Monday, August 02, 2010

Breastfeeding in Public - revisited

Inspiration (or shall I say, a kick in the booty) for today's post comes from an amazing article (click here) I read from Mothering. I strongly encourage everyone to take a few moments and read it.

A couple weeks ago, I wrote a post about my thoughts of breastfeeding in public. In it I stressed both the importance of putting your child first and not being afraid of feeding her/him in a public place, and also the importance of keeping the act of breastfeeding beautiful by not flashing people in an obnoxious way.

I stand corrected. Upon much reflection and soul-searching, I want to focus on the latter and clear things up. Actually, clarity isn't the issue here. Changing my own point of view, however, is.

You see...I think while trying to emphasize the necessity of maintaining respect for our bodies, I might have come across as saying we need to hide. I don't think this was accidental or me not being clear. But rather, I think this came from a subconscious feeling of me still not being 100% comfortable to breastfeed my own child in front of everyone.

Yes, unfortunately, I think that's it. I'm frustrated about how I feel. I promote breastfeeding and encourage others to do the same. But a part of me still feels inhibited while doing it out of my own home. Is it because I'm afraid someone will approach and embarrass me? (Even with the law and stubbornness on my side, I still freeze during confrontations.) Is it because I was raised to always be very modest and cover myself?

Don't get me wrong. I don't cover up all the time when nursing. Actually, I hardly do...only at the pool or a wedding where nursing would have meant exposing my entire upper body - and I'm sorry but I don't feel comfortable with that (maybe some people do. More power to them :P).

I guess, in closing, I just want to apologize if I came across as one of those people who thinks breastfeeding needs to be hidden. I don't at all! Maybe I need to overcome my fear of offending people or being approached. Maybe? I think yes!


Natalie said...

Beautiful post... and what a great article in Mothering! BTW, I have a nursing bathing suit that you are welcome to use... it exposes just the tiniest bit when latching on, for which reason I briefly cover with a towel... but if you just keep a well-placed hand there, no one should see if she pops off for a second. ;)

The Cloth Diaper Connection said...

I think sometimes we as mothers are made to feel like we need to hide when nursing in public. I hear stories about women who are verbally attacked by people who are offended and it makes me nervous, and I am now breastfeeding my 4th child! There have been times I have had to nurse a newborn in the middle of Wal Mart because he needed it "now!" and there was no where to go. lol It was awkward to say the least, but I think I actually managed to make it look like I wasn't nursing at all. I wish we as nursing moms weren't made to feel like we're going to "offend" someone, but I think the more we keep NIP hopefully society will see the beauty of it.