Thursday, January 13, 2011

Why (I) nurse in public?

Nursing in public. This can be SUCH a touchy subject for many people, whether or not you're a breastfeeding mom. The main problem is that, especially in America (but also in other places, obviously), we see breasts as sexual objects. I've also been told that breastfeeding is something that is private between a baby and her mother. But why do some people think that? Sure, it's an intimate thing but it's also feeding your child. If you only do it in private, what do you do when baby needs to eat out in public? I was at a store once and passed by a lady with a brand new baby who was screaming blood murder. I could tell it was a hungry cry. He was strapped down in his carseat and his mother wasn't doing anything about it. Megz might not remember, but I texted her and said "This baby is screaming hungry. If she doesn't stick her boob in his mouth, I'm going to." (Ella was still in the NICU and my breasts responded to his screams!) It really made me sad that she was just letting him scream, hungry, instead of doing something about it.

With my first daughter, she didn't nurse until she was 6 months old (read our nursing story). I didn't have too many opportunities to NIP (nurse in public) but when I did, I almost always covered up (until she started throwing the blanket off, at which point we gave up on covering). BUT, I DID nurse her. I wouldn't have ever considered refusing my child sustenance because we were out in a public place. I do have to admit though...in the early stages of our breastfeeding career, I did nurse her in a bathroom one or two times. I realized fast though how completely gross that was...the germs? EW! No thanks, and stopped pretty quickly. If you want to cover for yourself (heck, occasionally even now I still cover-read Megz confession Hiding at Home) that's one thing, but to hide or even worse, to refuse your child their food because of what some of society tells us is just...I'm sorry, but it's just wrong. It's one thing if you desire a private place to nurse because of an overstimulated baby or your own personal reasons, but please don't do it for the sake of others.

Why do I NIP? First and foremost, because my baby needs to eat. And if YOU can eat in public, then certainly my daughter can as well, whether it's from my breast, a bottle or a plate. But it's not just that. I admit, when I NIP, I'm hoping that I'm normalizing nursing. I'm hoping that someone sees me and thinks, oh wow, if she can do it, then so can I! Am I sitting down and yelling out to everyone "Hey! Look at me! See? See my breasts! I'm nursing!!", um NO, but aside from feeding my child, I'm also doing a quickie one woman protest. Nursing in public is not about my right to NIP, it's about my childs right to comfortably eat whenever and wherever she needs and wishes to eat. And I feed my child from my breasts. 'Nuff said.

NIPing at the Mall of America


7 comments:

  1. you ARE normalizing it! way to go, mama :)

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  2. ACK I see BOOBIES!! Just kidding :) Beautiful picture and very true post :) Babies should be able to eat wherever they are when they get hungry :) GO MOMMA :) (and ELLA!!) :)

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  3. I love this! lol, my guy was such a happy little bugger, he NEVER cried, for the first year at least, he's making up for that now at 16 months!, but I would have been nursing in public much more if he had actually wanted to!

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  4. I like "one woman protest!" That's great! A friend of mine, very conservative, told me that even covered, she thought that nursing a baby in public was equivilent to pooping or peeing or farting at the table...it was a bodily function and should be done in private. I didn't argue, sometimes it's just not worth it...instead I continue to nurse around her...at dinner tables, on her couch, out with her...the works. It is uncomfortable for me because I know how she feels about it, that she effectively thinks I"m taking a dump in front of her, but it's my protest to that image to continue to do it...to try and normalize nursing for her and any others.

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  5. this is amazing! i love it!! I'm hoping I have the courage to Nurse In Public!!

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  6. Christa- You da man. Except that your da woman. Which is even better ;)

    May I shamelessly plug my sad little blog of 18 followers? Thanks!
    TheLazyMomDiaries.blogspot.com

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  7. I like this. NIP has been going great for me and my little guy until recently. He gets so distracted and cannot focus enough to eat. He doesn't like to be covered either. What to do when I am out in public? Not every place I go has a quiet place (ex: Winn Dixie)?

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