I can’t say I’m a fan of Luv’s (because I don’t think I’ve ever tried them) but I do think their new ad is a hilarious, astute depiction of what breastfeeding in public can be like for first and second time moms.
It starts off with a first time mother awkwardly fumbling with a breastfeeding cover or blanket hiding behind a plant at a restaurant, looking around to see if anyone is watching her.
She isn’t smiling and enjoying her time at the restaurant, certainly not having a relaxing time breastfeeding her baby. Frankly, she looks stressed and calling attention to herself by flapping a sheet around isn’t helping.
Then, cut to the same woman in the same retaurant a couple years later. She looks calm and collected. (I love those rare two baby-one mom lunches where it all goes smoothly and I look like the model mother.) We see the mother now confidently nursing at the table with her older child sitting next to her.
She isn’t bothering with a cover or a scarf or a blanket this time around, even as she is readjusting her latch. Even though there are other people around. Any why should she? She isn’t causing a scene by being uncovered. She is just nursing her baby. The mother exudes confidence as she smiles at the slack jawed young male server, gawking at her breast.
She gives him the classic “My eyes are up here, buddy” line. Except it is even more funny because she’s not some teeny bopper in a push up bra. She’s a mother of two and she’s using her breasts for nursing.
She makes a joke about her baby already ordering (breastmilk, of course) and then the ad concludes with trying to sell diapers.
Genius bit of marketing packed into less than 30 seconds, I must say.
Take a gander…
(Can’t see it? Watch it on Hulu.)
Luv’s asks, “Second time moms know: When you’ve gotta feed, you’ve gotta feed, no matter your location. Do you relate?”
Yes. I can relate. I totally felt like I was the same way nursing in public with my first child. I was worried about people staring and I was overly concerned with covering up all of my breast. Except where this mother was sitting in the restaurant, I wasn’t even in the restaurant half the time. I was hiding out in the hot car with a cover. Or sitting in the bathroom on a yucky toilet seat behind the closed stall door, holding my breath and wishing public bathrooms had covers for the toilets that I could flip down to sit on because sitting on seats that long hurt. Especially during the immediate postpartum period. You know what I’m talking about. Or heck, even a chair in the bathroom would have been nice. Now that I’m a second time mom, I’m sitting at the table, cover be damned, because my one year old won’t stand for one. I let too many of my meals get cold while I nursed away from my lunch the first time around. No more of that silliness. I wish I had that mother’s wit though. I am still cracking up.
One last thing I must note. The only person’s perception of modesty that matters here is the mother’s. Not the waiters. Not the people dining next to her. Not the people watching the ad. This mother is breastfeeding “top-down” and she has every right to do so. I prefer to “top-down” nursing myself as well because it is what works best generally for my wardrobe and my baby. Another way to nurse without a blanket or cover is called “top-up.” That is when the mother pulls her shirt up from the bottom and the fabric covers the top of her breast. But she may be exposing her belly and the bottom of her breast if the shirt isn’t a specific nursing shirt. I do not bother with nursing bras or shirts or covers. That stuff is a complete waste of money! Some naysayers cry that “top-down” isn’t being discreet enough, that the mother is being immodest, and she must surely only be interested in showing off, being an exhibitionist. But she is not. A mother breastfeeds to meet her child’s needs. That’s it.
Regardless of how this mother, myself, or any other nursing mother chooses to breastfeed while in public and regardless of what anyone else thinks, breastfeeding is legal. Covered or not. Public indecency laws often exclude breastfeeding mothers because the act of breastfeeding is not lewd or sexual. If her breast cleavage is showing around that baby’s head from whatever angle or if her nipple happens to be exposed momentarily while nursing, everything is all right. No one needs to gasp or choke on their food and cover children’s eyes. She is doing something perfectly acceptable, even if some of the uninformed in our culture find it socially awkward or “disgusting,” or don’t want to explain to their children what breasts are for. Breastfeeding is what our breasts were made for. Period. How easy is that to say? If this natural, protected act of infant nourishment bothers a bystander, they can politely avert their eyes.
Way to go, Luv’s, for helping normalize breastfeeding by sharing your positive attitude towards nursing in public with grace. High-five from this lactating mama.
What do you think? Did you cover with your first and didn’t bother after that? Or were you confident from Day 1?
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