Nursing your baby when you are out and about in New England - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
Old 05-10-2009, 07:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
suziek's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 758
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I am expecting a baby in the fall, my fifth but my first since we moved to coastal New England.

In the last few weeks I have noticed a lot of bottle feeding around me. As I think about it I realize that in the year I've lived here I have never noticed a woman nursing her baby out in public, not at the beach, library, soccer field, playground, out to eat, family concerts in the park, poolside while kids are in swim classes, the parent's area at dd's ballet class.

MY first 2 were babies in NYC and I nursed as needed and noticed other women doing so as well. My second two were babies in Russia, which is a whole other story. There I nursed as needed as well but it did create stirs here and there.

Anyway, now I'm here and my kids and I are out all the time at places like those listed above. I'm planning to continue this, of course, when our new db arrives.

I'm just wondering if anyone can give me insight about how this is viewed generally.

I'm quite at ease about nursing, but there will be new situations that are already giving me pause. For example, my oldest son is nine and I do wonder about nursing a baby at a soccer game with lots of 9 and 10 year old boys around.

I can't imagine pumping and bottle feeding because in addition to being too lazy I think my nursing in public might give other women confidence to do so, and this might lead to a better world for babies in general. But I also can't imagine nursing outside my daughter's ballet class--that is one stuffy crowd!

Thoughts?

Happy mom to DS2000, DS2002, DD2004, DS2006 and DS 10/2009:
suziek is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 05-10-2009, 08:52 PM
 
rhiasmum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Cape Cod, MA
Posts: 395
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'm on the Cape and have nursed two kids (and will this one) when needed. I've never had a problem. I am too lazy to pump and also I am not a good pumper. I've nursed at the Cape Cod mall, at dd's dance class, at parks, the beach/pond, etc. If I feel uncomfortable (more sitting wise, not other people wise) I go to the car.
I tried/try to surround myself with people who support breastfeeding even if they didn't do it themselves. I go to a breastfeeding support group and have made many friends that way.
While I've never had a problem I know some have. It's legal in MA. I have some wise acre responses if I ever need them but will probably never use them. If you're doing it discreetly I doubt you'll have a problem.
Good luck!
rhiasmum is offline  
Old 05-10-2009, 08:58 PM
 
woodchick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: North of Boston
Posts: 2,083
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I also have nursed without issue in many places around New England. I've never really thought about it. I just did it.

Pregnant and/or Breastfeeding since 2005
Mama to two girls: 5/06 and 3/09
woodchick is offline  
Old 05-10-2009, 09:03 PM
 
lach's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: MA
Posts: 1,923
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Must be our puritan roots!

You're right in that I do see more bottle feeding than nursing, but then again I think that most nursing is fairly discreet: sometimes I'll be looking right at a person and it will take me a few minutes to notice that they have a baby lying horizontal at waist level. Meanwhile, a baby being fed a bottle is usually much more obvious.

I don't really like nursing in public because of personal hangups (I prefer to find a dark corner or store dressing room, if possible), but I've done it and I've never gotten odd looks.

Trying to live a simple life in a messy house in a complicated world with : DH, DD (b. 07/07), DS (b. 02/09), and DD (b. 10/10)
lach is offline  
Old 05-10-2009, 10:11 PM
 
DaughterOfKali's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: New England
Posts: 12,203
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I wouldn't worry about it. If you're concerned about boys at a sports game, etc, then use a light covering if you wish. I see women breastfeeding at malls, restaurants, playgrounds, etc.

