August 1-7 is World Breastfeeding Week. If you saw me at BlogHer this past weekend, or follow me in basically any circle of social media, I took Emma with me to New York. Part of the reason, actually the main reason, is because she’s exclusively breastfed.
With Joshua, I pumped exclusively for about four months. This time, my girls are all “Oh hell no” every time I hook up my pump. They lock up tighter than Fort Knox and no milk comes out, or at least not enough to amount to much. Because I can’t really seem to get up much of a stash, where my boobs go, Emma goes. And if she can’t go, my boobs don’t go either. Which means I don’t go.
We’re a team, she and I.
Breastfeeding is important to me, and so is my belief in a woman’s right to nurse in public. And by public, I don’t mean in a public bathroom stall while someone drops a deuce next to us. (Vom.)
So far, I’ve been met with (almost) nothing but support in any venue in which I’ve nursed Emma. And so far, I’ve nursed her in a lot of places. And by a lot of places, I pretty much mean wherever I am whenever she needs to eat.
Places like the bounce house.
Or, the airport.
Or a train.
Or, a park along the river in New York City.
Do you know what you don’t see in any of these pictures? My boob. Because nursing in public doesn’t mean “whipping out a boob” or flashing people or being an exhibitionist.
It just means feeding my kid.
I request to sit in booths whenever we go out to eat because they tend to offer more privacy than a table in the middle of the restaurant, which means Emma gets less distracted. (This is as much for corralling Joshua as it is for my ability to nurse Emma discreetly. When dining with preschoolers, booths are your friend.) Nursing in the ring sling is also a way for me to feed Emma while walking around without having to use both hands to carry her, but sometimes she just gets tired of being in the thing so I’m okay not using it if I don’t have to.
Another way I nurse discreetly, and without a cover (because that thing is crazy-making), is by layering my shirts. I wear a nursing camisole under my regular top. I pull one top up, unsnap the nursing tank, and then use my shirt to cover any exposed skin while Emma eats. The camisole covers my mom-stomach which means no one is offended by my stretch marks, which are more offensive than my boobs, I can assure you.
I’m pro-nursing in public because the more we SEE it, the more normal it becomes. And feeding babies with boobs is normal. Seeing women nurse in public makes nursing in public less taboo. Less weird. Because it’s not weird. And it shouldn’t be taboo.
Nobody puts baby (and Mama) in a corner.
Leading Lady sent me two nursing tanks, which are quickly becoming my absolute favorites because of their softness and fit, to wear while I nursed in public at BlogHer. Their website is stuffed with great information about nursing apparel like bras and camis and when to buy and how to ensure a proper bra fit. Additionally, they have an excellent Breastfeeding Tips section written and maintained by an IBCLC. It’s awesome to see a company trying to help moms be successful in meeting their breastfeeding goals instead of just selling a few bras. Thanks, Leading Lady, for the nursing camis!
FTC: Leading Lady sent me two nursing camis. They didn’t send me my opinions on those camis or pay off my student loans.