6.22.2012

ON NURSING IN PUBLIC

This post is sponsored by Disney Baby. I'll be joining the Disney Baby blogging team next month, and look forward to sharing these kinds of stories (projects/ideas/etc) with you over there! Stay tuned for more details!



this a post about nursing. in public. with your boobs.

after being infertile for two years and struggling to convince my body to even get pregnant in the first place, i felt such pride in my fat baby and my two little boobs that could. who'd have thought my not-even-an-a-cups could do all that? to this day, huck's two fat thighs are two of the things i'm most proud of in this life. i did that!



once huck had a few weeks of life under his belt, we started spending long afternoons walking around the city. he got his best sleep in the stroller and i felt my most calm when i'd had a chance to walk around. we'd usually be gone over a nap and at least two feedings. we'd make good use of a series of public restrooms and retail dressing rooms i relied on to hide in any time huck was hungry and needed to nurse. then one day i just got tired of it. why should i hide nursing my baby? it didn't really make much sense to me. we were getting good at it and i could confidently nurse without showing skin, so why hide? so i decided: the next time huck was hungry, i'd nurse him where ever i was. i'd be discreet, but it would be pretty obvious what we were doing and i was prepared to return a few stink eyes if necessary. in new york it is fully legal to bare your chest to nurse your baby in public (as if that even needs to be a law), and though i had no intention of actually baring my chest to anybody, it gave me confidence. we were at the metropolitan museum of art the first time we did it. i figured, boobs should be a pretty friendly sight here, don't you think? nobody even noticed. once we were finished and i realized what we'd just pulled off, it was like my whole life got easier: i am a mom, and i don't need to hide it.

since then we have happily and proudly nursed where ever the dang crap huck needed to be nursed. i'm pretty adamant about my right to do it, although it's very rare that we'll nurse in public anymore now that he's older. it's my coolest mom trick i got. in case you are similarly ornery about your right to nurse in public, i thought i'd share some tips i learned along the way:


  • button ups provide easier access to the boobs, but i prefer to wear roomy tops that lift up when nursing in public. a good drape hides most of the action and when baby is finished, gravity helps get you covered much faster than your fingers could work those buttons. wearing an undershirt you can tug down  helps if you're nervous about exposing your back or sides. i've found baby usually covers up your front pretty well.
  • nursing bras are nice if you're a quick snap, but it's almost easier to wear a regular demi-cup bra so you can just tug on down to free the girls and tug on up when finished.
  • nursing covers are super rad if you're positive you're going to accidentally flash the whole world, but in my experience they're like wearing a flashing sign that says "I'M NURSING! I'M NURSING!" i say as soon as you can ditch it, ditch it. and anyway, a burp rag or baby blanket (or even a napkin!) will do the job just as well in a pinch. (huck always hated his nursing cover, so it never stayed in place long anyway.)
  • sometimes i'd sway a little from side to side while nursing. it calms me down if i'm anxious, soothes the baby if he's fussy, and adds to the illusion that, "what this? oh no, we're just snuggling."
  • get everything ready before letting on to your baby what you're up to. for us, as soon as huck knows there's a boob in his future he is inconsolable until the second he's got it. so reach up under your shirt, adjust everything how you need it, position the baby, and then and only then lift up your shirt and secure your latch. (i've found you can cover your nipple with your free hand up until the second his mouth is in position to minimize any nip flashings.) similarly, the minute the latch is broken, free a hand to put everything in its proper place immediately. nursing in public is like being on an airplane in extreme turbulence: you put on your own oxygen mask on first.
  • try to find a quiet corner, if you can. your baby deserves a distraction-free meal, and it's respectful to the other patrons and yourself. sometimes you just gotta do it right then and there, and when that happens, go with your instincts. and always put yourself and your baby first, and don't ever apologize.
i have strong feelings about a woman's right to feed her baby how she decides is best. bottle or boob, it shouldn't matter, so long as we aren't shamed into or out of our decisions. i don't like the idea that whether we nurse and for how long and where and when is a topic up for discussion. that time magazine cover made me so mad. it irritates me that women's breasts are over sexualized. i don't consider nursing to be an issue of sex or morality or modesty one bit. it's just basic human function and shouldn't be sensationalized. i fully respect women who draw the line at nursing in public and want to keep things private, i do. i don't discredit their feelings or beliefs at all. but for me, well, this is my stand. men go around playing shirts vs. skins at the basketball court on the corner in full sight of the world, and they don't worry about their nipples accidentally being seen for a flash of a second here or there. and theirs are purely decorative! ours are at least doing something pretty important. so i say rock it, sister. rock it! you've got my full support. as well as the support of the legislative branch of the new york state government.


