Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda

I was out at Panera with a good friend a few days ago, I nursed my baby, UNCOVERED, right there at Panera. I was proud of myself, and TOTALLY self conscious that someone might SEEEEEE SOMETHING! Not to mention, Chase Racer was being a total boob...at the boob...on and off, on and off. Whatever. That's not the point. Later, as we were packing up to leave I saw a woman nursing her baby and I ALMOST stopped.

Why didn't I? I don't know! Frankly, what do I say? "I love that you're nursing your baby here, I'm a nursing mother too, and I appreciate that you are doing it in public as well!" I don't know...if someone said something to me, I'm weird, i would be so shocked I wouldn't know how to respond. This happened to me with cloth diapering not all that long ago, in fact. I was changing the Chase Racer in a Border's bathroom, and a woman stopped and said "Oh! You use cloth diapers! THANK YOU!" She was very enthusiastic about it...but I was so shocked that someone 1: was talking to me in the bathroom (big no-no in my neurotic BS book) and 2: was so enthusiastic about the diapers my son used that I had NO response other than to smile and nod...I then felt like a TOTAL jerk for not saying something!

So, if someone approached you while nursing your nursling in public and thanked you for nursing in public...what would you say? What would you do? How would you feel?

If you are not nursing, would YOU commend a woman in public for nursing in public, or even for just nursing in general? What would you say? What response would you expect, if any? Additionally, this woman was using a cover...would you take that to mean she's trying to be discrete and leave her alone or would you still say something if that's what you would have done otherwise?

10 comments:

  1. Well, when I see someone nursing in public, if they see me, I smile at them. and If my husband sees he usually says "see, you can do that too!"
    I don't know if i would be able to approach them. maybe after they were done, if I saw them I would say something like "thank you for being a nursing mother. it's a very healthy thing to do!" idk. It would be interesting....

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  2. I think about that a lot, too. Just before T was born I was at work (retail) and a young mom asked if she could use the handicapped fitting room to nurse. A few mins later her bff - who had her baby just a week after this woman - asked if she could go in too. I tried to ooze support and enthusiasm without saying something stupid. But in all honestly it made me giddy to see two young girls nursing, semi-in public, and supporting one another. No telling if they're both still going at it. They were regulars, so maybe I'll see them again now that I'm back to work.

    Is it at all possible that this lady saw YOU NIP and decided "Hey, it's okay. If she can do it, I can do it." Maybe not, but it wouldn't hurt your self esteem to think so :)

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  3. I don't nurse much in public but do go into the church office. Our big church had a room but an autistic child uses the room now. We have the option to use a secluded room but can not hear the message. The other room that has the sound and two way window is set up for Sunday school. My hubby thinks I should just nurse in the sanctuary but be covered. I just smile when I see others nursing with pride:) You would think by Baby #7, I would be comfortable. I don't like to ruffle ppl's feathers or offend someone. I am working on just being myself, do best for my family and try hard not to worry what OTHERS think!

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  4. I've had perfect strangers encourage me before while NIP and all I can say is it feels *so* good to be acknowledged and encouraged instead of feeling the embarrassment or shunning of others. So I try to 'do unto others'. I smile at moms when I see them breastfeeding in public, I don't act embarrassed or 'quickly look away', just go about my normal business. If my kids are with me I try to say something positive to them about breastfeeding (if they don't notice first and say something to me!) in a loud enough voice so that others can hear me. I've thought of printing up some little calling cards that encourage/thank women for breastfeeding in public, something that I can just hand her and walk away with a smile. I haven't done it yet, maybe this discussion will be my motivation! ;)

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  5. Really, if anything, SMILE! I like most other nursing mothers, just want to be NORMAL. Most of us aren't stripping all our clothes off and waving our tits around wildly. We want what we're doing to be normal and not worthy of a second glance. A knowing smile from a mother who's been there is all thats needed in my book.

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  6. I'd be thrilled if someone, ANYONE, commended me for nursing in public. I nurse EVERYWHERE and while I'm usually pretty discreet about it I'll always choose exposing myself over a screaming, unhappy Piglet. I always want to say something to other nursing moms but unless I'm nursing at the time I feel like it'll come out creepy. :( I do love that my husband tells anyone who compliments our baby (on anything) "It's because he's breastfed!" even if I'm not there to see it.

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  7. I would also love to have someone acknowledge me for doing a good job feeding my babe, but I also get that some women prefer to be treated just like anyone else. On a side note, I think its awesome when men are cool and comfortable talking about nursing. I was at a small, almost empty restaurant yesterday and my little dude started fussing. When I started nursing (covered), an older man who was there with his wife and had been cooing over him earlier said "you two are eating - he wants to eat, too". I know that some would be creeped out by that, but I think it's great that he was so nonchalant about it.

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  8. I usually just smile and nod when I see someone NIP, but I want to go and say 'thank you for NIP' but (with one exception) I'm too nervous I'll creep someone out or offend someone (why I don't know). I discretely nurse in public, sometimes in a sling, sometimes with a shawl, sometimes just a private corner, and I know I would be offened, but I like it when other moms smile. I kind of take them acknowledging me NIP or they themselves engaging in it as a sign that, should the oppertunity present itself, we would likely have enough in common to chat pleasantly while our kids played on shared equipment. If I was at a park or play area i'd never try to strike up a conversation with a mom who hastily looked away or looked embarrassed/offended at me nursing.

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  9. Whoops! That should read 'i know I wouldn't be offened'!

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  10. Smiling is fine, but sometimes a mama needs to here that she's doing the right thing and that she's not alone. Also "peaceful parenting" has "Thank you for nursing in puplic" cards. Cute idea! I usualy try to at least smile so they know I'm not thinking badly. All though I have to say, it's very rare to see a woman NIP around where I live. :( Very sad!

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