Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Breastfeeding Carnival Day 2: First Nursing In Public Experience (and happy birthday to me!)

This post was written as part of The Breastfeeding Cafe's Blog Carnival. For more info on the Breastfeeding Cafe, go to www.breastfeedingcafe.wordpress.com. For more info on the Carnival or if you want to participate, contact Timbra Wiist landslidephotography {at} hotmail {dot} com. Today's post is about First Nursing in Public Experiences. Please read the other blogs in today's carnival listed in the comments section at www.breastfeedingcafe.wordpress.com The Carnival runs July 16th through the 31st! 

I'm reposting my post from last year about my first nursing in public experiences.  I will add a little to the end.

I honestly don't remember the first time nursing in public with Monkey!  I do remember several of the first times I was constantly checking and asking those around me (people I knew) if they could see anything or if anyone else could.  I was worried I was showing something.  I was worried I was making people uncomfortable.  After my first LLL meeting I decided that I could ALWAYS nurse without a cover and not show anything.  I kept a cover in my bag for a while though.  I went to a mom group meeting and I was given the most disgusted looks so I put a cover on.  A little girl asked what I was doing and the mother explained that I was feeding the baby.  She asked why I didn't use a bottle.  I was made to feel so uncomfortable there and secluded that I never went back.  I for the longest time only went out to LLL meetings and if there was somewhere I could hide to nurse unless I was alone or only with my husband in a restaurant or something-somewhere where no one would see me.

Kangaroo needed a nursing cover for the first 8-10 weeks because he had a hard time latching without much extra help and exposing a lot of myself.  I felt much more comfortable with one.  After he figured it out without help I was glad to be rid of it.  It was getting hot.  I hated wearing it.  I have ZERO problem with a mom wearing one if it makes her more comfortable but for me nursing covers are super uncomfortable.  The very first time he nursed uncovered was at a LLL meeting.  He did an awesome job not exposing me and was hungry enough and sleepy enough he didn't notice I wasn't giving him extra help.

The first time someone nursed in public near me was at church.  Honestly I felt a little uncomfortable just because I wasn't sure if I was supposed to move to give her and her baby space or what I was supposed to do.  She put a blanket over her and her baby but I just felt weird like I should do something but I didn't know what.  I didn't want to make her uncomfortable so I tried to ignore it.  She continued to nurse her baby whenever she was hungry and I grew to realize that nothing was expected of me and it felt ok.  I've always felt strongly about nursing just didn't know what to feel about nursing in public.  After having a baby I realize that when baby is hungry it's best just to feed them.  At the same time sometimes (like on an airplane where we want space) it's fun to make people feel a bit uncomfortable.  I don't ever nurse in public to cause a stir or anything like that-that's never ever my intention.  It is nice to be an advocate though to hopefully make it feel more normal to someone or potentially have someone decide they want to nurse because they saw someone doing it and feeling completely normal with it.

My mom has never talked to me about her nursing in public experiences.  It was kinda one of those things I don't think you did 25 years ago (yes I'm 25 today!).  I know that when my aunt would nurse my cousins she would normally go in another room though it wasn't uncomfortable for her when I went in and asked her what she was doing.  I admire those experiences watching family and neighbors that weren't uncomfortable answering questions and letting me know and feel that nursing was a normal thing.  I hope that I am able to help my sons be supportive of their wives nursing someday and hopefully daughters and girls around me grow up to breastfeed and be comfortable with it and proud to do it.

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