Independent Consultant- Thirty One Gifts www.mythirtyone.com/ShopLiz

Origami Owl http://lizcioci.origamiowl.com

DaughterOfKali is offline  
Old 05-10-2009, 10:34 PM
 
earthgirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 3,562
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Personally, I would just do it, but I'm just kind of like that about breast feeding. But where I am (Boston) I see it tons. I mean, I see bottle feeding, too, but I definitely feel like nursing is completely accepted here. I did have a friend who had someone in a state park in NH tell her she needed to cover up or go somewhere else, but that's the only negative encounter any of my friends have had here and we all NIP.
earthgirl is offline  
Old 05-10-2009, 11:22 PM
 
sg784's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: in the woods
Posts: 1,194
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Im in Ct and I have hardly ever seen moms nursing in public. Once at a playbround, once in a restaraunt and any other time it was myself or my SIL, and SIL just had a baby 7 mos ago. Needless to say I have not seen NIP a whole lot. everyone you see with a baby is bottlefeeding or strollering.

It bothers me so much I try and make a point of bringing it up at LLL every month, like, the BEST way to get NIP more accepted is to GO OUT AND DO IT.

I know everyone has their own comfort level, but please! for our future!

Im a broc1.giflovinghippie.giffly-by-nursing2.gifcd.gif  novaxnocirc.gif
sg784 is offline  
Old 05-11-2009, 12:10 AM
 
Dariamar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: RI
Posts: 30
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Breastfeeding is protected in many New England states now. (At least MA and RI). I breastfeed where ever but I do cover up, more for me then for anyone. I have had people come to me while I am out and about and tell me that what I am doing is a beautiful thing. Amazingly enough the only 'problem' I had was at an Olive Garden another customer made a comment to a waitress that I shouldn't be feeding my baby, it's "unsanitary". To which the waitress replied "No it's not and we won't ask her to stop." I almost clapped.
I hate to say that it is more common for bottle feeding in public then breastfeeding but it is making a come back!
Dariamar is offline  
Old 05-11-2009, 12:10 AM
 
Zadee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Slightly north of sane
Posts: 711
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I've nursed all over the place in both CT and ME and never gotten a second look (and, let me tell you, nursing twins is not all that discreet though I did once have the garden center guy come over to me at a restaurant and coo at the babies and talk for quite a while without ever realizing that DD was nursing, though she was itty bitty then.)

Mostly sane mother to twins.
Zadee is offline  
Old 05-11-2009, 12:22 AM
 
azedazobollis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: New England
Posts: 543
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
That's so funny that you notice New England this way- I have 5 children (as my siggy shows ) Im an adoptive mom of my last 2 children. I have nursed them both but need to bottlefeed as my supply did not produce enough through inducing lactation. I am a die hard boob advocate. My baby gets all boob juice in a bottle. I feel like everyone is a nursing mom. I wish I could shout to the world that there's breast milk in her bottles because Im so proud to be able to get milk for her through donors. Please dont always assume a mom with a bottle isnt nursing.

Christine. Unschooling mom to Hollis, Zobey, Zeda, Anna, and Wednesday. We have a lot invested in this whole family thing with marriage kids and a mortgage. You don't just give up on the whole deal when it gets difficult.
azedazobollis is offline  
Old 05-11-2009, 09:16 AM
 
DaughterOfKali's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: New England
Posts: 12,203
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Yeah, I also had to supplement with breast milk in a bottle.

Independent Consultant- Thirty One Gifts www.mythirtyone.com/ShopLiz

Origami Owl http://lizcioci.origamiowl.com

DaughterOfKali is offline  
Old 05-11-2009, 10:06 AM
 
Mandynee22's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Cape Cod, MA
Posts: 1,271
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'm on the cape and we always NedIP (he's older now and I can put him off so we don't so much anymore) but I RARELY EVER see anyone else do it. I do a double take whenever I do.
I notice that A TON of other moms are "OK with it as long as they're... you know... covered". So I have to make sure and say "Geez. I never covered"
I don't really know if I ever got bad looks, if I did then I've blocked it from my memory LOL The only comments I've ever gotten are from people I know :-X

