Tuesday, February 17, 2009

How NOT to Nurse In Public

Had a fabulous time at Baby Loves Disco this Saturday in the happening Cinespace in Hollywood. So many adorable kids and mommies, I was very proud of you all. Everyone looked great and was having fun -- which, come to think of it, kinda go together, don't they? If you've never gone, well, you just have to. Way more fun than the zoo (not again!).

So what could I possibly have to gripe about?

I noticed a disturbing trend -- several hot mamas nursing their babies UNDER goofy, attention-grabbing aprons, for lack of a better word! Oh, I know what they're called. I get approached to carry them in our happening store all the time. And I even know some of the well-meaning mamas and designers who truly think they're offering a service by making these nursing cover-ups.

But you're fooling no-one when your baby disappears under a graphic tablecloth that leaves you looking like you accidentally left the table with it tucked under your chin. You might as well get a neon sign that says, "Bare boobies -- right under this fabric!" I know, I shouldn't get all worked up. But the joy of nursing was (for me, at least) that it required no forethought or special tools. Other than remembering not to wear a dress that zippers in the back when you leave the house with your baby, you're set. So why spend $35 on something that makes nursing more trouble and less discreet? Here's a tip -- if you have a couple of spare twenties, toss them at a Glamourmom nursing tank you can wear under everything.

I don't bitch without providing an alternative, however. These Rules of the Road for public nursing are all you need to get out and about with baby and boobs in tow. Nowhere does it mention putting on some sort of sack and hiding your baby under it. It doesn't even mention buying fab-looking nursing clothes, although that's how we actually make money to feed our family now that everyone's weaned. Seriously, those are a great help, but with practice, any top that lifts up can keep your ta-tas private without wearing a body burkha.

Nursing should equal freedom. To borrow from someone else's ad campaign, you are now free to move about the country. Do it without the lame bag over your breasts. :)


Tina said...

I couldn't agree more, those things look ridiculous and my son does not like having his head covered up. Besides what the well meaning mommies who make and buy these do not understand is that they are making it difficult for those of us who continually fight for our right to nurse in public without having to hide in the bathroom or under a damn tarp. By hiding you perpetuate the idea that breasts are dirty and the breastfeeding is shameful and should be done in private. I am a proud public breastfeeding mommy. I will not cover up to keep small minded people happy in their little box. I am discreet. I wear nursing shirts and a nursing bra so little if any flesh is visible but even if I were out in a tshirt braless I would not hide to feed my child. We are wild and free.. Baby Boobies and me =D LOL

Blacktating said...

Thank you for commenting on my blog so that I could find yours! I could not agree with you more that nursing covers are hideous and make it even more obvious that you're breastfeeding than if you just shifted your shirt or used a nursing tank. Plus we need to get the entire country on board with the idea that breastfeeding a baby, any time, any place, is in no way obscene or offensive. If you're making a big production out of covering up, the naysayers say, "See, this nice woman has draped herself in a tablecloth in order to feed her child, why can't you, you selfish cow, oh yeah, you just want attention by flashing everyone your breasts!"

Roxanne Beckford Hoge said...

I have to say, the worst part about nursing without a sling or nursing shirt is that roll of belly fat that shows when sit down. Pretty? Not so much. Obscene? Hardly.

Hobo Mama said...

Hilarious! I had to quote you at my blog. I'm glad to have found your blog and your store.

And, Blacktating -- right on, as usual! It does make the rest of us look exhibitionist if we don't agree to a cover-up.

Roxanne Beckford Hoge said...

Haven't used the word Hobo in a sentence in years! :) I love your blog -- am heading over right now to give you good news!

Jen said...

I must say that I respectively disagree with you. I have had the apron since my son was born and I feel so free being able to nurse in public. I personally don't feel it is socially acceptable to have your ta-tas, hanging out in public. I am a large breasted woman, and it is extremely challenging to try and cover up with just my shirt. Don't get me wrong, I support nursing, and I will nurse my baby for as long as possible, and I support every aspect of nursing; except the part where we feel it is our “right” to do it whenever and wherever we please. There does need to be discretion when nursing in public, it is only polite, and it is social etiquette. How are we supposed to expect people to support nursing mothers when we are not respecting other people’s right to eat lunch without unexpectedly seeing some stranger’s ta-ta’s. I agree that there is nothing more rewarding, and more beautiful about nursing, but it is also a personal action, that does not need to be displayed. There needs to be discretion, and I feel that the apron gives one the freedom to nurse in public, and not be frowned upon, and also being able to be discreet.

Roxanne Beckford Hoge said...

Oh, Jen, I am right there with you! Re-read my rules of the road, and no-where will you see, "whip out your boobage for all to see, latch on at a leisurely pace and be free, girlfriends."

Althought there's nothing wrong with that. :) My point was that the aprons are goofy and counter-productive. Yes, they cover your naughty bits, but they also scream out what it is you're doing. Even though I sell nursing clothes here, I don't think anyone *needs* special equipment to nurse.

Even back when I was large-chested (sadly, those days are gone, after four babies), my large belly got more exposure. No-one ever saw my breasts, because they were covered by baby, a lifted t-shirt, a sling or a nursing shirt.

I'm glad the apron worked for you. I had squirmy kids who, to this day, don't like blankets or any other restriction on their field of vision, so that probably colours my opinion as well.