Natural. Healthy. Peaceful.
Loving. Free.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Nursing in public stories...

Ok, readers, confession time...
I've never had a bad experience nursing in public.

My daughter is just over 7 months old and I've nursed everywhere one could possibly imagine.  Restaurants, malls, parks, festivals, grocery stores, my car (when a convenient bench and air conditioning was not to be found), various places at Disney and Universal Studios.... and I've never had a negative reaction.  Oh sure, some people might have rolled their eyes but I don't pay attention to people enough to really notice... and no, I don't use a cover.  To be fair, I tried... but I guess I don't have the manual dexterity necessary to cover myself and nurse a baby at the same time.  I think I used one twice before it just made me AND my daughter hot and angry...  plus, I have a feeling that a nursing cover just screams "I AM BREASTFEEDING A BABY, HAVE A LOOK" .  Scroll down to a previous post I made about nursing at Harry Potter at IOA and you'll see that nursing in public can be incredibly discreet... I doubt many people even knew what I was doing.

Anyway, the ONLY reactions I've ever experience have been positive.  Once, at a Boston Coffee House a guy came up to me and started talking about how his wife is 38 weeks pregnant with their first child and how she was planning a birth at one of our local birth centers.  He mentioned how nice it was to see someone nursing in public and raising awareness.  An older woman at a bbq joint let me know how wonderful it was to see younger women nursing in public -- she had a great statement that I won't be able to get quite right... something about how our country is a sad mix of puritans and cowboys.  One of the funniest NIP stories I have happened when I was nursing my daughter at a mall playground while my preschooler played.  A little girl, about 18 months, walked over to me, stood close by and stared at me.  When her mom came over, she laughed and said that she had just weaned her daughter.... we made jokes that she was 'standing in line'... I mean, heck, hers work... I'll just have some at that tap!

So, ladies (and gentlemen, too, if you want to share your wife/girlfriend/friend's story)... do you have some nursing in public stories?  Funny, good, bad, sad, whatever... share!


  1. I nursed Vala on the Maelstrom at Epcot when she was about 5 months old and when we went over the larger drop, she unlatched, looked up and giggled at me.

  2. I am grateful to be able to say that I have never had a negative experience nursing in public - now for a total of 19 months between my 2 children. My first distasteful experience, however, was at my daughter's 1st birthday party being held at my in-law's home. We were about 30 minutes into the party and she was overwhelmed by the number of people, overly tired, and hungry to boot - so I went into another room away from the 25 or so people there to celebrate. I chose the formal living room while everyone else was in the family room. My MOTHER!! asked me if I wanted to go in a bedroom to "do that". I told her no, that I wasn't uncomfortable and she told me, "well other people might be." I proceeded to tell her I didn't care and my husband promptly told her that no one there (many of them, his family)would have a problem with it either. I held my tongue, but it really frustrated me.

  3. Sarah -- That's awesome!

    NP -- Wow, I'm sorry to hear that.. especially from your mom! I'm so glad the hubby stuck up for you.

    My father was a bit uncomfortable with it for a while but he's gotten over it. Now, he just goes into a different room (lol). No one else has seemed to have issues with it. My mom asks lots of questions but it has more to do with learning about all the studies and recommendations than anything else. I've never gotten pressure from family to stop early, switch to formula or eat solid foods (I started at 6 months because Kate was trying to steal my food).

    For some odd reason, though, people always ask me "Wasn't it easier to bottle-feed Aidan?"

    ***Back story: Aidan and I were never able to successfully breastfeed so I pumped for six months. I just couldn't do it anymore so I switched to formula for the next six months.***

    Was formula-feeding easier than pumping? Oh, yeah, sure. Was it easier than what I'm doing now? That's got to be the dumbest question I get. Um, I have no bottles to wash, nothing to sterilize, no bottles to prepare at 4 am, nothing to warm up, no worries about the baby getting hungry when I'm out and not having a clean bottle... Hmmmm... which do you *think* is easier? lol

  4. I have nursed 5 babies and just now with my 5th one I had a funny nursing experience! I was at out shopping for clothes, nursing my daughter with a blanket over me, I had my shirt pulled down in the front so my side wasn't hanging out, my then 18 month old reached up and pulled the blanket off! I ducked down as fast as I could behind a rack and then started cracking up!! I then, for the first time in my many nursing years, invested in a nursing cover! LOL Jenn ( PS- I LOVE what your doing! so important!

  5. I wish I could say I had such positive experiences as well but unfortunately my only inhibitions prevented me from getting there. Maybe with the next child and after all this research I'll be more relaxed.

    You can read about my experience on my blog: "Where do you breastfeed in public?"

    Thanks for all you're doing. I wish it was more common!