Monday, September 22, 2008

How to Nurse in Public, aka How to Leave The House With Your Baby

Just found another mama's blog that had a post about someone being asked to cover up while nursing in public. While I get that others (especially men, and Barbara Walters) may feel a little "where should I look?" when they encounter a nursing mom, I find it odd that people get so worked up about babies doing what they do.

It's a sin that our culture is so uptight that you’ll be asked to leave a room while breastfeeding, but you’ll never be asked to leave that same establishment if you hit your child. Go figure. Someone else, somewhere else, said the most helpful thing you can do to advocate breastfeeding is simply to nurse everywhere. So I did. And I mean, everywhere. I pride myself on the fact that even friends who thought I was a freak for nursing a toddler (much less twin toddlers!) commented on how they were never visually offended (thanks … I think).

If you have a question about the actual law in your state (or, more importantly, the state where your in-laws live), look no further. Personally, if my kid's hungry, there's no law that could stop me from feeding her. The important thing to remember is, though, that breastfeeding is not against the law. In the United States, anyway.

But, two factors point the way to discretion for nursing moms. One is to stop cretins from acting, well, cretinous. The other is that most of us don't want our breasts exposed. We just want to nourish our nurslings without attracting gawkers. To that end, I've compiled some helpful hints for the seemingly revolutionary and dreaded act of breastfeeding your baby while outside your house. Read the entire article here.

My fave nursing story took place in 2002, when I was in the midst of whole house renovation and my second baby was not yet two. My general contractor, a burly, tough guy in his late 60s, one day started blushing and said something about it being unseemly to be nursing in front of people like I was (fyi, I was completely covered up). I had to laugh. Why? Because it was 7:00 am, and he was in my bedroom letting the tile guys into the bathroom. Public, indeed! :)

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