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Sunday, August 2, 2009

Can I Get Some Privacy, Please?

We're visiting the in-laws, and I just caught a glimpse of my husband and father-in-law out the upstairs window with ladder in tow. Good grief, I thought, please don't let them come up here. What are the chances? I finished feeding the baby just as my husband's face came into view. Can't a girl and her little booblet get any peace? Which reminds me of our latest family trip to Wal-mart. Of course, whenever we're there, the baby always needs fed. Generally the relative calm of a locked fitting room will do the trick, but this time my nursing session was interrupted by a rather inquisitive young girl who decided to crawl on the floor to see under the door. "What are you doing in here?" (since I obviously wasn't trying on clothes) "I'm feeding my baby!" I said, hoping that would be the end of it. Nope - she peeked not once, but twice! I should be glad about possibly providing a young girl to see a natural aspect of motherhood: after all, using the boobs God gave us to feed our young is quite an extraordinary thing! And it's not like I was out in the open, breasts exposed for all to see. You'd think that, after breastfeeding my third child, I'd have quite the knack for nursing in public (NIP, to those of us 'in the know' LOL). Not so! Of course my two boys were the ones who often ate the most, whenever, wherever, regardless if they had just been fed prior to going wherever we were. That would be the time they would just have to be nursed at the dinner table, during some important function, or whatever. And of course neither one liked having a blanket over their heads to conceal the goods; nope, they had to grasp it in one chubby fist and rip the whole thing off. Not exactly discreet. Thankfully I've never really received any horrid looks or been confronted by an offended passerby. But I outright refuse to nurse my child in a dirty bathroom stall where other people normally take a dump - that's where I draw the line. (However, our local Walmart does happen to have a nice bench in their restroom, just an FYI.) One thing I don't get is how certain people have a problem with breastfeeding, yet are totally okay with women walking around with half their cleaveage hanging out, thongs and tattoos exposed and on public display. Yet me feeding my baby (who happens to be a boy) is somehow disgusting? Please! Boobs are not just for pleasure, people! I've heard of people getting the evil eye (the "I can't see what you're doing but I know what's going on under that blanket!" look) for nursing, and really, as long as you're not doing topless dances on the tables, who cares? Baby is hungry; baby needs to eat! I've seen plenty of people shoving food into their mouths in public and find that much harder on the eyes than a baby discreetly enjoying mother's milk, God's perfect food! And I'm not sure whether to cringe or laugh when I see my 2-year-old daughter casually (but lovingly!) lifting her shirt to 'feed' her baby. Why discourage something that is perfectly natural? Hopefully it will be a positive model for her and when it's her time to have babies, breastfeeding will be her method of choice.


Bibliophile said...

I can't imagine what it would be like to live somewhere where it's frowned upon to breastfeed in public. In the Iceland (where I live) nothing will stop women from breastfeeding anywhere they please, and it's the same in most of the rest of Europe. And no-one objects.

Sara said...

It didn't take me long after I had my daughter (about 3 weeks, actually) to decide that I would just have to get used to NIP and not care if anyone said anything about it. So far I've only had positive comments, and it's not like I'm exposing anything, really.

The other day a friend of mine who I was with in Starbucks asked me why I didn't have a cover. I looked at her a bit puzzled and asked her if she could see any boob, which she couldn't. So I asked her if she'd ever seen anyone cover their baby when they were bottle-feeding, and that was that. I was surprised that the first comment I got was from someone that I know so well- I'm just hoping that she's gotten over it and not offended :)