Nursing around family
Edited by Bruebee - 10/12/13 at 6:11pm
I may well be a sort of deference which will stop once you let then know you don't need it. Personally? I needed it until I got comfy with BFing.
I think just being relaxed and acting like yourself and "no big deal" communicates all of the above without engaging folks who might feel on the spot.
I'm on baby 2 now and my dad will sit right next to me to talk while she's nursing (but w/#1, he'd leave the area). My FIL and uncles will still go to the other side of the room but I'm not around them so much. Most of my friends' husbands are just used to us all whipping out a breast whenever and will continue conversing while breastfeeding happens.
Ive had an odd experience with my in laws though. I nursed my first until she turned 2 when she stopped due to my pregnancy but she only nursed at nap and bedtime from about 20 or 22 months on. I can't tell you how many times I nursed at my MIL's house, completely comfortably and confidently. It was a nonissue, I whipped it out when kiddo needed it. Fast forward to this July (9 days before baby #2's due date!) when out of the blue, my MIL told DH that *someone* was uncomfortable seeing me nurse and that at their house I'd have to either a) cover up or b) leave the room. I was floored and very hurt. It honestly changed our relationship. I do NOT cover up. Ever. I believe that nursing is the normal, healthy way to feed a baby/young child and that it's entirely innocent, natural and beautiful. I nurse anywhere and everywhere to normalize it so by the time my girls grow up, they won't have to deal with this nonsense. To be respectful of another family under their own roof, we leave the room. That means hauling baby, myself (and while we were having thrush related latch issues, the breast pump) upstairs. DH has been amazing and coming with us. DD1 usually follows too. So a 3 hour visit with an often nursing newborn turns into 30-45 minutes spent with the grandparents and the rest of the time we are segregated because they don't want to see their grand baby eat or be comforted. *Shrug* I don't get it. They barely see the kids now even if we visit often. Sorry I hijacked the thread but this is really stuck in my craw. My kids' needs come first and anyone's discomfort is their problem. Go with what works for you and reasonable people will adapt because really; it simply shouldn't be such a big deal. Hugs
For some reason, wearing 'normal' clothes without a nursing shawl made it feel more normal for me, and hopefully more normal for those around me.
It was literally just a shawl - not a special nursing cover. Although covers are kind of the norm in my area, so it won't be too big of a deal.
The first time it was my little brother and his GF (who is pregnant too, so I was doubly confused) who weren't around when I was nursing DD. I seriously looked up and they were all hanging out in the garage.
This last time it was my FIL and then my MIL and SIL. I shouldn't complain too much, MIL and SIL did take that opportunity to clean my entire kitchen.
Try the direct approach to see if it works. "Oh, hey guys, could you not leave while I'm nursing? I feel pretty segregated."
If they say it makes them feel uncomfortable, say, "Oh, I see. Well, surely you can try to get over it for my sake? I do love visiting with you and it's lonely being a new mom."