Yesterday we went to our Bradley class reunion where we got to meet 10 other babies that were born to parents all seeking natural births. I figured that if any crowd would get my sometimes crunchy ways, it would be this one. While I only saw two babies being bottle fed, the other moms used covers to shield their nursing.
Nothing is wrong with using a cover, and when I am out and about, I use one too, but in the comfort of someone’s living room, using a cover is the last thing I would do.
Covers are annoying, ugly and make nursing more difficult. It’s a challenge getting baby to latch on when a bulky piece of fabric is floating around. It gets hot under a cover and I know Atticus nurses better when he can see me.
While I thought nothing of my nursing sans cover, Kevin brought it up when we got home. He mentioned that some of the other moms said “I could never do that” and “I’m not comfortable.” He also referenced my nursing as “whipping it out.” that term irks me. I’m feeding a child not, not flashing a crowd at Mardi Gras. I also highly doubt anyone got a full view of my breast, Atticus covers the majority of it and if you are staring that long, you were probably seeking that .2 second of boob.
So what makes these mothers so uncomfortable with nursing their child in front of a room full of natural birthing women so uncomfortable? I know when I am out and about with friends that do not have children I do ask if they mind if I nurse at a table. I know that it can make people uneasy (I honestly don’t care in the event my son is screaming for food though), but I have yet to have someone flinch at the question.
Part of my reason for nursing is to provide my son the best food I can give him, and the other part is to keep the practice of nursing alive. We live in such a Puritanical society that wants us to provide the best for our children, but chastises us for using our breasts for something other than a sexual accessory.
I breastfeed without a cover to silently encourage other women to do the same. If we all did this, there would no longer be anything to be uncomfortable about.
My question to you is what do you feel comfortable with? Does seeing another woman breastfeed make you more comfortable with feeding in public too?