?
**On another note, I know that not all mothers can breastfeed their babies and hope that this post does not make them feel bad or excluded. Also, I was not compensated in any way for writing this post.**