...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?