Tuesday, March 23, 2010

i'm not becoming a lactivist, BUT...

...let's talk about breastfeeding.

Sorry if that makes you squeamish. Want me to type it a few times to break the ice?? BREASTFEED BREASTFEED BREASTFEED. Now, moving on.

To cover or not to cover? The library? Church? Restaurants? Someone else's house?

One buddy told me that she abides by the sandwich rule: if you're somewhere where you would feel comfortable eating your lunch, you should feel comfortable breastfeeding.

Our (awesome) local public library has a designated "nursing mothers' room" with a nice lamp and comfy rocking chair. Because the room is locked, you have to ask someone to open it for you and then tell them when you're done. I figured if they had a room for it that must be where it's normal to do it, so the other day, I asked the guy at the desk to let me in. When I was done, he said "You're welcome to use the room if you'd prefer, but you're also welcome to breastfeed anywhere you feel comfortable. It doesn't matter to us," and pointed at all the chairs in the public section. I looked around and felt dumb. It honestly hadn't occurred to me to just do it right there. Why did I lock myself away? I was kind of embarrassed that I'd asked to use the room at all and figured I should be brave enough to just go for it. Well, maybe not across from the matted-beard mutterer with all the garbage bags, but in the comfy chairs by the children's section? Why not? So, the next time, I did, and it was fine.

The other day at a church youth activity, I fed my cute baby under one of those nursing covers that's like a little sheet you hang around your neck. Moments later, another woman fed her kid sans-cover, and I immediately felt sheepish that it hadn't occurred to me to just go for it. It's no secret what I'm doing, so what's the point of a cover? But, sometimes it's just easier to set up shop (and close up shop) behind some material. But do I send a signal of secrecy or shame when I use a cover? Am I just using a cover because I'm used to other people doing it, and when I go WITHOUT a cover, am I giving people around me permission to do the same??

Lately I've been going sans-cover and it's liberating! Is that weird of me? Am I sending the LACTIVIST signal loud and clear? If I breastfeed without a cover, do people automatically think I homeschool, have a dozen chickens, and will nurse my kid through kindergarten? (No offense...) Addition: when I say "sans-cover" I'm still covered. My clothing usually covers everything except the baby and she covers almost everything else.

Anyway, I don't have a huge complex about this, but I have no sense of what other people think is normal. I am amazed at the variety of views people have on this. Will you tell me what you think is normal? Moms, what's your personal preference on place and cover vs. no cover? Dads and non-parents, what are your thoughts? What about at church?

40 comments:

AlliSMiles said...

All I know is when I walk into room, even bathrooms, and see other women's bare boobs, I'm uncomfortable. My 2 cents.

~j. said...

Anywhere (except where you'd go to the bathroom, says me).

As for covers -- I could never use blankets because my kids would pull them off and/or get all sweaty under there. I breastfed my kids anywhere, and in front of anyone, and it doesn't bother me when other people do it. I find the current custom covers (whatever trendies you find over at The Etsy) to be very interesting...as in, they exist so as to give privacy, right? Yet, like you said, it's no secret what you're doing. I would think those hooter hiders draw more attention than anyone who would use one would want.

gurrbonzo said...

Haha! Alli, I hear you. But do you actually see bare boobs? Bc most of the time nothing really shows. Is it the idea of accidentally being flashed a nipple that makes you uncomfy? Is there anywhere you would see someone breastfeeding and not feel uncomfortable?

P.S. Once, a church movie ended in a visitors' center theater on my mission. I was standing at the front ready to testify and wrap things up, and when the lights came on and I saw a woman adjusting her shirt and realized she'd just been feeding her kid, I'm embarrassed to say that I blushed and felt super uncomfy and just couldn't believe she would do that there.

Today I think that's NO big deal and would be the perfect time on a long family trip to feed your kid. But at the time I remember I thought it was super weird. Maybe just bc it was unfamiliar?

Hilary said...

My first nursed ALL the time, and I spent all that time locked away in back rooms and hidden areas and it almost drove me crazy. (Possible it was partially a postpartum thing -- but I felt so isolated and quarantined for 45 minutes every 2-3 hours, and it was awful for me.) The one exception was the Church's Mom's room, which I fell in love with, as I could nurse modestly, uncovered (as my first wouldn't stay covered) and sit and chat and enjoy the company of other women and it was my nursing salvation.
With my second, I discovered nursing covers, and it changed my life. I'll nurse anywhere while we're out (although I do find a bit of a corner if it's a busy public place), but it's so wonderful not to have to find some dark, dank nursing room in the Zoo's bathroom or something when I'm out with the family. No more hiding in back rooms at family parties and get togethers. I try not to 'flaunt' nursing, as I don't want to make people uncomfortable, but I figure I'm draped and therefore about as modest as humanely possible, so I'm not going to shy away from it or hide in a backroom or bathroom ever again. (I had one person sit and talk to me at a wedding reception for about 5 minutes before she suddenly noticed the cover and she suddenly shrieked, "OH #$@&#!, there's a baby under there!?" She was so horrified, she walked away without saying another word. I was really amused, as it had taken her forever to figure out I was even nursing, and she was showing three times the amount of fleshy bosom than I would if I was latching my kid on sans cover! :-) What is it about the very fact that a baby is eating that freaks people out? I try to be sensitive about not making people feel uncomfortable, but those are the people I feel less concerned about making uncomfortable. Some people just need to grow up.)
I prefer to nurse without being covered if I'm in a nursing room or somewhere with only women (especially fellow nursing Moms) -- still modest without flashing lots of skin, but I prefer to nurse my babies not covered all the time. In my new ward though, I was the ONLY one I ever saw nurse without a cover in the mother's room, and I got self conscious and ended up nursing under cover too . . .
It makes absolutely no sense to me that I leave Relief Society to go nurse . . . what better place at Church is there to nurse!? Better than a room that also holds a diaper pail! But, for some reason I've been unable to make that leap . . . I'm not a very good lactivist :-)

Katie said...

I really wish we lived in a society where people view breasts as only having ONE function (which is sexual). I think if people were more open-minded and realized that breasts are MULTI functional, it would be much easier to breastfeed in public with out a cover. It is a travesty that people get kicked off of airplanes and restaurants for breastfeeding. It's NOT inappropriate. But GOOD ON YOU for helping change the stigma!
p.s. I'm Erika Sullivan's sister.

Emily said...

So glad you posted this. I was going to post something similar once but your readership is wider than mine so you'll get better responses. Anyway, I've wanted to go sans cover (I agree it just draws more attention--I don't care if people know what I'm doing I just don't want to make it awkward that they think I'm flashing them). So now I'm much more tempted to. I'll breastfeeding more or less anywhere, but I do usually wear the cover. Especially because I have a snacker who likes to look up and around a lot, meaning I would be flashing nipple more often. Oh, and she's 13 months which people might find odd. Anyway, my question was with church. I hate being relegated to the mothers' room half the time and miss lessons when I could easily sit and nurse (should anyone care under the cover??). I finally did start to in Relief Society but we thought maybe not for Sunday School. At another building in our stake there was a sign in the mothers' room saying nursing mothers were welcome to stay in RS and I thought that was nice. Make them feel actually welcome. Again, thanks for posting.

Anonymous said...

I was never comfortable nursing in public, ever. So I choose to nurse in backrooms and backseats and every other uncomfortable place, although it was more comfortable than nursing in public for me (and since my infant-child would never nurse under a cover, it wasn't a possibility). I guess I'm not a huge fan of flashing any skin in public, and quite frankly I don't want to see anyone else's privates any more than I want them to see mine.

But maybe that's just my over-developed sense of modesty talkin'....

Janie said...

I don't know you, but i love your blog. Now that that's out of the way, here's my two cents.

I just gave birth to my first 5 1/2 weeks ago. This past Sunday was the first week we brought him to church. He's going through a phase where he likes to eat every 2 hours, so I took him out during sacrament meeting and fed him in the mother's lounge. No big deal.

When I fed him in Relief Society (covered, mind you), I was flabbergasted at how many weird looks I got! It really seemed like I made people uncomfortable. Where else can you nurse than a room full of other women? Sheesh.

Kalli Ko said...

I can vouch for ~j, I saw her nipple with a baby on the end before I could even say I knew her well like I do now.