go team!

73 comments :

  1. Yay! I couldn't agree more, and I'm SO glad you posted about this. I hope it won't be contentious, because it shouldn't be - nursing your baby is the most natural and beautiful thing in the world. Thanks for writing about this Natalie! :)

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  2. although i totally am one to agree that nursing is wonderful and lovely, i have many, many, many issues with this topic. i get worked up just at the mention of breastfeeding because it's such a heated debate. i'm a mom of a 2-year-old, who also has infertility issues. i waited and struggled and fought for my girl, but, i. HATED. nursing. i agree that it's up to a mom to decide what is best for her and her baby, and i get mad when i feel like my choice to pump and, soon, to go to formula, is looked down upon. my baby and i are PLENTY close. we have bonded. we are happy. she has stellar thighs. and my husband also got to share in special "feeding" moments. i just wish people weren't so adamant, opinionated, and judgmental on both sides. i so appreciate your tips (those were great!). again, as a woman and a mom (who has no issues with her boobs), i can't stand when women nurse where i feel it is inappropriate (i.e. during church or in the middle of a very public space with little kids saying, "mommy, i thought we were supposed to cover our boobies?" i mean, it's just uncomfortable, natural or not. sex is natural too, but i don't want to watch someone do it at the park). feeding or not, no one needs to see random nipples. anyway, just some of my thoughts from the other side. women feel judged enough, i think nursing and motherhood need to just chill on both sides and enjoy their own life and experiences with these cute babies of ours! nursing? lovely. formula? lovely. more power to all women and their decision:)

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    3. Wow. You're really suggesting sex and breast feeding in public as being equally inappropriate? How asinine.

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    4. i'm just tired of people being so blatantly mean. like you, kendra. it's just hypocritical to judge others when you're basing an argument off others not judging you. i have opinions, just like everyone else. i don't see eye-to-eye on you when it comes to nursing in public ("natural" or not), and i won't apologize for that.

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    5. I agree with you, too, Amanda. I'm pregnant with my first now and I am shocked, constantly, about how everyone thinks they have a right to judge us moms for our decisions. That said? I'm uncomfortable seeing boobs and nipples in public. I don't want mine out, and I don't want to see others'. I love how Natalie balances the need and want to feed Huck with wearing her normal clothes so she can feel good about herself and still being as private as she can in public about it. I wish more moms did that.

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    6. I'm not judging anyone for breastfeeding or not. I breastfeed and supplement with formula so I'm on both sides of the fence. I think as long as mom and baby are both happy, and baby is fed than all is good. My problem is with such ridiculous and bold comments as yours- sex and nursing in public to be similar in comparison. If a mother feeding her child by nursing makes you uncomfortable walk away and stop staring. Easy as that.

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    8. So you say women feel judged enough, and yet you go on to berate women for their "random nipples." You say "it's up to a mom to decide what is best for her and her baby," and yet you go on to say you "can't stand it" when women nurse in places YOU deem inappropriate. Do you even realize the hypocrisy? And then you compare a baby eating, to two adults having sex. SERIOUSLY? You eat on an airplane? in a restaurant? at church? Then why can't a baby? Bottom line: Breastfeeding is not a sexual act. And God forbid children learn that it is a normal, healthy (ie, not a sexual) way for a mom to feed her kid. It is a way to nurture and feed a child. Anywhere you can nurture and feed a kid, you can breastfeed a kid. How about this, breastfeeding is appropriate, period. full stop. no conditions.

