Welcome to the July 2010 Carnival of Nursing in Public
This post was written for inclusion in the Carnival of Nursing in Public hosted by Dionna and Paige at NursingFreedom.org. All week, July 5-9, we will be featuring articles and posts about nursing in public (“NIP”). See the bottom of this post for more information.
I’ve been nursing Joshua exclusively, on-demand, since he was born. We have a great breastfeeding relationship, but I’m still most comfortable nursing him at home, on our favorite spot on the couch, with the boppy and a glass of ice water. It’s one of my favorite things to do, which is good because it happens a lot.
I have nursed Joshua in public. The first time, we were at the beach, which was easy because I was still more covered than most people there. When a mom and her son approached me, I made sure the thin blanket I draped over my shoulder was covering everything. I was worried, but she just said “Congratulations,” smiled and kept on walking. It was a great confidence booster.
I nurse Joshua in front of family and friends all the time, without feeling the need to cover with a blanket. He needs to eat, I need to feed him, and I’m not willing to be isolated in a bedroom alone. I’m also setting a good example and normalizing nursing. I like when a friend who is thinking of having a baby sees me nurse Joshua, since she’ll know I can be an ally and a supporter if she needs breastfeeding help.
However, there are times that I don’t want to nurse in public. For example, at a tractor pull about a month ago. When Joshua needed to eat, I was happy to take him to the car, turn on the AC, drink some iced tea and relax while I fed him. It was much nicer than sitting in the sun and feeling uncomfortable. Another time, when Joshua and I went to school to visit, I nursed him in a back room. I simply wasn’t comfortable nursing him in front of all of my colleagues, with the threat of a student walking in at any moment. While I realize that seeing a woman breastfeed normalizes nursing for everyone, including my teenage students, I don’t feel that they need to see ME nurse Joshua. I know I’m a good role model in a lot of other ways, too.
I’ve never had a negative experience nursing in public, and I honestly don’t care about what other people think. I know breastfeeding is best for my son, no matter what they think. It’s about my comfort level. Positive experiences like nursing Joshua at the beach or the support of our family give me more confidence to nurse in public, but I’m not putting pressure on myself. As a mom of a three-month-old, I have enough to worry about. I don’t need to be the poster child for nursing in public, and that’s okay. I nurse him in public when I’m comfortable, and I don’t when I’m not comfortable. And I’m fine with that.
Welcome to the Carnival of Nursing in Public
Please join us all week, July 5-9, as we celebrate and support breastfeeding mothers. And visit NursingFreedom.org any time to connect with other breastfeeding supporters, learn more about your legal right to nurse in public, and read (and contribute!) articles about breastfeeding and N.I.P.
Do you support breastfeeding in public? Grab this badge for your blog or website to show your support and encourage others to educate themselves about the benefits of breastfeeding and the rights of breastfeeding mothers and children.
This post is just one of many being featured as part of the Carnival of Nursing in Public. Please visit our other writers each day of the Carnival. Click on the links below to see each day’s posts – new articles will be posted on the following days: