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Thoughts on Nursing in Public
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why am i embarrassedpost #1 of 368/28/13 at 12:41pmThread StarterI breast fed my first till he was 27MO and now my 3MO. I schedule my day around my first DS bowel movements and now breastfeeding my 3MO. I hate the cover when its hot I feel like he's ten times hotter under that. I refuse to use it. At the doctors office it doesn't faze me to breastfeed in front of male dr's/medical staff. Out in public it embarassess me and it ridiculous to feel that way. I'm just feeding my baby. What did you do to overcome this ridiculous fear?post #2 of 368/29/13 at 12:24pmpost #3 of 368/29/13 at 1:32pm
Your feelings are your feelings and you shouldn't minimize them as ridiculous....especially since they almost certainly stem, at least in part, from societal pressure/judgement.
That aside, my babes would never tolerate a cover and I agree with the PP that the cover tends to draw even more attention. I was generally not embarrassed to nurse in public, but more self conscious (as much about showing my belly as my breasts [which baby generally hid even though they were huge]). That self-consciousness was helped by wearing clothes that allowed discreet nursing (for me, nursing bra, tank tops, and zippered sweaters/cardigans). The more I did it, the less self conscious I became and eventually it became as normal as having a couple of coffee or eating out.post #4 of 368/29/13 at 1:53pmI had those feelings at first but they passed as nursing became a norm in my life. When I was uncomfortable I always wore a tank I could pull down and a tee I could lift up. That way my stomach and the top of my breast were covered and baby's head covered the rest. I also recommend nursing in public places where you know it will be accepted, my favorite place was the farmers market...people actually complimented me.post #5 of 368/29/13 at 2:11pmI still havent NIP because im terrified to! My dd is 10 weeks old and i use the cover if im at someones house...and i HATE the cover, or i nurse in my car.
Part of my discomfort i guess is definitely because it just isnt the norm for the main people in my life. At least once a week im being asked by SOMEone if ill be introducing formula or when ill be pumping for bottles (which i need to do soon because i return to work but im putting it off).
Another problem is that i find it sooooo hard to be discreet! Pictures make it look easy with the mom gently pulling aside her shirt lol. Where r the pics of moms fiddling with bras and nursing pads and burp clothes to contain the spray?!? I have to be practically half naked to comfortably nurse at home :/post #6 of 368/29/13 at 2:19pmQuote:Originally Posted by squiggles
Another problem is that i find it sooooo hard to be discreet! Pictures make it look easy with the mom gently pulling aside her shirt lol. Where r the pics of moms fiddling with bras and nursing pads and burp clothes to contain the spray?!? I have to be practically half naked to comfortably nurse at home :/
It gets easier as baby gets older and is more help. I wish I could find the pic of me nursing my first when she was ~6 weeks. My boob is bigger than her head and I'm wrestling both of them to get everything situated. Not discreet!
post #7 of 369/11/13 at 6:48amIt does get easier. Practice in front of a mirror a few times and eventually you'll just look like you're just holding a baby...nothing to see here. I also tend to sit in the back of whatever area I'm in so people have to go out of their way to watch. The hardest part is latching on, so if I can, I usually turn my back on people for that bit.post #8 of 369/11/13 at 6:55amIt is something to get used to but I agree with the PP that if you practice in front of a mirror, you'll see how it looks and learn to do it discretely and gain confidence that it isn't anything shocking. And the more you do it, the easier it gets. Also, if you have a friend who nurses as well, go out together because it feels less scary when there's a friend there in the same situation.
It feels weird at first but you really do get used to it!post #9 of 369/11/13 at 7:08ampost #10 of 369/11/13 at 9:32pmpost #11 of 369/11/13 at 10:01pmI agree that continuing to just do it in the way that you are most comfortable doing it is the best way. Sometimes you'll have to grit your teeth through it. You don't want to give yourself heat stroke just to avoid a few strangers' awkward glances. And the older your baby gets the better you two will be at it.
That being said my 20 month old will still pop off my boob and run for it occasionally, momentarily revealing my nipple to the world before I can cover up in time. Ah, nursing crazy toddlers.post #12 of 369/11/13 at 10:06pmWhile I find it ridiculous that society tends to cause a lot of discomfort around NIP, your feelings are NOT ridiculous. It took quite a bit of nursing to get me feeling fully entitled and appropriate to do so.
One thing that helped me greatly was discovering that there are laws in place in my state to protect the rights of nursing moms. That really helped me to feel more comfort, knowing I am legally in the right. No one could legally tell me to stop or leave or be more discreet.
My kids fought hard against any coverage, and insisted mostly on my pulling my breast over whatever top I have on. Luckily, it's by far the easiest way to nurse, but does offer most breast exposure. I've just learned to wear only soft sport bras (the barely there type) and v-neck tops. When needed, I just pull out a boob and feed.
My favorite tool for nursing in public is my Ergo carrier. It makes it super easy to nude comfortably and hands-free. And the little head cover is the only coverage my kids have accepted. It is just enough to allow kids to see out but not be glaringly obvious to passers-by.
It takes mental energy, but just push through it. You'll probably find the positive attention (or happily discreet nods to what you are doing) far outnumber any negativity you might encounter.post #13 of 369/12/13 at 7:23amThread Starterpost #14 of 369/12/13 at 9:46ampost #15 of 369/12/13 at 10:22amThread Starterpost #16 of 369/12/13 at 1:02pmI think ppl in general stare because they just arent used to seeing it. Sadly it doesnt seem to be the norm anymore (tho i think that is changing again). In my almost 30 years of life i have only actually seen one woman bf and that was someone who brings her kids to my story time programs. I still havent worked up the nerve to nip lol.post #17 of 369/12/13 at 1:19pmSometimes I wonder if people (esp. men) are making it obvious that they are looking because they know we aren't making an effort to cover up. Like we're being promiscuous or are looking for attention or something. They're just ignorant and gross.
I find myself feeling super defensive sometimes and am surprised by nice looks or comments, which makes me feel reassured for a little while.
Just remember that we are in the minority and its gonna be tough but its worth it. We have to be confident in our decision to nurse our babies and hopefully give other ladies the confidence to do it too.post #18 of 369/12/13 at 1:21pmpost #19 of 369/12/13 at 7:08pmThread Starterpost #20 of 369/13/13 at 12:18pmJust know that most men aren't that pervy. I know I get noticed a lot, and I just make eye contact, politely smile, and go about my business- as if I just looked up from a book I was reading. Simple, polite, and unconcerned. I feel that this approach almost always gets a quick polite nod or smile, then the fella goes about his business. No biggie. I have had maybe 2 instances of sexually charged comment ( "lucky kid", or "I'm jealous", or what have you) in all 5 years of daily NIP.
- Phases of a Nursling
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