I have conflicted thoughts on this. Nursing with my kid was a complete circus. When he was tiny he'd fall instantly asleep and it was impossible. Then as he got older, if we weren't sequestered away in silence there's no way he'd focus long enough to get the job done and having a baby pop on and off your giant nipple every 5 seconds gets really annoying. Because of this I used a cover if I absolutely had to, or I was as far away from other people as I could get.

I hope my next is better, much better at the process because that was a pain in my A.s.s.

There are times when I think it's better to keep it to yourself. Like when your father in law is present, or your pervy uncle who likes to ask loudly "WHAT ARE YOU DOING UNDER THERE?", I just have never had a desire to share my nipples with such people in any context. In situations like that I will gladly retreat to a back room. Everywhere else, I'M GOING FOR IT!

Morgan -Ing said...

I am not a cover-er, I am very discreet (my husband can vouch for this as he is very uncomfortable with my tendency to whip it out whenere the baby asks...) and I think, like you said, it's not secret. Nursing is not gross. If you're offended, look away. Like I do, when I see butt-cracks on the billboards here in Vegas. So there.

Ru said...

K, I know this will sound weird, but I get really uncomfortable when I see breastfeeding, and I have no idea why. It's like I suddenly walked in on someone peeing, and I've just got to get out of there.

Despite this, I know (intellectually) that it's normal, so as long as it's happening in a place where I can comfortably glance away or otherwise escape, I don't mind. But I once had a lady bust it out WHILE SHE WAS TALKING TO ME. No escape. Worst experience ever.

(All that being said ... I think it's kinda like any other lady bit exercise. First time you get a bikini wax or go to the ob/gyn, you're like, "This is the worst, I'm so uncomfortable." But after a few visits, it's like, "Whatevs. Aside from the general discomfort and draftiness, I could do this all day long." Maybe once you've breastfed your own kid, it's not weird anymore.)

That last paragraph was probably TMI. But since the topic is about breastfeeding, I'm leaving it. ;)

Booher Blogs said...

With each child, I get more daring with nursing in church. Right now I have 11-month-old twins, and they have been fed in the hall, RS room, and *gasp* sacrament meeting. Admittedly, it was in a side pew snuggled in the corner. Also, I'm a huge fan of the nursing cover with the boning. Lots of breathing space, and none of my bits are out there. Hate wearing a nursing bra, so I just lift everything and tuck. It can get a little dicey without a cover. I think of it like going to the toilet. Yes, it's natural, but I close the door when doing it at someone else's house. And although my husband loathes this, at home I'm not as strict with the door closing. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't. And if it weren't for his door-closing ways, I probably never would at home. This is all so very TMI, but what the heck! So basically, that's my policy for nursing too. When in public, close up shop. When at home, let it fly.

tatum said...

it makes me uncomfortable to see breastfeeding. but i am not a mom. so my thinking is that if you are around moms, or mostly moms, then i'd say go for it bc they know and understand. but if you're around non-moms or non-parents in general, then i'd say hide. but say you're in a place like a library where you're not sure who standing around you is a parent/mom/single/childless person or whatever, i'd just be safe and hide too. sure you feel all liberated breastfeeding without covering up (worst ever and so uncomfortable in my opinion, even if nothing's showing, you know what's behind the baby's loud and also uncomfortable suckling noises), but so does walking around naked. obviously, that would be nice for some people, but again, think of others around you and how they feel.

Deanna said...

I find that while I have been a nursing mother, I find it absolutely normal to be around other women while they are breastfeeding, covered or not. Weirdly, even during the time I was prego and not bf-ing, it could feel a little bit uncomfortable for me to be in close quarters with women I didn't know really well while they were bf-ing. I think it's a hormonal thing. Boobs become much more functional and much less... er... um... recreational as I have been a nursing mom, and it is not a permanent thing. I think being discreet is important in mixed company... boobs will always be boobs to men no matter how multi-functional they are and the covers help that. I have no problem nursing my baby with men in the room if I have my hooter hider in place... though I agree that they do draw attention to the activity, even if they cover nakedness.

I think it is awful to have to feed babies in hiding (which for me once meant standing in a small employee bathroom with a URINAL... ICK!!!). It is not an inappropriate thing, but I am ashamed that I use the very same back room at the library as it never occurred to me either that sitting in a comfortable chair elsewhere was a possibility. I like the idea of bf-ing in RS, but it has never occurred to me until just now.

