[Brelfie of the day: Breastfeeding my 13-month-old at the park]
Breastfeeding in public is something that is a part of my daily life. We leave the house nearly every day and I have always been an exclusive breastfeeder. I attempted to pump with my first child but she never took a bottle and since pumping hurt for me, I never tried to see if my second or third would take a bottle.
I probably seem like I’m a super confident NIPer but actually, it’s not something that came naturally to me. When my first child was born in the fall of 2009, I used to cover. I was too embarrassed to just breastfeeding openly and freely without a care in the world. I continued covering up until about three months after the birth of my second child in 2011. But for two solid years I let breastfeeding in public really stress me out. I always tried to use a blanket or a napkin or a scarf or I’d run off, sweating from stress, to find a bathroom or my car or a fitting room. Making my child wait made my head, heart, and boobs hurt. But I kept doing it. It was like I was ashamed to be feeding a child from my body, a part that I had seen as sexual for a decade. It was too animalistic, too primal, reminded me too much of that unevolved side of humans that we try to hide. I knew the law was on my side but I thought I needed to be considerate of others, modest always. I wanted to be respectful. I didn’t realize I wasn’t being respectful to myself and my children by putting everyone under such stress and denying and delaying them and their basic human needs, love and nourishment from their mom.
One day I dropped the cover. I stopped hiding. I started to feel more confident, sure of myself as a mother tending to her child in public. Sure, I stress out a little sometimes because I’m a reserved person but I stop myself and remind myself how important it is to send the right message to my children, everyone around me. Breastfeeding is necessary, beautiful, a mother loving and caring for her child, and is something to be incredibly proud of.
How do you feel about nursing in public? Did you always have confidence or Did you ever drop the cover?
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