Tales From the Nursery

Tales From the Nursery: The Toddler Years

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I Can Breastfeed Anywhere and so Can You!

It’s true. There are laws to protect a Mother’s right to breastfeed in public. I know, it sounds bizarre, right? I’m glad there’s a law to protect us, but it’s sad that it was even up for debate, y’know?

I know sone people claim it is gross to watch. Well, I see plenty of things I’d rather not see like unsightly back hair, butt cracks (with or without thongs), hoochie mama shirts… You get the idea. Yet nursing a baby is gross to watch or means I’m exposing myself?

Can’t you just, oh, I don’t know… Look away? I look away when you scratch yourself in the unmentionables. You can look away while my daughter eats.

Tongue-in-cheek aside, I find it bizarre that anyone thinks a nursing mom needs to hide in a dark corner while feeding her baby. This is one reason why I think it has ceased to be viewed as normal.

Out of sight, out of mind.

While I won’t say one must breastfeed in public based on their own comfort level, I do not think nursing mamas should be made to feel uncomfortable in public.

It’s taken me time to feel confident and comfortable enough to feed my daughter in front of family and friends. Then it took more time before I was comfortable doing it in public. Part of this was due to us learning but I used to be worried about what someone would say.

Again, crazy, but true.

  • Places I’ve nursed:
  • Family’s house
  • Friends’ House
  • Doctor’s Office
  • Funeral Home
  • Restaurant (sit down)
  • Coffee Shop
  • Backseat of car (in & out of the carseat)
  • Zoo
  • Railroad Museum

At the zoo and museum, I nursed on a bench in sight of people and nursed while wearing Rissa in our ERGObaby carrier….while walking. This was an accomplishment for us!

It’s interesting to me that I now spot more moms nursing when we are in public and I think that’s awesome. Let’s re-normalize breastfeeding!

Where have you nursed?

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Comments ( 21 )

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  1. Heather August 3, 2011 Reply

    I’ve nursed at a High School Graduation and an NFL football game before. If anyone was uncomfortable, I paid no attention. Everyone has a right to eat, and not in a bathroom.

    Heather From and Mommy Only Has 2 Hands!

  2. andie August 3, 2011 Reply

    I haven’t nursed in public. But I’ve nursed in front of all our out-of-town guests including: his mom, my mom, my dad & stepmom. Plus his aunt & uncle (at the hospital & in their home), his sister and my girlfriend. Most of the time, I didn’t ask if it was OK, I just did it. My dad (who thinks BF in public is wrong!grr) didn’t even realize I was feeding her until I said so. I hope he changed his mind to public BF.StickFigureLife

  3. Jane August 3, 2011 Reply

    I have been hearing a lot of news lately about complaints against breastfeeding mothers. The most recent occurred at a pool in Ohio. Since when do we get outraged by this sight, but not the triangles and strings that we call bathing suits? Have they been to a pool lately? What about the constant things our kids are bombarded with on tv shows and news? Yet something so natural is “inappropriate?” Give me a break!

  4. Emily V August 3, 2011 Reply

    Good for you. I nursed at the zoo on a bench as well. Family’s house. Friend’s house. Car. Front yard on a blanket. Church. Park. Restaurant. That’s all I can think of right now.lovenbugs

  5. Mama Chocolate August 3, 2011 Reply

    Yay for breastfeeding! :-)
    I do it everywhere. Really. If I’m in a public place I almost always use my nursing cover, (although sometimes that can draw *more* attention than if I don’t!) but I really don’t care what other people think.
    It certainly isn’t indecent, (and I would say that otherwise, I am actually a more-than-averagely-modest person) my baby needs to eat, and I’m not going to go hide somewhere to do it!ChoresChocolate

  6. Erlinda August 3, 2011 Reply

    I`ve breast fed at my workplace (when visiting), at my in-laws, at my friends` houses, at the mall, at parties, at the aquarium, at the beach, at a teachers`conference, at teachers` meetings, in restaurants and cafes…That`s all I can remember right now. Sometimes I used a cover in public, sometimes I didn`t…I`ve never had anyone comment or disturb me when I`ve breast fed in public…and if someone ever did, I know my rights and the law!