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    9. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Have a great weekend!

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    10. I could not agree more with Kendra and Laura - the hypocrisy in your posts Amanda and Brooklyn is laughable. Its like when people say, "Im not racist, BUT..." Yes, everyone is entitled to their own opinions. But that doesn't mean that some which are so clearly contradictory don't deserve an eye roll (btw, great post Natalie! You rock).

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    11. Just out of curiosity would you rather sit next to a discreetly nursing baby or a screaming fretful baby. My kiddo is 9 months hates the hooter hider and has been on 15+ flights most of which she has nursed for at least a portion of and people around always comment on how well she flies. Just saying....a little nip slip or shrieking, these may be your options.

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    12. thanks to brooklyn and amanda for being polite and respectful in their opinions on a clearly lopsided issue. i was just sharing my opinion, and not intending to be being rude or judgmental in the least. i wish that could be said for some of you. i appreciate nat's post and opinion, 100%! i wish there was kindness for others who have differing opinions. cruelty in responding to my comment isn't respectable- that is what is laughable. oh, and mature drop on the "racist" thing too. that was totally appropriate... or... not. i want my daughter to be a strong, proud woman who isn't afraid to share her thoughts in a respectful way- i wish others would respect opinions as well and not show such harsh criticism in standing for what they believe in, in a world that DOES have issues with breasts being more than just a means of nutrition. again, please just realize in an effort to demand respect, many women are being ridiculously disrespectfully to others on the other side of a heated debate. cheers to being good, happy, healthy moms! happy weekend...

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    13. You're only seeing the others comments as being 'respectful' because they agree with your opinion. How is talking about 'random nipples,' 'not being able to stand seeing women nurse in public' and COMPARING IT TO SEX respectful/mature/"appropriate"?? I just can't see how you think you're being so respectful of those with differing opinions/approaches to you (i.e. those who think it's fine to breastfeed wherever, however, no conditions). I would never say "I can't stand it when I see someone with a hooter cover", or judge you for not breastfeeding at all. Im not judging your decisions - I'm judging your hypocrisy.

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    14. Perhaps you could get some clarity on this discussion by defining some terms. An opinion is a view OR judgement. A judgment is an opinion formed by judging. It isn't like an opinion and judgment are two different things, one is innocent and the other mean/one is legit and the other isn't. In this case, you are not just giving an opinion, you are proclaiming your judgment of women and the way they choose to feed their children. A judgement is just a TYPE of opinion. furthermore, hypocrisy is claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one's own behavior does not conform. Which is epitomized by your original comment. Finally, someone pointing out the logical flaws of your argument is not disrespecting YOU. It is describing YOUR flawed ARGUMENT. For example, let me use your logic: I was just sharing my opinion on why your judgement of women was logically flawed, hypocritical, and lacked clarity. I wish you would just respect MY opinion. I'm just standing up for what I believe (the importance of logic, compassion and not sexualizing the feeding of infants). That was totally inappropriate and disrespectful of you! Finally, I'd like to address this: "in standing for what they believe in, in a world that DOES have issues with breasts being more than just a means of nutrition" (sic). You basically just said, you need to respect my opinion because I'm just standing up for the majority view! Now go ahead and apply that same statement to 1950s civil rights opponents. First, other countries are not near as obsessed with breasts as the US. Second, we aren't saying your racist, we are saying that you are relying on the exact same logical fallacies as racists. Big difference.

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    15. *you're. sorry, I was actually nursing a baby to sleep while I wrote this and was a bit distracted

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  3. I too had a baby after years of infertility and extended breastfed til she was 17 months old. I remember on a trip to NYC nursing her at the Museum of the City of NY and being told by the guard that I had to go nurse her in a bathroom cubicle. Well, until adults eat their lunch perched on a toilet, I wasn't going to start nursing the girl there!

