Breastfeeding! Why is this beautiful and natural way of mothering children so frowned upon in public?
I am not ashamed to say that I am so very happy that I am completely done and over the breastfeeding part of motherhood. Don’t get me wrong, I totally enjoyed nursing all 4 of my little ones as long as I did (around 1 year for each) and am very happy, grateful and proud that I did. For me, breastfeeding was…
- financially helpful
- natural, for 2 out of 4 kids
- enjoyable (most of the time)
- 24/7-felt like a never ending curse at
With each kid, you would have thought that breastfeeding would come more naturally and easier than the child before…WRONG! Each baby took to nursing differently and had their own challenges.
But one challenge that each and every one gave me was to successfully nurse them in public. HA! What a mess that was. I hardly ever nursed them in public. I planned errands and outings around their feeding schedules just I didn’t have to “fight” with them.
It wasn’t that I was nervous, scared, or even ashamed to breastfeed in public. It was more the fact that I wasn’t comfortable. I wasn’t comfortable for 2 main reasons…
- Having sickos stare at me like I was mud wrestling a monkey (No matter how modest or with or without a cover)
- Having the world watch me fight with my baby because he/she was the biggest nosey little one ever and was more curious of the world around him/her instead of eating and filling their belly!
I absolutely refused to sit in my car, in a corner, fitting room and DEFINITELY not a bathroom! I actually did that once, with first kid because hubby wasn’t comfy with me exposing myself the world, and NEVER did that again. I was grossed out by the look, smell and feel that it gave me. After that day I vowed to never do it again, no matter what. And I didn’t!
Tonight we were out to dinner with the family and of course there is always one who makes a complete mess that requires a trip to the restroom for a whole body wipe down. It was like an ordinary public restroom…clean looking but stinky. As I was finishing up with my little one and washing my hands, I see from the mirror a young mom with her fairly new baby step out from a stall, and it wasn’t the one with the changing station.
“Did you feed your baby in the bathroom?”…with much concern
“Oh!?!? You shouldn’t feed your baby In the bathroom.”
Conversation came to a halt due to interruption. I was so heartbroken and angry at the same time. We don’t eat our meals in the bathroom…why should we have to feed our babies their meals in the bathroom? It’s gross, uncomfortable, dirty, smelly, germ infested and not to mention inhumane.
I hate that mom’s feel the need to hide and cover when breastfeeding because some stranger is stupid and uncomfortable. It’s their problem since they are the ones looking. Take a picture! It lasts longer…lol
I personally chose not to feed in public, most of the time, because I was uncomfortable fighting with my baby and wanted my baby to eat well instead of taking in the environment. When I did become more comfortable and did nurse in public I was modest and discrete, like it should be. I also got praise for it. And compliments. And remarks like…I didn’t even know? Good for you!
Breastfeeding IS a beautiful and natural thing. But it’s not for everyone. I am thankful for all my breastfeeding experiences, but more so that they are over.