Erin said...

hmm, i guess i just suck at breastfeeding, because i just cannot be discreet about it. i'm not discreet, and my baby is constantly popping off to look around and/or fall asleep, and when she is eating, she's very loud (hence i would not breastfeed during a lesson or whatever at church). so, i don't really care about making other people feel awkward, but i would always prefer to nurse in a private room. but i also prefer no cover (because i think covering is a pain).

at the same time, i know this limits my ability to be out and about much while breastfeeding. i'm constantly trying to plan things just right so that i feed the baby right before leaving so that i have maximum time before she needs to eat again, and then when we are out if i need to nurse and there's nowhere private i go to my car. so that is all a pain. maybe i need to embrace public breastfeeding.

Brooke said...

So I kept reading bf-ing as barfing and it kind of threw off my train of thought. =) Here's my non-mom point of view. Watching women breastfeed in public without a cover makes me uncomfortable. Maybe because not all moms are so modest or careful and sometimes things slip? And I'm always waiting for something to happen? I find myself REALLY distracted. It doesn't really bug me in RS, though. And public or church you should NEVER have to feel like you have to be secluded away. That just feels wrong. So I guess agree with other non-moms ... if in mixed company of moms and non-moms, I'd err on the side of covered. In RS, at family stuff, or with friends go Lactivist!

Liz said...

I'm not a mom and breastfeeding of any kind freaks me out, covered or non-covered. If I am in my sister's home and she even mentions that her baby is hungry I'll hightail it out of there as fast as humanly possible. Honestly, I think the only people who are not made uncomfortable by breastfeeding are women who do or have done it. If I ever decide to bear children, I'm sure my views about it will change.

Mhana said...

I'm not a Mom so I guess I can only give my opinion about when I feel uncomfortable. In my opinion if you have a cover anywhere at all is totally fine. Maybe not on a tilt-a-whirl, but that is only for safety reasons. I feel a lot less comfortable when Moms just pull up their shirts. Not among friends necessarily or family but I just feel uncomfortable seeing a stranger's breasts, hearing slurping sounds etc. It draws my attention, yet I feel that if I look I'm a weirdo. I say we live in a world where breasts are not something we have to hide away so men can fantasize. You get to nurse in public, and I can ditch this freaking underwire and be comfortable. When breasts don't have to look a certain way (perky and nippleless through clothes) then maybe it won't be so weird? Yeah, that will never happen. So wear the cute blanket strapped to your neck I guess.

Jean said...

I think modesty is a good policy in all situations. I'm a pro-breastfeeder and plan to bf, like my mom and sisters have, but I'm not an 'in-your-face' kind of person.

Yes, it's natural and good, and yes, our culture has made it uncomfortable (which is unfortunate)...
But you won't change the culture just by baring it all in public.

I like the sandwich analogy because I'll eat during church, but only behind the piano (love my Primary calling!) or in the hall, not anywhere it could be distracting.

megandjon said...

it's kind of funny how the non-mom's are the most wigged out. i was the same way until i got to know one side of my family better, who all have five million kids and all breastfeed them all, often till 2 or so, and are all mormon and discreet, but don't always use covers. sometimes they put the blanket over one shoulder and sometimes they are just extra drapey with the shirt they are wearing. what i'm saying is, once i got used to it, it was No Big Deal. and it didn't take long to get used to it. so i do think there is something to be said for the lactivists. if we could all just get used to it life would be oh so much better when you're a mom. here's a news flash: babies are sweet and wonderful and funny and precious all the time, even when they are EATING BOOBS. even when they poop and spit up. can we all just get over the bodily function horrors?

ok, rant aside and done with, my first was also a terrible nurser. popped off and on, wouldn't put up with covers very well, etc, so i didn't do a lot of public nursing, and it made life hell. fingers crossed this next little guy and i can have a somewhat calmer nursing relationship.

oh yeah, and i've been totally spoiled in the ward i'm in by the other mother's in the ward, who rarely use the mother's lounge. in fact, it's kind of a lonely place, to be honest. i always watched enviously as the bishop's wife nursed #6 in the front, side pew of sacrament meeeting with a blanket thrown over her shoulder. i want to be just like her when i grow up! we're househunting right now and i'm a little nervous that i'll move into a ward where i'll have to do the introducing the ward to nursing mothers routine. please bless i can be brave, cuz man i'd like to sit next to my husband in sacrament every so often.