    Letters to Bloomberg and the museum resulted in heartfelt apologies.

    It's natural and lovely and nothing to feel ashamed of. I can only imagine that the short mat leave in the US has resulted in fewer women breastfeeding, let alone in public. The more women do it, the more everyone will realise that it's not big deal.

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  4. I'm similarly UNendowed in the bresticle area, and I found wearing a shelf bra camisol under a tee was perfect. I could pull UP the tee, pull DOWN the camisol, and not really be baring any skin. My post 3rd baby belly is a mess of saggy skin and I'd rather moon someone than show off that flesh accordian! ;) I know mamas with bigger boobs can't rely on what, to me, is my everyday bra situation with plenty of support for my non-boobs, though.

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  5. Hear, hear, Nat!

    My daughter is 15 months now and we don't BF in public anymore (she only nurses before bed) but I was an all-out public BF'er since we got the hang of the whole thing (had difficulties the first couple of months).

    I find it sad that the people who gave me grief about public nursing were women! I would think that the people who have breasts, who know that they can be/should be/are used for more than sex, would be most accepting of nursing, the most natural thing in the world.

    Thanks for the post. I posted on this topic the other day if you'd like to read:
    http://www.julie-and-michael.blogspot.com/2012/06/nursing-update.html

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  6. love it (and loved sending in my pic of me and Ellis nursing when you did the thing last year!) and can't wait to nurse again (E weaned his darned self when I got pregnant, so rude!), this time hopefully for a good loooong while longer. i just loved nursing, and I'm hoping for a pleasantly plump baby this time too! Cause Huck's thighs and arms are my personal mission for my second child.

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  7. Nat-Thank you so much for this post and for all of your posts on breast feeding. I never really had an opinion on public breastfeeding or breastfeeding at all until recently. Well now I'm pregnant with my first child and I am so grateful for you and other woman who stand up for their children. My girls are huge (by girls I mean boobs) and I haven't breastfed before (again first baby) and I don't know how good I'll be at it/whether or not I'll be able to do it or not-but I'm sure going to try. I am hoping that I'll be able to breastfeed, and I am preparing to do it confidently without any shame or embarrassment. And you have helped me develop that confidence;I'm really grateful to you for that. Because I'm going to be a mom, and mom's do whatever is best for their child. I feel that your posts have transcended to more than just breastfeeding but to promote doing the best for your child regardless of criticism, media, or stink eyes; to just being the best mom you can. I can tell you definitely do what's best for Huck. Thanks again! You rock!

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  8. I totally agree that this "issue" has been over sensationalized. Milo just turned 2 and he still breastfeeds a couple of times a day. I am not ashamed of this and it is what is best for our son. Either way, isn't the main thing to just nourish your child? Whether bottle or breast, I think that it is ridiculous to make such a controversial aura around it. I loved feeding my son this way and he was a natural form the get go, but I would have gladly switched to a bottle if that is how he preferred his milk. Big deal! I get comments all the time about how long I have breastfed our son, but honestly it is no one's business but ours and why do you care anyway! seriously! I had no intention originally to breastfeed him this long but it still soothes him at night and before his nap, so that's what we choose to do. One day I won't have this little angel that needs me the way he does now!

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  9. This is a lovely article on NIP. I remember with my oldest what a big deal I thought it was. The first place I did it was in an art museum too. Though we were at Getty Center. My little was a preemie and so tiny. The NICU doctors told me not to let her cry because it wastes calories. So for me that meant letting her cry while I found a bathroom or fitting room was out of the question. When my she doubled her own birth weight in just over 2 months I was so proud.