    • Darcy August 3, 2011 Reply

      I haven’t had anyone say anything yet but I have a few quips ready :)Syrana

  7. Unfortunately, it depends upon where you live. For example, Alexandria just changed the laws to let nursing mothers provide for their children in public.
    Wish it weren’t true, but…Adjuvancy

    • Darcy August 3, 2011 Reply

      I should have specified that the US mostly protects this. It’s absurd …. I mean, they wouldn’t let us ban bottle use in public!Syrana

  8. Kristen Bobbitt August 3, 2011 Reply

    I’ve nursed:
    -In Toys R Us
    -In another baby store
    -In a few restaurants
    -Sitting on a blanket at a couple parks
    -In a hospital waiting room
    -In a parked car (many times)
    -At friends’ houses
    -While hiking in a Baby K’Tan carrier (I was so proud that day!)

    I use a cover most of the time in public. I have to use a nipple shield so it is too difficult to get positioned without flashing everyone.

    • Darcy August 3, 2011 Reply

      I nursed in Babies R Us but in their room. I thought about settling into one of the demo gliders but didn’t. Their room at least was comfy and colorful though. And kudos on doing it while hiking!Syrana

  9. Sheri August 3, 2011 Reply

    I agree it is the most natural thing ever & our society is so messed up to think there’s something wrong with it. I watch the tv show “The Talk” & they were talking about this one time. Sara Gilbert said “it’s crazy to me that people get weirded out by breastfeeding, but yet we don’t bat an eye about drinking an animal’s milk?” Paraphrasing a little bit, but it’s so true! We drink animals’ milk with no hesitation! Anyway-I’ve breastfed a lot of places & actually haven’t in public, but because of my own issues, not others. I really just like the comfort of sitting down doing it & am really modest. I’ve done the car thing too. I just wonder how the heck you breastfed your baby while they were in the carseat!? Wouldn’t that be a little bit difficult? Lol!

    • Darcy August 3, 2011 Reply

      It was a little awkward. I was not properly belted and had to lean and stretch in a very uncomfortable way. But it worked until we could pull over so I could take her out! Also, I thought federal law protected in the US. I need to do some more research. Well – it SHOULD be okay anywhere anyway! I don’t know any place that makes it illegal to give a baby a bottle.Syrana

  10. Sheri August 3, 2011 Reply

    Oh, & also I wanted to say that in my state (Idaho) it actually is ILLEGAL to breastfeed in public! There are only 2 or so other states in the US that it is illegal, but not really proud to say I live in one of them!

  11. Stephanie August 4, 2011 Reply

    On a plane, in an airport, at very high end restaurant at the table, at the beach, at the pool, on a big boat, on a small boat, at a conference center, at countless museums, at parties, on a train, in South Africa (restaurants, game parks), Spain (everywhere), France (cafes & parks & everywhere else), England (high-tea!), every country I’ve traveled to (crazy job), during a church service, while shopping (ergo/sling) at the grocery store, beauty salon…pretty much everywhere. My babies go everywhere with me and they nurse when they need to. I’ve only sought a private space once or twice in the past 5 years and that was for me, not others. Having a small chest makes it easy to be discrete. I’ve never had a problem – no complaints and feel comfortable nursing wherever my baby needs to nurse. Go mamas!

    • Darcy August 4, 2011 Reply

      That’s awesome! I really need to try a sling with the next baby so I can babywear right away and nurse from there too :)Syrana

  12. Verity {Belle Bébés} August 4, 2011 Reply

    I have breastfed pretty much everywhere :) I once even fed in church (at the back)! When baby is hungry, there’s no amount of anyone’s embarrassment that would stop me feeding her (discretely of course). In the UK, it’s actually illegal to stop a woman from breastfeeding anywhere. This should be the law EVERYWHERE!

    • Darcy August 4, 2011 Reply

      It really should be protected everywhere! Go mama :)Syrana

  13. Tanaya Syx August 8, 2011 Reply

    I nurse anywhere I am when my baby needs to eat. We use a cover when we’re not at home, because I don’t want to give a free show. We’ve nursed at church, in the park, in restaurants, in friend’s and family’s homes, on the beach, in the lake, on top of a mountain, in the car leaning over her carseat while on the way to vacation (NOT FUN!), at rest stops, and I am sure there are other places that I just can’t thing of at the moment.

  14. Jena August 10, 2011 Reply

    Restaurants, dr’s office, blues fest, prawn festival, in the car (in parking lots), in a dressing room, at a political campaign office…

  15. Jena August 10, 2011 Reply

    I have a nursing cover but I don’t use it–it’s in the way, and my baby won’t nurse if I cover her up. Oh, and I’ve also nursed at a political debate and at a couple of live performances (story-tellers).

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