Tracy said...

I just have to comment on this one.
I'm all for breastfeeding without a cover. the cover draws way more attention anyway. I know some people are a little embarrassed to see it but if we expect women to
'have it all,' it's just not practical to have to make a big production out of it every time (which is about every flipping three hours!). And by production I mean leaving the room or having to set yourself up as a tent while the baby is crying to eat. That said, I do cover up in more public places like the dmv (true, three-hour story). Also I feed Mira in sacrament meeting every week, with a cover, for respect, respect of what I'm not exactly sure, just playing it safe in the Lord's house. I'm not going to miss taking the sacrament just in case someone feels uncomfortable when they look at me. Plus, our "mother's room" is a freezing cold cubicle off of the BATHROOM where yes, you can hear and smell everything. No thanks. I also think it is important to be a good (and discreet) example to some of the more shy girls who, although modesty is a virtue of course, are almost too embarrassed to breastfeed in front of their husbands. I'm not sure if I would feel this way if I wasn't finishing up law school right now. But I had to make up my mind that if I wanted to be a successful breastfeeder, I was going to have to breastfeed in a lot of places other than hidden away at home, and what do you know, it's really no big deal.

Butchike Bunch said...

Awesome post! For me it is all about comfort. My favourite way to nurse is lying down on my bed. When I don't have that luxury I like to have a big comfy chair. I would love to breastfeed during R.S but those chairs are just not conducive for it.

I do throw a blanket over myself for feeding time anywhere public only because I too have a very snacky baby and she literally sucks for one second at a time.

That being said when you are first learning how to breastfeed a baby, I think modesty should be the last of your worries. Establishing good breastfeeding is sooo important so don't worry about anybody else being squeamish.

Speaking of squeamish... I'm shocked at so many women's discomfort with breastfeeding. Men stand beside strangers peeing into urinals all the time!

Also the best nursing bra ever is the Body Silk seamless nursing bra by Bravado.

P.S. I can never state enough how much I love breastfeeding!

Jordanlz said...

Well, people know what you are doing in a stall, but that doesn't mean we have an open room in the WC.

I don't think I'd mind people feeding wherever as long as they were covered. Some things are "natural" but that doesn't mean everyone has to see. And some things are sacred, which only a few select people should see.

Holly C M said...

No opinion here since I am an old woman and things have changed some. But I do have a story. When I had number 5 and 6--twins--my mom came to 'help'. The Baby-boom moms, like mine, were taught that formula was better and many of them did not Breastfeed. So, when I'd take my twin babies back to my bedroom to nurse them, I did so because I knew my mom was uncomfortable. She later said to me (remember the babies are about 10 days old now) "Don't you think you should get out of that cave of yours where you do 'that thing' and give those babies bottles so you can take care of your other children?" Ha-ha! Yes, there are all kinds of opinions. Some are stuck in the cement of cultural conditioning.

Yoj said...

When my son was an infant, I once had a woman tell me I needed to breast feed him in the bathroom. I looked at her and said, "Do you eat YOUR lunch on the shitter?"

I think to cover/not to cover is a personal preferance and also how comfortable you feel.

:)

SMGWinn said...

I do it in private with no cover. (Sounds dirty, eh?)

Granted, I can often find no more privacy than my car or the corner of a room or outside under a tree. But I think it's good manners to at least try. Especially where so many people (as revealed by the comments above) sincerely do not want to run into a breastfeeding mother.

In addition, and more importantly, there is something really personal about breastfeeding my child that has nothing to do with modesty. It's a quiet, intimate moment that I think is sort of bastardized by an audience.

Nice blog. Congrats on baby #2.
--Sarah Gubler

hate2bcold said...

I might tell you it doesn't bother me, but I will avoid eye contact at all costs after that.
So, I'm grateful when people choose to cover. Of course, I am an old maid.

AzĂșcar said...

I have a little bit of a complex.