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  10. I just wanna say I think you're awesome and I love your very honest blog. :)

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  11. natalie-- you are so dead on with this. i think any woman should be able to nurse in public as long as they, for the most part, do not show skin. now, you might get a slight bit showing here and there, but i am speaking about those that just pop the boob out in the middle of wherever and let it hang there with everyone to see it (believe me--i've seen this a lot and have never understood it). now THAT is taking it too far. but for the most part, i think us public nursers have it down. it's no big deal if you aren't flashing the world. in fact, it's essential. if you can't nurse in a public place even though you are showing no boob whatsoever, then people really need to get a grip.

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  12. those first few pictures are super cute! what a sweet little munchkin you have.

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  13. I couldn't agree more. My first baby is due in November and I hope I can get the hang of that nursing thing so that baby and I can "move about the world," freely:)

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  14. Great post, though I'm jealous of your small girls!! My nursing size is 30F, so a cover is a must for me. I wish it weren't, becausei totally agree that it draws even more attention! Oh well, a momma's gotta do what a momma's gotta do!

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  15. I don't even have a baby, nor do I plan to have one any time soon, but I definitely appreciated this post and have to say I agree with you 100%! Let's all stop making breast feeding a ginormous deal. We've been doing it since the beginning of time, why make a fuss now? We're simply doing what our bodies were meant to do! Sheesh. And that's what I have to say about that.
    Have a great wknd!

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  16. AnonymousJune 22, 2012

    I'm totally with you on the "who'd have thought my not-even-an-a-cups could do all that?" And also on the feed your baby however the hell you want, it's not my business.

    I drove myself crazy pumping and washing bottles for a year after going back to work when my son was 8 weeks old. Sometimes I wonder if that first year would have been a lot lot easier if we'd used formula, or at least supplemented. I read and re-read this article a lot that year:
    http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2009/04/the-case-against-breast-feeding/7311/

    On another topic, I still cringe at the thought of my newbie nursing self, feeding a two week old baby while at a friend's house for dinner. I practically sat at the dinner table with my whole top off because I hadn't yet mastered the art of subtle nursing. :-)

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  17. i definitely think it's a personal choice for every woman. i had no problem with breast feeding in public until the other day when i was the witness of a most bizarre event...

    i'm a dental hygienist and one morning i found myself cleaning the teeth of a woman who had brought her 4 (almost 5) year old son. her son sat in the chair afterwards so i could take a look at his teeth. he verbally told me how excited he was to start kindergarten in the fall. everything was going great until the son jumped out of the chair and ran to his mom and told her he was hungry. without hesitation, the mom whipped out one boob and the kid started going to town on it.

    i tried really hard to not feel weird about this, but...

    nope. still weird to me.

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  18. It's been 8 years since I nursed my last baby but I just don't remember it ever being an issue- Maybe it's because we were living in Toronto but I never remember even giving it a thought- did it when it was time to and used a blanket to help with the 'less distraction' bit, NOT because I wanted to hide what I was doing.
    What do you think- are American's more prudish?

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  19. probably the most random/irrelevant comment, but...

    your nail polish in these pics is fab!

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  20. oh man, what a timely post! i nurse my little Hen in public and it's never been an issue for me, either...until this week. He was too hungry by the time I tried to feed him and the let down was slow to come and he just lost it and flailed and I was literally forcing his little mouth on my boob, and everything was in plain sight. Ahhhh it was terrible. Not to mention I was at an outdoor movie event with tons of people around me probably judging me. I kept my eyes right on baby just like I always do. If I don't acknowledge the glares, they don't exist!

    Anyway, we typically do enjoy nursing in public, but I make sure to be super discreet about it and just look at my baby the whole time.

    PS there is a NURSE IN at the Capitol this summer to support breastfeeding in public. I've been toying with the idea of going. Can you imagine tons of women feeding their babes at the same time?! You should really come down for it!

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  21. I think mother's should be allowed to feed their babies how and where they want. End of story. I don't see what the big problem is.