Monther of Riley (11), Andrew (4) and Victoria (7 months)
Mandynee22 is offline  
Old 05-11-2009, 10:15 AM
 
earthmama369's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 6,792
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'm in CT and while I don't see a whole lot of NIP outside my "groups" of friends, I've nursed all over the place without any problems. The good thing about New England is that people generally mind their own business, so you can do what you want without much hassle.
earthmama369 is offline  
Old 05-11-2009, 11:05 AM
 
laneysprout's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: left of center
Posts: 1,254
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
In RI, there is state law protecting your right to breastfeed anywhere you are. Not only that, but if anyone tries to obstruct you in any way, there are legal penalties and you are entitled to collect damages. I always nurse in public, and have since DD was born. I have almost always have received positive comments, though once at restaurant the couple sitting at the next table asked to be moved to a different table, out of view of our nursing. By and large, though, people usually smile and/or directly comment on what a wonderful gift I am giving DD.

treehugger.gif
laneysprout is offline  
Old 05-11-2009, 11:09 AM
 
KirstenMary's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 1,382
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by azedazobollis View Post
That's so funny that you notice New England this way- I have 5 children (as my siggy shows ) Im an adoptive mom of my last 2 children. I have nursed them both but need to bottlefeed as my supply did not produce enough through inducing lactation. I am a die hard boob advocate. My baby gets all boob juice in a bottle. I feel like everyone is a nursing mom. I wish I could shout to the world that there's breast milk in her bottles because Im so proud to be able to get milk for her through donors. Please dont always assume a mom with a bottle isnt nursing.
This.

OP, I have nursed both my daughters all over NE, and I have never had a problem. Also, it could be that mothers are nursing in such a manner that you don't even know that they are nursing (you wouldn't know if you were looking at me, for example). So feel free to nurse away.

Kirsten - wife to Mark and co-sleeping, breastfeeding mother to , :, and
Photography, including Breastfeeding Photography, in my Homepage.
KirstenMary is offline  
Old 05-11-2009, 11:51 AM
 
veganf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Framingham, MA
Posts: 7,963
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Feed your baby how/when you wish! I've nursed all mine in public anywhere, discreetly, but never covering up. Nobody has every said a thing to me.

milk donation : mother to Ryan (6), AJ (5), Nate (2), Maia (1) all born at home, I have a kid-friendly food & bento blog, : :
veganf is offline  
Old 05-11-2009, 12:36 PM
 
kjbrown92's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: CT
Posts: 10,746
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
I live in CT and summer in Lake George. I've nursed my kids all over the place as well, and I don't remember getting many odd looks (except for DS who was a projectile vomiter before I went off dairy, and he'd usually projectile all over me while nursing): malls, restaurants, playgrounds, beach, meetings, etc. I feel like I've seen just as many people nursing as bottle feeding. Nursing older kids in New England -- I haven't seen a lot of, but up to a year, lots. I got Majamas shirts because they were super comfortable and pretty discreet. CT has breastfeeding laws as well.

Kathy, mother of 3, wife of 1. My new recipe blog: www.kathysrecipebox.wordpress.com (no longer searchable by allergen, but at least it doesn't have a virus!)
kjbrown92 is offline  
Old 05-11-2009, 12:37 PM
 
Qestia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Boston
Posts: 1,980
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
been doing it all over greater boston for 7 months now, at the museum, restaurants, preschool events, many different public parks, you name it. no one's ever said boo to me though someone did hustle her older kids away from me at the museum once, not sure why, they didn't even notice I was nursing. myself I don't notice it, but I'm kind of a space cadet, I still always think the baby is just sleeping when I do see someone nursing. It is hard to tell unless the kid is really active.

Mom to DS 5/05 and DD 9/08
Qestia is offline  
Old 05-11-2009, 01:15 PM
 
medicmama's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: In the meadow.
Posts: 7,548
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I have always nursed as needed and have never had an issue. My almost 3 y/o still nurses in public sometimes,I am getting some crazy looks, but I mostly don't look around to see who's looking or if anyone looks put out by my doing so.

I was more self concious of when I was bottle feeding my 9 y/o when he was 6 mos (would not nurse,lack of support) cuz I wanted to nurse. I would go hide so no one saw me with a bottle.