(SURPRISE.)

I don't like nursing covers.

I think covers makes it seem like breastfeeding is something that SHOULD be hidden (and it shouldn't) or that what you're doing under that tent is something that is inherently wrong and MUST be covered. Nope. It's not a secret. Those tents draw MORE attention to nursing, not less.

Breastfeeding would be less remarkable, less nerves-inducing if you saw women nursing everywhere, just like they used to before the 1950s screwed it all up.

That being said, I have a lot of friends who are concerned with personal modesty and feel like the covers are the one thing that allows them the comfort to nurse in public. I get that. I wish it wasn't so, but I understand. It's more important for the baby to get fed than to change our messed-up culture.

Nursing in church is cool. Nursing anywhere you have a legal right to be is cool, and it's also the law. People would be less offended or creep'd out if breastfeeding was once again normalized.

'Cause seriously...how else do you normalize if you don't see it every day?

La Yen said...

Hopefully all will work out with this baby and I will be feeding it with the best of them. Never having breast fed, I have a plan but know that it means NOTHING yet. But here it is:

1. I have gigantic knockers already. They are hard to keep in their right place without a kid pulling on them. For that reason, I am planning on using a cover for the first while, at least, until I either get over the modesty or figure out how to melon-wrangle.

2. I refuse to go to the Mothers Lounge. I am not missing out on church. In sacrament I will absolutely use a cover, because I sit up front and don't need the bishop to see my nips when he is trying to concentrate on the welfare of the ward. Everywhere else I will just do what is easiest with whatever top I am wearing. In El Paso it seems like there is not much BF. And I feel bad about that. And so I am all about being as nonchalant as possible.

3. If something is lame will I use the baby feeding as an excuse to leave? Absolutely.

Anonymous said...

Are you going to start wearing those shirts with the breastfeeding flaps?

teachermommy said...

Just stumbled across your blog! Like it! Anyway, I stopped breastfeeding my little dude about 2 months ago (when he was 3 months). At first, I would lock myself away and be bored and sad and alone for 30-45 minutes. Then I got a nursing cover and would nurse him everywhere in public (out to eat, Kohls, etc), except church as my LO was a noisy eater. Honestly, I agree with you though. It is no secret what is going on under the cover so I say do what you are comfortable with. My only concern about not using discretion would be some booby poppage lol!

Kristina P. said...

Hey, any chance to expose my breast, and not get arrested, I am all for!

I am not a mother either, but for myself, I would definitely feel more comfortable being discreet. I don't have a problem with women not using covers, but I think if they want to breastfeed during the sacrament, where 12 year old boys can see and maybe have involuntary reactions, I think it's best to perhaps go into the restroom or the waiting area.

I read a blog of a woman who will literally pretty much go topless while breastfeeding, and is extremely adamant about it. When it goes to that level, I really feel it's more about the agenda, than the actual desire to breastfeed.

Mrs. Clark said...

I breastfed three kids. I always covered up if I had to do it in a public place or in front of extended family. I used the mom's lounges in church. I know my husband is uncomfortable with seeing other women breastfeed, and I know a lot of people are like that, so I think it's best to think of others and stay covered up. That said, once I saw an enormous woman breastfeeding her young baby in a restaurant, without a cover, facing into the place where everyone in there could see her. I think she was being deliberately in-your-face, and I think that is rude.

Emma McGarity said...

I just stumbled across your blog and have to chime in... I have 3 children and breastfed all 3 of them.

My first was 17 years ago, and I was uncomfortable breastfeeding in public. So, I used dressing rooms, etc. to gain a little privacy. Or, I pumped and brought bottles of expressed milk with me any time I was out and about. (Luckily she was an easy kid that didn't mind switching back and forth from bottle to breast.)

My second child was 9 years ago and she was a VERY difficult breastfeeder. She was constantly latching off and for the first 8 weeks, and then things magically got better. Once things were better, I felt completely comfortable breastfeeding in public as long as I was dressed in a way that I could do so discreetly and she wasn't in a fussy mood. Most of the time, I was around other moms, but many times I was just out and about. I made sure that any time I left the house I was wearing a blouse that made it very easy for me to nurse without having to fuss with panels, buttons, etc.