    I tried breastfeeding and it didn't wok out for us. For many reasons. I often look back and wonder if I could have kept going. Or if I would have actually gone insane. I will try again with my next. I know that I'll be asking for more help next time and not waiting until my nipple is actually hanging off from a series of bad latches. I'll get professional help before my nipples bleed so bad they don't stop. But, I do think women should be able to feed where ever they want. It shouldn't be an issue in this day in age.

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  22. the Great Nurse-In. https://www.facebook.com/events/273309822728911/
    come! :)

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    1. oh man, i REALLY want to come down and do this!

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  23. awesome post! i completely agree with you but i never found the courage to do it in public. maybe the next baby...

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  24. Go team go!!!

    Nicole
    localsugarhawaii.com

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  25. AnonymousJune 22, 2012

    I totally agree. I BF for 4 months but was quite shameless about BFing in public (although always discrete!!!). I hate hootie hiders actually...they look so uncomfortable for the child and so obvious for the mum! A couple of layers, one pulled up, one pulled down and you're done!! Go campaign, Nat!!!

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  26. I love this!
    Although, I'm with the boobilicious girls on this one that it IS harder to be discreet if you have a big chest. However, my best tip was to forget about nursing bras , buy some really pretty, well fitted regular bras and just pull down your neckline a bit when it's time to feed.
    I did this, and used my hand or baby blanket to cover my boob if I felt it was showing to much, but honestly - nursing bras were waaaay to annoying to me.
    (and there were no nip-slips, or full flashes- I just popped the girls right back in, one handed, when my baby was done!)
    V-neck tops and button downs and stretchy dresses were fabulous, darling.

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  27. I have differing opinions, but I'm not going to share them. Not because I'm worried about starting a discussion, or think I'm better, or whatever, but because I'm tired of the fighting. I'm tired of people - on BOTH sides of the breastfeeding issue - being judgmental, trying to tear down. We are of different cultures, races, creeds, life-walks - of COURSE there are going to be different opinions! Why is that so hard to accept? Underneath it all, we are all women, and we should recognize that, first and foremost. I am happy Natalie is nursing her baby in the best way she thinks, and she has an adorable, happy baby to show for it!

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  28. I'm a E cup, so this is not realistic for me - but good for you! Me nursing in public really would be scandalous.

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  29. thanks for the pointers! i think i would be more open to doing it in public if my baby boy didn't make a big scene about it. one time i tried to nurse him in the theater bathroom with my cover (which he hates too btw) all you could see were flailing arms and legs but he was just screaming and making a big fuss! i think he's getting better at it though now that he's past his gas-y days. his poor little tummy would hurt while he was nursing :(

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  30. wow I'm enjoying reading all these comments! ah it's not a big deal. I think if you're letting them hang out for 5 minutes before you feed that's one thing- try to be some what modest about it. But nursing in public is life! a mama's gotta do what a mama's gotta do. I think it was definitely weirder before i had a nursing babe. I think it was awkward to even look straight on or talk to ladies that were nursing but now I see it way differently now that I'm a mom. I loved wearing a button up shirt and then I could just shift it over. I think that was the best for me.

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  31. i never really thought nursing in public to be an issue and it makes me sad that some people think it isn't 'modest' (ps, i can't stand that word). thinking it is immodest is in the realms of making sure little girls have sleeves on their sundresses. please.

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  32. 100% agree. Everyone needs to get over associating women's breasts solely for sex. For peetsake! Your feeding your child, milk and breasts were put there for that EXACT purpose! Do what ya need to do!

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  33. AnonymousJune 22, 2012

    Stay awesome Natalie!

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  34. Amen! There is nothing wrong with modest and discreet breast feeding in public. I loves nursing my son, and I feel like every mother should get to choose how and when and where to feed her baby without fear of judgement from other moms. Aren't we all in the same boat, trying to raise our children as best we can?

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  35. Omg I just love this! Well said!

