Breastfeeding In Public

Tuesday, October 4, 2016



When I made the decided to breastfeed my baby, it was a decision that felt as obvious as making sure he had diapers. Everyone knows The saying "Breast is best" when it comes to feeding your baby, even if it's not always acted upon. I only breastfed my firstborn for a couple of days before giving up. It was painful and I didn't really have much help, but with the wealth of information at our fingertips today it was extremely easy to find the answers to any questions I had. Also, after I delivered, I was visited by a lactation nurse twice a day until I left. Her name was Psyche, and she was so helpful and enthusiastic that I was constantly motivated.

     My original goal was to breastfeed until he turned one. Then when the one year mark got here, it just seemed strange to stop cold turkey. Yeah, he had turned one, but he didn't stop needing me for comfort or for food. He refused to drink cow's milk. He would always throw the bottle or go and shake it out on the dog. We also tried chocolate and strawberry milk, almond milk, and soy milk. He'll drink a little vanilla soy, but not much. The other problem was that he was never fond of pacifiers, so I was his pacifier! Any situation that would have most kids looking for their pacifier ( sleepy, hurt, bored), he was looking for me. After a little more research, I decided that it was nothing wrong with going a little longer. My current goal is to stop at 18 months, and I'm currently attempting to wean him.  It's a little hard, but some days are easier than others.

     My family is very supportive of my decision to breastfeed. My mom always tells me how proud she is of me and his dad is constantly bragging to everyone. He never misses an opportunity to inform people that Micheal Jordan's mom breastfed him until he was three, a tidbit shared with us by Psyche.
    
     I have breastfed in public a few times when I felt comfortable and I have received varied reactions. A couple of people have said that since he has teeth, he shouldn't be nursing.  Once a little girl asked if she could have some! Another small child attempted to get his mom to nurse him!



      On our first doctor's visit at a week old, I was filling out paperwork and he was crying. The lady at the front desk came around and asked to hold him. He still cried and she asked about a bottle. I told her that I hadn't packed one. She then proceeded to talk in baby talk to him about how sorry she was that I didn't bring a bottle, but maybe I'd remember next time. I just smiled and finished the paperwork while she walked around with him. After I finished, I started nursing him. There were no other patients there at the time so I figured now would be a good time to practice nursing in public. When she saw me, she looked like she was about to have a panic attack. She managed to stutter out that if I would have told her she would have went ahead and moved me into a room in the back for privacy. I laughed and told her I was fine where I was. She insisted that I come to the back anyway.


    I used to worry about being judged by others if they knew I breastfed, especially when reading some of the rude things people have to say on posts about breastfeeding. I now know in order for other women to be encouraged to breastfeed their baby if they able, we have to normalize breastfeeding. In order for it to not be so taboo, we have to talk about it and see it. I'm proud of my accomplishment and every time someone sees me nursing, every time someone asks me a question, I feel like I am helping to educate people and make them more comfortable with the idea. Maybe next time they see another mom or even a friend nursing, they won't gawk or complain, but offer respect and support. Because us moms have enough to worry about already.


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