How do you reassure moms who are uncomfortable with NIP? - Mothering Forums

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Old 06-06-2012, 09:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I run into a lot of moms (mostly through church) who breastfeed, but are obviously uncomfortable doing so in front of others.  I remember once walking into the mother's lounge (small private room with two rocking chairs and a changing table) at church to find a mom nursing with the rocking chair facing the corner and a cover on.  That kind of floored me.  I really don't care if someone wants to use a cover, but I do feel sad when they are still so obviously uncomfortable with it that they feel the need to apologize profusely to anyone around, or give disclaimers before beginning, etc.  When ds was little, I nursed without a cover everywhere, including at church, but it took a lot of working through my thoughts on modesty and such before I was comfortable. 

 

Today I was out at a children's museum with a group of moms from church.  I sat down on a bench to watch my toddler play next to a mom I hadn't met before.  She was getting ready to nurse her 4 or 5 month old, under a big swaddling blanket.  I had been sitting there previously, and had gotten up to help ds with something quickly, so I don't think she was trying to get me to move, but it's possible I guess.  The conversation went something like this

 

Her: "Sorry!  I have to feed her"

Me: shrug "I don't mind"

Her: "It's just that she's probably about to start screaming"

Me: "Don't worry about it, I remember those days"

Her: "I figure it's just a bunch of moms around, right?"

Me: "yeah"

 

Her baby seemed happy enough under the blanket, so there wasn't even any struggling to keep covered where someone might have seen the smallest glimpse of anything.  So why did she feel the need to apologize and make excuses? 

 

If someone really wanted to get into the topic, I could have a conversation about my thoughts on religious modesty and breastfeeding (and how I don't really think they are all that related) but for a casual acquaintance that's not likely to be the first conversation we're going to have, you know?  I just wish I had thought of something to say that made it clear that (imo) no apologies or excuses are ever necessary to feed your baby. 


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Old 06-07-2012, 02:09 AM
 
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This has happened to me a few times too and I was always stumped.  I breastfed in public and had no problems doing so.  I have always been that way.  It never even occurred to me to feel bad. I just did not think it is my problem that someone else would be offended or whatever because I was feeding my child.  

 

So, when other women apologize for doing so, I always just smiled big and said: babies have the right to eat whenever and where ever they want :)

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Old 06-07-2012, 09:43 AM
 
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I also nurse without a cover and whip it out whenever! But I have friends who are more uncomfortable. Sometimes it helps for them to just see me nursing, but since you baby isn't nursing anymore (?) then you can't do that.

 

I think it might help to enthusiastically re-enforce their nursing! Instead of telling them how much you "don't mind" that they're nursing, tell them how wonderful it is! Say, "Hey, don't apologize! I'm just thrilled to see you nursing! Please keep it up!"

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Old 07-03-2012, 05:33 PM
 
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I agree with previous posts. I tell them how great it is that they're nursing and that I've always nursed my kids whenever, wherever.


Melissa Wife to DH, Mom to DS (6) and DD (3) We are a homebirthing, no vax, intact, devoutly LDS happy family!


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Old 07-03-2012, 07:35 PM
 
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I'm one who is uncomfortable NIP.  There's really nothing anyone can say or do to make it otherwise- it's how I feel, just like I feel slightly uncomfortable meeting new people or dealing with business over the phone or letting someone else clean my house.  It's not rational.  The best thing people can do is to reinforce that in their house, I should feel free to nurse wherever I am and not feel like I HAVE to go into another room, or just to smile and say they nursed their kids.  I imagine that if I felt lectured or condescended to by someone for using a blanket or going to another room, I'd be less likely to nurse on demand around them, not more.  Not saying that's going on here, but I do know there are some people who are very strongly against covering up!  duck.gif So I'd be careful to be gentle.

 

I bf'ed 2 kids a total of 42 months.  Being averse to NIP didn't affect me, luckily!


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Old 08-07-2012, 08:09 AM
 
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When I nursed DS in public I didn't cover and I remember nursing him at the mall and a woman walked by and gave me the biggest smile and that really boosted my confidence as a first time mom who had very little experience BFing. So now I always try to be encouraging if I see a mom NIP. I really hate how negatively people can take NIP and I just hope that  if someone sees me NIP that will give them the confidence boost they need to do it also...

 

It baffles me that NIP (especially uncovered) is so taboo when a woman dressed to leave nothing to the imagination is totally acceptable. It's such an insane double standard...


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Old 08-07-2012, 10:20 AM
 
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Originally Posted by bri276 View Post

I'm one who is uncomfortable NIP.  There's really nothing anyone can say or do to make it otherwise- it's how I feel, just like I feel slightly uncomfortable meeting new people or dealing with business over the phone or letting someone else clean my house.  It's not rational.  The best thing people can do is to reinforce that in their house, I should feel free to nurse wherever I am and not feel like I HAVE to go into another room, or just to smile and say they nursed their kids.  I imagine that if I felt lectured or condescended to by someone for using a blanket or going to another room, I'd be less likely to nurse on demand around them, not more.  Not saying that's going on here, but I do know there are some people who are very strongly against covering up!  duck.gif So I'd be careful to be gentle.

 

I bf'ed 2 kids a total of 42 months.  Being averse to NIP didn't affect me, luckily!

 

This. 

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Old 08-07-2012, 01:27 PM
 
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People can state their opinions on either side of this subject very strongly. IMO as long as it's the woman's decision and she is making it based on how she feels and what's best for her and her baby then it should be respected or tolerated at the very least...


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Old 08-07-2012, 02:17 PM
 
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I think it really does depend on the people around. When my parner is out with my I feel more obligated to cover up because he gets nervous. But without him I could care less.

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Old 08-11-2012, 01:05 PM
 
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I've actually had a few comments about NIP. I do it whenever, but tend to dress in things that help cover up and wear slings, and nurse while walking, etc. Most people don't notice, but I have been asked to go to a bathroom/ outside, etc a few time. Once I did move (this was in Japan and was feasible to move and the woman insisting didn't speak English at all) but most of the time "no thank you" was all it took to end the discussion.

 

If there is no way to do it discretely, then I am someone who may "ask" in an awkward, "I don't really know you situation". I feel like if you state your intent first, people have a very hard time saying no to feeding a child:-) It kind of puts the ball in their court, if they really want to make a big deal about a kid eating they better have a good back up plan. I've never had a problem with asking first, even though I am not really asking. Some people just need a heads up about the shock-value of a baby actually eating in public, before it happens.

 

I have had many opportunities to discuss BLW, exclusively/extended breastfeeding and other topics just by bringing up the fact that I am about to nurse my 1 month-24 month old. Not sure if many of the people I "exposed" to my NIP would have ever had the chance to talk to someone who nursed beyond childhood or exclusively if I hadn't started the dialog.

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