Doing what I can to make better choices every day!
medicmama is offline  
Old 05-11-2009, 02:06 PM
 
Azreial's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Gloucester MA
Posts: 2,342
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I see a lot more women nursing than I did even 4 years ago still more bottle feeders but more babies are bottle-fed.

I nurse anywhere and everywhere. The only negative comments I've ever heard (and they weren't said to me) was with my 1st but he's going to be 11 in a few weeks and things have changed so much since then. I've actually gotten a lot of posative comments, most of them at the mall, which is the last place I wou;d have expected it

mum to Christopher (6/98) Elizabeth (2/05) twins Aaron and Dominic (7/10/06) and new baby Eden (4-18-09)
Azreial is offline  
Old 05-11-2009, 04:11 PM
 
sg784's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: in the woods
Posts: 1,194
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by azedazobollis View Post
Please dont always assume a mom with a bottle isnt nursing.
regardless of whats in the bottle its still not NIP--what the OP is referring to.

I m just saying, and Im pertty sure the OP is as well, i see lots of bottles and hardly ever see NIP.

Im a broc1.giflovinghippie.giffly-by-nursing2.gifcd.gif  novaxnocirc.gif
sg784 is offline  
Old 05-11-2009, 06:19 PM
 
Amberoxy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Tiverton, RI
Posts: 781
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Another RI'er here. I've NIP lots of places and never had a problem. Sometimes I covered and sometimes I didn't. I've nursed in church and even there - the response was 100% positive - very nice church . I say just go for it - the more of out there doing it - the more other mommas will feel comfortable.
Amberoxy is offline  
Old 05-11-2009, 10:46 PM
 
leanbh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: away with the faeries
Posts: 1,437
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
RI, CT, MA... i've NIP'd in all those places, and not discreetly (yeah, i'm the one with the toddler hanging off me while looking at lumber in home depot). i've never had a problem.

i've actually only ever gotten rude comments once, at boston logan airport. and my ultra-conservative brother put those two men in their place right quickly (by loudly saying that he wished they would eat their sandwiches in the bathroom).

feed your baby when needed and how needed. i'm much more concerned with a hungry child rather than an ill-informed or opinionated adult.

Lindsay + Trev = DD RóisÃ*n (9/07) & DS Ãamonn (7/2010)
leanbh is offline  
Old 05-11-2009, 11:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
suziek's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 758
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Hi everyone.

Thanks for all these answers. I think this might be one of those situations when I'm tuning into something and because I am tuning into it it's seeming ubiquitous--sort of like when you buy purple pick up truck and the next thing you know you start noticing purple pick-ups everywhere.

I mentioned this little anxiety to my husband and he said something like, "sooz, just feed our baby the way you've fed all our others. who cares? you'll be doing other women a favor. and don't worry about the 10 year old boys, they never notice anything anyway."

It's not so much that I wouldn't NIP, it's just that I was afraid I would be made to feel self-conscious about doing so.

I also asked two women I know here and they both said I'm just not noticing all the women nursing. Maybe, but I tend to zero right in on women with babies these days and I know the signs...

I think part of what is affecting me is that now instead of spending my days in the world of babies and toddlers I'm spending it in the world of school-aged children. Most of the other moms are out of the baby business and so there just aren't that many babies around. So it's a pretty small pool of moms-with-infants I'm observing anyway.

I've nursed for a total of about six years. I'd have to say that in those years I've heard two or three negative comments (in a museum: one teenage boy said to his mother "that's disgusting." His mother said, "I nursed you, you know," as they passed by.)

The Russians seemed to object to me being out in public with my babies at all, not specifically the nursing. But then I only half understood what people said to me anyway.

Anyway, thanks for the reassurance. I really think I'm extrapolating wildly here, and appreciate the reality check.

Happy mom to DS2000, DS2002, DD2004, DS2006 and DS 10/2009:
suziek is offline  
Old 05-11-2009, 11:21 PM
 
lovermont's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Adirondack Park
Posts: 795
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by suziek View Post
Hi everyone.