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  36. Yeah! My guy is 2 next month and a BIGTIME nurser! We have nursed pretty much everywhere. :) Now that he's a little bigger & more patient, I have started to tell him "oh, this isn't a nursing place, let's wait til we get to the car or home" and he will wait. I have never been shy about it though, and have also never been given a stink eye... Not even when I sat in a Target aisle to nurse a time or two! Thanks for an awesome post.

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  37. Thank you, thank you, thank you! When you've gotta nurse, you've gotta nurse!

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  38. Thank you for this post. I agree with your opinion. I did the same thing, nurse when and where I needed to, ignoring the stink-eyed people.

    I also got into the habit of using a lightweight silk scarf over my shoulder to generally cover the whole operation. Not only did it protect my modesty a bit, it was fashionable, and my boy loved it, rubbing it with his fingers as he nursed. I've never been able to give that scarf away. I remember his fat little hand winding through through it, with a look of content on his face.

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  39. AnonymousJune 23, 2012

    I'm 18 weeks pregnant (first-time mother!) and have been struggling a lot with the question of breastfeeding in public. I see it constantly compared to public masturbation, public sex or public defecation. The fact that it's compared to all these things makes me so angry at the deep-seated misogyny in our culture. Society turned women's breasts into sexualized, fetishized objects and then turned around and punished them for using them in a very innocent, natural, functional way. It makes me so angry to see women's bodies objectified and controlled in a way that even interferes with feeding babies.

    Another thing that bugs me is that people are always, "Oh, find a storage closet! Find a restroom stall!" If breastfeeding really is such an awkward, intimate thing that it needs to be hidden from public eyes, then how come we don't make any concessions for it? I'm always curious as to why nobody has created nursing rooms, if it's really such a problem of protecting the public's tender eyes. So many women breastfeed and it's basically telling them ... either stay at home all the time, or come out in public if you must, but find a broom closet or duck into an alley. So frustrating! I'm so happy you spoke out about it and shared these tips.

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  40. *FISTPUMPSISTAH* I love it. I've nursed both my babies successfully, and I credit a very large part of that to nursing whenever, wherever. We focus on sleep and clean clothes and everything else takes care of itself! Highly portable and totally sweet, natural, LEGAL *cough*, PROTECTED *coughcough*, and convenient. I haven't gotten a stinkeye yet, but I have gotten a few people scurrying away with a look of mortification on their faces. Oh well. I don't want to offend anyone, but I figure I'm doing Americans a favor by breaking them into the idea. If I expose Miss Mortified today, perhaps she'll be a little more used to it tomorrow. And in five years she just might have a baby herself and think back to that time with appreciation, or pass a bill, or nurse in public herself, until it becomes so normal we finally catch up with the rest of the world.

    (Maybe this fictional woman could work on getting paid maternity/paternity leave in place, too. SHAME, AMERICA. SHAME.)

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  41. I love this post. When I had my son who is now much older I was embarassed about nursing, possibly because I was so young and now I am dealing with secondary infertility. Next time around I will be proud of my right to nurse wherever I choose and honestly if it bothers you then don't look.

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  42. Thanks for saying whether you bottle feed or breast feed. I never had the inkling or the urge to breastfeed, therefore I never I did...and honestly I don't regret it one bit. Mothers know what they need to nuture their babies, whether nursing in public, letting them cry to sleep or not, cloth or disposable diapers. Trying to do something that you are not in for, will only cause negetivity that the baby will feel, and that's NOT what anyone needs.

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  43. Love this post! I breastfed for 2 months before having to return to a job that entails tons of traveling. I really enjoyed the bonding time. For any future little one's I'm hoping to be braver about where I nurse.

    Also I just HAVE to ask...as a mom how to do you make time to plan the great looks you have? Or are you just talented and throw things on that just work?

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  44. can you pull this off at church?

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  45. I wish I could breastfeed in public! All too often my daughter decides she wants to cluster feed for hours so I always bring a full bottle. That way she can quickly stuff herself and fall back alseep. I'd hate to get trapped in some quiet public corner or park bench for hours at a time.

    Maybe when she's older.

