I have a newborn baby boy who is hungry all the time! He has two big sisters, so hanging around the house all the time for breastfeeding, naps and diaper changes is not possible. We’re on the go a lot, whether for errands, school pick up/drop off, dance class or just general fun outings.
It’s necessary that I feed Owen while we’re out and about. I know people have varying opinions about nursing in public. Personally, I think if our society is okay with cleavage, side boob, and racy lingerie advertising, then no one should mind a little public breastfeeding. This is actually what breasts were intended for people! But that’s another post for another day.
As I said, I have no issues breastfeeding in public, but I have always been a pretty modest person. For that reason, I always use a nursing cover. Cradling the baby while trying to unhook my nursing bra and position my cover is tricky business, though! I’m not very good at nursing without my Boppy pillow. Case in point – the day I flashed a crowd of people at a restaurant!
I was feeling brave one afternoon, and decided to take my 7 week old, 4 year old and 6 year old out to dinner. Everyone was in good spirits that day, and the baby was ready for a nap. I assumed the baby would sleep in his car seat and we’d be good to go. The moment we walked into Panera Bread Co., however, the baby began to cry, and the girls became feisty and high-maintenance. Within minutes I was THAT Mom – the one who looks a mess with unruly kids in tow, and about whom everyone around her gawks and thinks, “OMG, I hope she doesn’t decide to have more kids.”
I decided the baby must be hungry again, so I did my best to assume the position right there in the restaurant booth. Just as I was attempting to latch the baby while simultaneously helping my daughter with her juice box, I realized my naked breast – the WHOLE THING – was completely uncovered for all the world to see! It must have been at least 5-10 seconds before I realized it. I was mortified!!!!! I think given how busy the restaurant was, it’s impossible that no one saw it.
I didn’t need to nurse on-the-go nearly as often with my first 2 babies. We didn’t have as much going on. I have now nursed the baby in fitting rooms, at the playground and in a hotel lobby. Most often, I try to nurse him in the car, but that isn’t always possible. It would be SO MUCH easier if I could skip the cover. It gets in the way. I can’t see the baby well to help him latch, and keeping it in proper position is a challenge. I would love to be a woman who just pulls out my breast and goes for it. As I said in my intro…I do think this should be acceptable in our society. Within reason, that is. I think women should be sensitive, if possible, to who is around. For example, if there is a 12 year old boy within eye shot, you might consider using a cover or moving to another spot. No need to make him feel awkward and uncomfortable, or worse, interested in the view! But I am, by nature, a very modest person. I will continue to use my nursing cover.
Do you have any public breastfeeding stories to share? Or any tips to make it a bit easier? Please leave a comment here or on our Facebook page!