I think part of what is affecting me is that now instead of spending my days in the world of babies and toddlers I'm spending it in the world of school-aged children. Most of the other moms are out of the baby business and so there just aren't that many babies around. So it's a pretty small pool of moms-with-infants I'm observing anyway.
I think this is an awesome opportunity to present (dare I say, impressionable?) youth that breastfeeding is normal. You don't make a big deal out of it and neither will they.
I have sometimes wondered about this too. Our duplex-neighbors have a 12 and 14 year old and I'm very often on our shared front porch nursing dd. I've had brief moments of uncertainty but figure it's good to show them a non-sexual use for breasts. I don't know if they even notice.

Sarah, Farmer, photographer, teacher, mother to Noah 05-05-06 and Del 03-27-08 and best friend to Josh 05-29-04.
Fostering sisters aged, 6, 3.5, and 2yrs since Sept 2013.
lovermont is offline  
Old 05-11-2009, 11:53 PM
 
jessjgh1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: South Shore MA
Posts: 4,744
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by suziek View Post
I mentioned this little anxiety to my husband and he said something like, "sooz, just feed our baby the way you've fed all our others. who cares? you'll be doing other women a favor. and don't worry about the 10 year old boys, they never notice anything anyway."
...
Anyway, thanks for the reassurance. I really think I'm extrapolating wildly here, and appreciate the reality check.
Go your dh... yeah!!! seriously it's the 10 yr olds that need to see nursing as normal, too.

I've never had an issue, but I have attended nurse ins, nurse outs, and lobbied for breastfeeding rights (now passed in MA)... if there ever is a cause for concern you have a large, informed, and wonderful group of women to call upon for support, action, or to help enact positive changes. Or perhaps to just help you remember there are really only a very few 'stuffy' 'idiots' who don't get breastfeeding. But don't assume you will run into that situation. I havn;t and i regret the times when i even hesitated.
Go out and proudly and confidently nurse... that is a great gift to everyone.

Jessica nak (-;

Jessica..lady.gifintactlact.gif Falling in love all over again..... 
Dhprivateeyes.gif, Joshua rolleyes.gif Rebeccagrouphug.gifand dog2.gif.    candle.gif for Laura
jessjgh1 is offline  
Old 05-12-2009, 10:37 AM
 
earthmama369's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 6,792
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Hmm, we may be on to something here. Is it possible that nursing in public is MORE discreet than bottle-feeding?
earthmama369 is offline  
Old 05-12-2009, 02:15 PM
 
Mandynee22's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Cape Cod, MA
Posts: 1,271
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by earthmama369 View Post
Hmm, we may be on to something here. Is it possible that nursing in public is MORE discreet than bottle-feeding?
Well, I'll tell ya... the only time I ever see a nipple when a baby's mom is feeding him or her is when it's attached to a bottle

Monther of Riley (11), Andrew (4) and Victoria (7 months)
Mandynee22 is offline  
Old 05-12-2009, 03:08 PM
 
leanbh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: away with the faeries
Posts: 1,437
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
my 10 year old niece twice has said something when her friends would stare. things like, "dude, haven't you ever seen a baby eat before?" and she'd roll her eyes. she's a great kid.

Lindsay + Trev = DD RóisÃ*n (9/07) & DS Ãamonn (7/2010)
leanbh is offline  
Old 05-12-2009, 04:39 PM
 
Buddhamom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Shambala Acres
Posts: 997
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I am in CT and my youngest was adopted. I nursed her until just before her third b-day with no problems. But I think people were more curious about the fact DH and I are caucasian and she is full AA and being nursed than the nursing itself However when my daughter sees nursing babies she lets the whole world know that she was breastfed and would still do it (at 4) but Mommy ran out of milk

Me namaste.gif, DH teapot2.GIFmarried 24 yrs.,DD #1 treehugger.gif(89), DD #2 blahblah.gif(91), DD #3 weadopted.gifafro.jpg(05), and DD #4 baby.gif (6/11/11)

Buddhamom is offline  
 
User Tag List

Thread Tools


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off