Here I am nursing Juliana yesterday at a Science Center on a bench out in public.
Getting out in public has helped with the baby blues. Having a newborn in the winter is not easy. So, if I go out, I nurse in public.
The craziest place I have nursed Juliana? I would say standing up in a bathroom stall in a Crackel Barrel restaurant. The craziest place I have nursed Madilyn? That is an easy one. Sitting on the floor of Trump Tower in NYC. The place was packed and I am sure a few strangers saw my boobs.
If you follow me on Facebook, I recently posted the question, "What is the craziest place you have nursed your child?" and I got the funniest answers. Thanks to everyone who posted.
Last night, we were out to eat at a Thai restaurant. Juliana was completely asleep when we got there. As soon as we ordered our food, she starts crying. I changed her pants (on the booth next to me - don't even get me started about the lack of places in public to change your kiddos...), and she just napped so I knew that she needed to eat. I looked around the restaurant and said to Brian, "Well, I guess I am going to whip it out!" He laughs and I nurse. Well, I tried to nurse. I really think she can feel it when I am anxious. When I am anxious she goes on a nursing strike. I tried again (and I think I showed even more of my boob to the other people there) and she finally nursed for a few minutes. She cried again. I gave her to Brian and he walked her around the restaurant.
So, why are there not more places in public to nurse? For those of you that live in the Washington, PA area like I do, know the Tanger Outlets. Now, they know what's up. There have a room designated to nursing complete with a changing table AND two rocking chairs so mamas are comfortable. It rocks and I shop there for that reason. Can you imagine not being able to nurse at a shopping mall? I came across this article where a mall in Costa Rica briefly banned nursing. Moms protested. Awesome!
When I nurse in public I am not embarrassed. Anxious? Sure. I know that nursing is one of the best things I can do for my child. I think I am anxious that I may make others uncomfortable. Why is that? All other mammals nurse their babies. Why can't we do the same thing without getting strange looks?
Madilyn hated it when I had one of those covers on. So, I would try to get her to latch and cover up as much as I could with a blanket. Hey, you gotta do what you gotta do. Juliana is pretty much the same way. She will nurse fine once she gets a great latch - most of the time.
I nursed Madilyn for 15 months. Even when she was big enough to walk around, I would stop her and nurse for a little. That's how much I believe in the benefits of nursing.
First of all, us mamas have enough to worry about and for those mamas who don't nurse, I still want to give you a huge virtual hug. Please don't feel guilty about NOT nursing. You rock. Period. You are doing a great job. Say that to yourself 1o times.
For me, nursing just works. It doesn't work for some mamas and that is totally cool. I like the convenience of just "wipping it out" and feeding my baby.
So, below are my top 5 tips when nursing in public:
1. Don't worry about what other people think. Sure, some people will give you strange looks. No one has ever approached me about it but I have gotten my share of looks. Just smile back.
2. Be proud of yourself. Nursing is a big commitment. It is a commitment to your child. It is thinking about your child before yourself. I mean, you have to give up drinking...
3. Do the best you can. That is pretty much my #1 tip when it comes to everything about parenting but it applies to nursing too. Sure, nurse at home when you can for the most comfort but if you are out and you have to nurse, do the best you can.
4. Always remember to bring a blanket. Last night, I had to use my coat to cover up. Not ideal.
5. Look at your child. This way, you don't have to see how others are responding. Who cares. At the end of the day, all that matters is what is best for your child and your family.