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  46. WHOOOOAAAHHHH! I had forgotten just how pudgy Huck's arms and cheeks were! Goodness, what a darling!

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  47. I've been wearing lots of maxi dresses with half-tees underneath. It makes BF a breeze anywhere. And nothing shows! I've had people walk up to me and ask to see/hold the baby while I'm feeding him...and they are so embarrassed (for some reason) when I have to tell them he's eating. But, hey, they couldn't tell when they were standing right next to me. My mom tells a story about BF me while teaching a lesson at church, and none of the ladies knew what she was up to. It can be easy to be discreet (if you want to).

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  48. AnonymousJune 27, 2012

    This post is so refreshing! I'm on my fifth and I've gotten more and more tired of hiding in a stinky restroom or letting baby swelter under a blanket. For some reason, I swear people have actually gotten more sensitive about breastfeeding-- I've even had moms and dads act uncomfortable when I've been nursing with a blanket with nothing showing. I always try to be discreet, but like you said, sometimes its easier to be discreet without a blanket. And you can't reason with a hungry baby. I'm glad people are talking about this because nursing is best for baby and we need to make it easier, not harder, to nurse. Sorry for my own blogpost right here in your comment. :) www.5for50project.blogspot.com

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  49. AnonymousJune 28, 2012

    dude, this is awesome. straightforward, honest, no bullshit and lashings of commonsense. i completely agree about the over sexualisation and sensationalism of this issue - an issue that has no right to be an issue at all. boobs feed babies. everyone can just get over it!

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  50. I agree completely. Any way you feed your baby is not only necessary, but it's special bonding time and it can totally be done discreetly. I wore a cami under every shirt and that was what showed on my back and sides when I nursed. Then when I pulled my shirt up, I pulled the cami down and kind of "hooked" it under the old gals before undoing the nursing bra. These bad boys are too big for demi bras, but that sounds more convenient and prettier than uggo nursing bras. :) You were totally right on about everything. :)

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  51. I just wanted to come back and say thanks for writing this. I've always been super duper shy breastfeeder (even though I fed both our boys for two years!), but after having our 3rd I've had to be less shy about it in order to leave the house at all. Anyhow, any time I start feeling shy I think of your post. :) I still use a cover and all, but I don't feel like I have to hide anymore. XO

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  52. I love this. I'm stalking your blog for the first time and am very well pleased! I have a little one and enjoyed this entry very much. Keep it up.

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  53. Thank you so much for this post and for all of your posts on breast feeding. I never really had an opinion on public breastfeeding or breastfeeding at all until recently. Well now I'm pregnant with my first child and I am so grateful for you and other woman who stand up for their children. My girls are huge (by girls I mean boobs) and I haven't breastfed before (again first baby) and I don't know how good I'll be at it/whether or not I'll be able to do it or not-but I'm sure going to try. I am hoping that I'll be able to breastfeed, and I am preparing to do it confidently without any shame or embarrassment.
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  54. thank you for this post. i am due any day with my second and also live in NYC. Since living here I have been inspired by all of the women who do not act ashamed to be feeding their baby in public. I want to be more confident with my second. thanks for the inspiration.

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  55. My daughter is 8 months old and I continue to nurse and pump. I was also barely an A-cup prior to my pregnancy. My favorite items are the nursing camisoles that unclip down. I just stick two nursing pads (my favorite is the Lansinoh brand) in them and I'm good to go. A cheaper alternative are the $2 camisoles from Forever21. They don't fold down but they're stretchy enough that you can just pull down, plus they're so cheap that you don't have to worry about breaking them (none of mine have torn at all). I throw a cardigan over and I'm good for the day! Hope this helps. And keep it up, all you Super Moms!

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  56. Such an inspiring post! I will aim to be as brave as you. I really shouldn't be so shy in public, and I HATE my hooter-hider... it gets so hot under there and I'm always struggling to get it positioned right.
    So thanks for the pep talk. I agree with you completely!

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