A few weeks ago when we went to our local amusement park, Kennywood, I knew at some point I would need to feed ‘lil Man. For me, the solution was simple…I’d wear a flexible top and tuck him into the Moby Wrap, find somewhere secluded, and get to work.
But, as you know, babies feed when they want to, not when we find it convenient. There we were, smack dab in the middle of the Kiddieland area. My old faithful, the Mother Goose house, had been torn down and replaced with a bathroom/semi-healthy food kiosk.
I had really hoped I could go in the house, find a rocker, and enjoy a memory. Alas, this was no longer an option, so I was just going to feed him right out in the middle under a tree.
By the time I got him wrapped up, he fell asleep:
Two other mamas sat down on either side of us and nursed their nurslings, which was a pretty cool moment–none of us realized that there was still a place to nurse! When we got on the train, I realized that there is a new spot at the back of that replacement building that is for nursing mothers (and a statement on their website, “Our Kiddieland area provides parents with a quiet area to feed and nurse young children. The rest room also includes a diaper changing station.”–helps if you read ahead, huh?). Oh well, we did what we had to do and didn’t get any flack for it–glad society is becoming more accepting day by day!
(Excuse the focus–I realized almost too late that this existed!!!)
This week’s Life With Levi breastfeeding blog hop is ““Anywhere, Everywhere, Nowhere” – aka – breastfeeding locations.
Honestly, I am not really ashamed or scared of the good ‘ol NIP–Nursing in Public. Lil Man needs to eat when he wants to, so we do what we have to do. There are a few things that distract him, like “grown up food” and his energetic sister, but pretty much when he wants to eat, he has a one track mind.
Is there anywhere I wouldn’t breastfeed? For sure. But they are personal decisions and I have a place to go when I need to. Like at certain relatives’ homes–I know that I need to go to another room, it’s a fact of life. Or church–that to me is a given obvious. Or if I am wearing a dress–you know, the kind that doesn’t have access? Yeah, you make that mistake once as a Milkin’ Mama and you never do again. The beach–yeah, I wouldn’t wanna do it there because of the sand, but a pool? Check that one off my list many times. I probably wouldn’t while walking around the grocery store either, unless I could get him to not snooze in the Moby Wrap and nurse instead. A public restroom–NEVER tell me that’s the place to go and nurse or even pump. To me, that’s unacceptable and society needs to recognize that.
I guess my small list of no-no’s could be a long list to more seasoned mamas or a short list compared to others’. The great thing about nursing (…and motherhood…and parenthood) is that YOU (and your spouse/partner) are the ones who make the decisions as to what is best for you and your baby. That might be to nurse, to nurse in public, to nurse in private, to supplement, or to formula feed. None of the options should make a mama (or daddy or baby) feel ashamed.
Lil Man and I are really lucky to have the backbones and support system we do to make this possible. If you are someone who needs a little extra support or confidence, check out the other ladies on this week’s hop or leave a comment below. We’re glad to have you stop by and read today!
Today’s post is part of Life With Levi’s Breastfeeding Blog Hop. We’re talking about “Nursing in Public” this week.
My mom once told me that when you had a baby, you would lose all self-consciousness of your body. All those doctors and nurses coming in and out during L&D, recovery, and in your room…there is no avoiding having strangers, family, or friends see the lady parts. Sometimes, thankfully, those people (::ahem, Mr. Burgher circa October 2008::) don’t always realize that they are in the vicinity of your “private” public time.
But, some people have different opinions about public nursing, and after a personal incident with many hurt feelings, I get that. The thing is, I am quite proud of the success ‘Lil Man and I have had on this journey and I hate to miss out on get-togethers just because ‘Lil Man is getting his dinner on. Yet, I know that if someone is not comfortable, it’s not appropriate.
That’s why we carry a nursing cover with us (even though ‘Lil Man HATES it and tries to tear it off) so that ‘Lil Man can eat on demand. Or, we bring pumped milk or rice cereal. We make it work. But there are still times when I am comfortable nursing in public (98% of the time with that cover) like:
* When ‘Lil Man was a week old and needed food NOW at the mall post-Santa photo. I asked my Mother-in-Law if it was allowed, and we settled in on a mall bench and got to work.
* At my friend’s baseball game. We were sitting sort of behind the bleachers under an umbrella and I just did what I had to do.
* In the backseat of the (parked) car while we waited for Mr. Burgher to buy some dog food.
* At a friend’s community pool (with ‘Lil Man tucked under a towel).
I guess nursing in public is something that you just have to feel comfortable with. . .and need to make sure those around you are comfortable with your choice. Hopefully, as more and more mamas get educated about breastfeeding, the public will become more comfortable with it and we can all eat what we want when we want it. Until that time, I will do my best to be respectful of others’ opinions (but please be open with me so I know them).
Speaking of nursing in public, here are a few shots from Saturday’s Big Latch On event/world record breaking in Myrtle Beach, SC. ‘Lil Man and I took part while we were on vacation. 18 Mamas and babies latched on for 1 minute (‘Lil Man took full advantage of a drink in the hot sun and latched for a really long time). Enjoy the photos from Lauren Boyd Photography!