Just another Minnesota Mom blog.

A Smile Goes a Long Way

Posted: August 11th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Breastfeeding | Tags: Blog Hop, Breastfeeding, Nursing in Public | 3 Comments »

***This was originally posted on my Your Voices blog on August 4th, 2011***

It’s World Breastfeeding Week.  Did you know that?  Kind of a big deal in the circles I run in.  The moms like to talk about breastfeeding.  Whether they are doing it.  How awesome (or hard) it is.  How to deal with each new situation that comes up (nursing strikes, cluster feeding, latch issues, slow weight gain, thrush, weaning, biting etc.).

I’ve been seeing a lot of posts about nursing in public floating around the past few weeks.  On my reader, on message boards, on my Facebook feed, on Twitter.  A lot of them are in reaction to a blogger who posed the question: Do mother’s openly breastfeeding in public make you uncomfortable?

I think back to my pre-baby, pre-nursing days and I am ashamed of the things I thought about women who chose to nurse in public (the few times I actually witnessed it).  Bottom line?  I thought it was disgusting, I thought it was distracting, I thought it was something that should be hidden away behind closed doors.  I thought women were just trying to get attention.  I’m pretty sure I shot a few dirty looks to nursing Moms.

I was embarrassed to be in the presence of another woman’s breasts.  And you know what?  That was my issue.  Before I nursed a baby, I didn’t “get it”.  It never occurred to me that a baby might be uncomfortable under a cover (would like to eat with a blanket over your head?).  It never occurred to me that a woman shouldn’t be banished to another room to feed a child (If you think a bathroom stall is suitable for nursing a child you should be voted off the island.).  It didn’t occur to me that anything was actually happening beyond a long slow flashing.  Who cares if she’s feeding her baby…she’s showing everyone her breasts!

Fast forward a few years and I am thankful that I have never run into the likes of me.

I nurse in public.  More often then not, without a cover.  I’m discreet, yes, but that could quickly change depending on the mood of my son.  Nursing in Public is not about putting on a show.  It is not about getting attention.  It’s about feeding your child.  If you want a show, put a cover over my sons head, I guarantee you’ll see more that way as he flails about and I try to keep him covered.

I am lucky, I have never come across a dirty look or heard a nasty comment.  On the contrary, I have had many knowing glances and very positive words of wisdom bestowed upon me as I’ve nursed my son.  In the grand scheme of things, nursing in public has been fairly easy to do considering all of our struggles.

Nursing in public will never be fully accepted if more women don’t nurse in public.  Obviously there are some women who would rather not ever be in that situation to begin with, for various reasons, and that is fine.  That doesn’t mean ALL women need to stay home, go into the next room or cover up their baby.

Next time you see a mother nursing her child, give her a smile.  Tell her she’s doing a great job.  I promise you will make her day.

I’m posting this as part of the Breastfeeding Blog hop, hosted weekly by Jen over at Life with Levi and co-hosted by Marah at Diary of a Devil Dog Wife and myself.  This weeks topic is Nursing in Public.  Link up!

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3 Comments on “A Smile Goes a Long Way”

  1. 1 sooobig said at 5:00 am on August 11th, 2011:

    This is a great post. While we do use a cover most of the time – there are times when it's not feasible. Just last weekend, we were doing one year photos in a park. It was 1000 degrees, and my baby was hungry. There was no way I was going to let her sweat it out under a cover!

    I totally agree with you – NIP won't be normal until more moms do it. I didn't get it before either, but I do now.

    Crystal http://www.SoooBig.com

  2. 2 Summer Davis said at 2:24 pm on August 11th, 2011:

    You're so lucky to have never encountered nasty glares. I have and it's not nice. I'm becoming more and more OK with it. I like to sit and mean mug anyone who walks by glaring at me.

  3. 3 incontinence aids said at 3:16 am on November 16th, 2011:

    Thanks Erin for supporting breast feeding. Its great to see volunteers working to encourage nursing. Thumbs up for moms breast feeding their toddlers.

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