I Am Not Sorry That Nursing in Public Offends You
I have breastfed all three of my children and am currently nursing my 13-month-old. When I nursed in public as a first-time mom, I regularly used a cover-up. Let's face it—as a first time breastfeeder, I was not confident enough to not use a cover-up. I breastfed my son until he turned a year—when he self weaned. With my second son, I had this breastfeeding-in-public thing mastered, although I still used a cover-up for fear of making someone else feel uncomfortable. I cringe just writing that! Why should I have to fear how other people feel while I'm feeding my child?
Thankfully, when my second child was around a month old, I got over this irrational fear and ditched the cover. It felt liberating and normal. There is nothing nurturing about putting a blanket over your child to feed him or her, yet there are others who don't agree. Last spring, a mom on my son's t-ball team was offended when I breastfed my son in the dugout. She was so offended by this that she blasted me on Facebook but did not have the courage to confront me personally. The even more shocking part of the situation is that the t-ball mom breastfed her son when he was a baby. The whole situation still makes my blood boil.
Moms all over the country are told to breastfeed in less-than-public places all the time. Other moms shared with me their personal experiences with comments received about breastfeeding in public.
“My most ridiculous situation was in Mt. Vernon Estate (you know, George's house) in the CHILDREN'S room. A staff member asked me to move to a side room (it was like a meeting room/library). I told her I couldn't because I was watching my toddler. She said I may make other guests uncomfortable. I ended up speaking with someone ‘in charge,' and they were totally nice and apologetic. But it was ridiculous nonetheless.” — Amy
“I parked my car super far away from everyone else and was breastfeeding in my own car when someone managed to stroll by and ‘get offended.' They pounded on my window to tell me to cover up. I can only assume they were wandering through a mostly vacant parking lot looking for boobs?” — Zarina
“Well, I was told at CHURCH—one we don't go to any longer. I asked to use the rocker in the nursery to rock and nurse my daughter and was told to breastfeed her in the bathroom! I was so mad! My dad was a minister there at the time under the preacher, and actually, my mother got in a little tiff with the woman telling her, ‘You wouldn't eat in the bathroom, so why should my grandchild?' ” — Tara
“At my sons christening, he was 3 months old and still nursing every two hours like clockwork. I tried so hard to time it right, but the pastor ran way over, and it was unavoidable. I went into the lobby and found a chair tucked in the corner to feed him with a cover on. Five minutes later, a woman who obviously didn't agree with whoever sent her to do their dirty work, came over and asked if I wanted to go somewhere more comfortable. I told her I was quite comfortable, but asked if she was uncomfortable? She said, ‘No, I think it's a wonderful thing you are doing.'
But, about 30 seconds after she walked away, she came back mortified. Older members of the parish have decided it was going to make others uncomfortable and service was letting out. She apologized but asked if she could move me to some place more comfortable, but [I was] not in a position to argue in church on the day we christened my sweet baby boy. It was then she moved me and my chair into the ladies room. We haven’t been back to church since. Makes me sad that people can be so ignorant.” — Lynn
Nursing is one of the most natural and normal acts a mother can do for her baby. Isn't it about time we accept this fact and make it easier for moms? I will not be bullied to nurse my baby somewhere out of sight. I hope other moms will stand up for their rights, too. Let's not be sorry together!
Has anyone ever spoken rudely to you about nursing your baby in public? What about the reverse – have you had positive experiences nursing in public?