My third child was 4 years ago. I nursed in public with him as well. However, I generally used a receiving blanket folded in half and draped across one sholder just to cover his face and eyes. I didn't cover him completely or he would fuss and throw the blanket completely off (which to me was even more distracting than ever). As long as only his eyes and cheeks were covered by the folded blanket, he was happy to stay on task.

So, I guess what it boils down to, I don't think you should be ashamed about either situation. If you feel in the situation that you would prefer to go to a nursing room because the baby is fussy, or you just want a change of scenery, request it. If you are in a situation where you don't want to feel obligated to get up and walk away, don't be ashamed then either. Cover if you feel the baby needs it or if you personally feel more comfortable that way.

At home I wore jeans and t-shirts that were not nursing style shirts. When out and about, I made sure to wear nursing style shirts. The ones I wore had vertical princess seams that had a small slit worked into the seam so that I could nurse discreetly. There were many times that I was sitting in a booth at the skating rink with my other children nursing and people would come up to me and hold an entire conversation about an upcoming PTO meeting etc. without even realizing I was nursing until after I was finished.

Another small point to be made is that if you are comfortable nursing in public you may make it easier for someone else who is on the fence to become more comfortable as well. As it turned out, I had a few friends that were just starting to plan families and one approached me and asked if it was ok to as questions about babies in general and about breastfeeding.

Motherboard said...

I use the hooter hider. Except in the movie theaters-- and then I just rip it out. It's dark for Googles sake.

I don't care if you hide or not, but my girls are SO BIG that the baby does NOT cover. So, I choose to be a hider.

vanessa said...

Well I have issues and don't like showing them off...maybe if I was more proud of them? been blessed in that area? who knows

Beeswax said...

i'm on kid #5, and with each one, in the beginning i am very modest and sensitive to people that are..sensitive. but after a few months I lose any inhibitions. The boobies are working girls, they are not secret or sexual. They are like elbows, and I think people that don't want to see them are odd. I can vaguely remember what the modesty felt like, so I use a blanket in mixed company or public, even though it is annoying.

Mindy said...

I just stumbled on your blog. It's great! About breastfeeding, I'm a cover person, but just because I'm clumsy. I'm not uncomfortable when other people do it, as long as they try to be discreet.

I did have one strange experience. I went to a temple wedding when my baby was 8 months old, and I was still nursing. I fed him before going into the sealing, and since the waiting room was packed (no sitting room), I asked the usher lady for a place to nurse him. Where did she lead me? To the bathroom. Where there was no place but the throne to sit down. I fed my very fat and large 8-month-old, standing up in the bathroom. At the temple. I am still amazed that they don't have a designated nursing room, or even some side room they can open up that has a comfy chair and some privacy.

Allison said...

The topic has already been beaten to death, and I think it's safe to say that women's opinions evolve depending on their situation. I had my first baby at 31 and prior to that, I admit I got uncomfortable if I saw a woman with bare boobie a-flashin'. In fact, I still do get uncomfortable in that situation, esp if the woman is talking to me and therefore forcing me to look her way. I've done my fair share of bosom-baring because I've got cleavage and I'm not afraid to use it, but nips are stretching it for me.

So yeah, I cover, because I realize there are millions of people out there who are still uncomfortable about it, but it's also for my own peace of mind. Who wants to see boob juice spraying and gurgling around a small child, cute as it may be? And being large-busted and well-uddered, it's a very real issue that I don't want to force others to have to "deal with".

Covered, I'll do it almost anywhere (even sacrament meeting).

Anonymous said...

As a teenage boy scout I was shocked when I saw a lady lift her top and feed feed her baby at Renaissance Fair. My scoutmaster explained that what she was doing was normal and what I was doing (staring) was not. He fixed my attitude and manors. Latter as a father I was irritated when my wife had to take our children into a bathroom for their meals, I did want to eat in a public restroom and I didn't like my children doing it either. I wouldn't suggest that a mother nurse uncovered at the podium in church but sitting in a pew or in a classroom it shouldn't be treated any differently that giving a baby a bottle. Those of us that grew up being weirded out by it just need to be educated as to what is normal. My daughters and daughters-in-law are welcome nurse when, where and who they are comfortable, when they are in our home.