Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Watch Closely

See me nurse in public. See? I don't have a blanket, I don't have a bottle of expressed milk, I left the house without a burp cloth- see? I'm totally unprepared to be "discreet." Maybe I left the house with my mind all over place and forgot a few things. You've done that too? Well, don't worry. You can still tend the needs of your child. You don't need all those extra things and it's OK. See me? I'm carrying on a conversation with another person. Oh you see some skin? That's ok. It happens sometimes and there's nothing wrong with that.

Oh did you see me walking home from the park last night? My little girl was so tired and I forgot a carrier so I was just holding her in my arms with my neckline pulled down and she was nursing. It's ok. You jogged by me? Pushed your kids in your stroller by me? Skateboarded with your "posse" by me? Yeah. And I'm ok if you looked and saw. Because it's ok to nurse in public while you're walking.

Did you see me at the laudromat Monday? My little girl was playing and then she bonked her head and started crying. Did you see me lift my shirt and nurse her? Yes, that's what I did. In front of the security cameras and a group of men, too. It's ok. You can't predict when your child will get hurt and you always need to be prepared. That's why I always have my breasts with me.

That one time in sacrament? Oh right- those 50 times in sacrament. Did you see those time where my little girl was tired, frustrated, or hurt and I just nursed her? You probably saw me from the back and just thought I was holding her, but it was much more than that. I was also feeding her a special drink I made myself that can put her to sleep almost immediately. It's magic, really. And it was so easy- screaming baby to sleepy baby in less than 2 minutes. And it was ok.

At the store the other day when my girl was in the cart and signing "breast"? Yeah. You probably saw. I pulled my breast out of the top of my shirt and leaned over and she was happy. And that's ok, too.

Because we all have busy lives. We have to run errands and sometimes we forget to check if we have everything (where's my shopping list?). We can't plan ahead for every bump and tantrum. But if you have breasts, you have food, drink, and comfort all right there. And it's ok because to your child, that little bit is everything.

20 comments:

  1. I was just talking to Michael last night about how I'm going to nurse in public with our next child. I had a really hard time doing that with Ben, but reading your blog and other blogs has made me realize that's it's nothing to be embarrassed about and that it makes life so much easier for Mom and Baby. Thanks for all the encouragement you provide to nursing mothers!

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  2. Great post, Heather. When I was pregnant with my first daughter, I was working at a booth with a friend of mine who had a nursing baby. My friend just lifted up her shirt and nursed her baby like it was no big deal- she even interacted with customers, made change, and talked with everyone, all while her baby was latched on. That really opened up my eyes to how it could be, and that's how I decided I would be. Now, like you, we nurse anywhere and everywhere.

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  3. I intentionally forget something to cover with just so I don't have to bother with it. (My husband prefers for me to be covered.)

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  4. Wow, Heather! You have any amazing ability to put things into words that I don't think I could ever express myself. Thank you.

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  5. Very well said! LOVE this!

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  6. Thank you for this! More women need to hear that it is totally normal to breastfeed in public. I have done it now without a cover for 2 years and over 10 months with my little boy. I never wear special "breastfeeding" clothes, it's not necessary.

    And if a little bit of skin is showing, who cares?! It's just skin! Where I grew up, in Europe, women show their bare breasts at the beach, so I can't show an inch of skin? Get over it!

    I blog about extended breastfeeding and breastfeeding in general at Dagmar's momsense, http://DagmarBleasdale.com

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  7. I've never "forgotten" any covers or blankets because I've never used them ever and I don't plan on ever using one- can't imagine a situation that would ever need it! But I do want other moms know it's ok to nurse if you have forgotten them or if you are simply tired of them altogether.

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  8. I wish I weren't so freaked out about NIP, but I have huge (H or so, scared to find out) annoying breasts which I have to hold for my baby or the weight makes him constantly lose the nipple. Impossible to even try to be "discreet", even with a carrier, when you're holding your breast. Even more impossible if I'm not wearing nursing clothes.

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  9. <3 <3 <3 <3 You are so freakin' awesome, just FYI.

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  10. Lisa, it gets better as they get older, swear.

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  11. At the risk of looking like a spammer...and I'm really not trying to!...I thought I would post a good reason why you should just go ahead and nurse in public. Wish I had the guts then.

    http://mypoorhusband.blogspot.com/2009/07/nursing-under-cover.html

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  12. That was really beautiful. You're so awesome!

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  13. "That's why I always have my breasts with me." Very cool. Very right on. Love it!

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  14. Azucar, it really doesn't, for me, anyway. This is my third baby. I end up just limiting how much I'm out when they're little, so I hopefully don't have to NIP. Even then, I usually hide in the car or a change room & I don't nurse in public at all after they're eating enough that they don't need milk for their sole nutrition.

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  15. It's sad that societal stigmas about breasts and skin seem to be enhanced when your cup size is.

    It's ok to breastfeed however you like wherever you like, no matter what size you are. Forgot that one in my post. :)

    As an anecdotal story, I have seen one woman (couldn't tell you the bra size) tandem nurse her 1 and 3 year old boys in public. I don't remember if she pulled her shirt down or up, but with the tandem nursing, it didn't really matter. Lots of skin was showing. And it was ok.

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  16. Anonymous8:05 PM

    LOVE this blog post. Yay for Boobs!

    Even my husband, who HATES the whole idea of NIP, looks to me to provide boob-support when our one-year-old freaks out/hurts himself/gets tired/gets cranky/looks bored/looks hungry/pesters strangers in public. :)

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  17. Just came across a link to this from PhD in Parenting - nice post! The grocery store one almost made me giggle. I have yet to try that one yet. And it also reminded me about that nascar guy that tweeted that unsavory comment about a nursing mother in a grocery store last year. Tisk tisk. I'm not sure why anyone would be offended seeing a little NIP when it is like giving a baby a pacifier/bottle/hug all in one. Or so they should think. And no one gets offended when they see those things in public.

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  18. I love this breastfeeding post! I love to add one, check it out. www.breastfeedingmum.com

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