>How I Came To Nurse In Public

>Welcome to the July 2010 Carnival of Nursing in Public

This post was written for inclusion in the Carnival of Nursing in Public hosted by Dionna and Paige at NursingFreedom.org. All week, July 5-9, we will be featuring articles and posts about nursing in public (“NIP”). See the bottom of this post for more information.


I wasn’t sure what to make of nursing in public, because I never saw anyone else do it.

I was scared, nervous, and worried about someone telling me to leave the establishment for nursing in public.

I remember nursing in public for the first time with Nakiah.

We were out at the mall to see Daddy, and I used the fitting room in Motherhood Maternity.

I used them often because I wasn’t quite comfortable nursing way out in public. They were very sweet about it, too.

The next time I said I would nurse her in public, no matter who was around. This time we were out at a restaurant with some people from church. I didn’t feel comfortable breastfeeding in front of them, so I went to the restroom. I didn’t sit on the toilet, I stood up. I felt so dirty, and ashamed. I felt bad because I knew that breastfeeding was natural, but couldn’t bring myself to do it in front of my friends.

When I got back to the table my food had come, it was cold, and I wasn’t hungry anymore. I remember one of my friends saying she felt bad that I missed my food.

I was later thinking that I could have gone out to the car. I vowed that next time I would nurse in public.

Here we a few months down the road. I was meeting a woman in the food court at the mall to talk about a business opportunity. Nakiah started to fuss and I was trying my best to calm her. The lady looked at me and said “if you need to nurse her go ahead, please don’t let me stop you. I broke out the blanket and tried to get Nakiah latched on while holding the blanket.

She saw me struggling and helped me by holding the blanket for me.

I remember feeling so embarrassed. There was this guy at a table across from us and he kept staring at me. I thought I am never nursing in public again, and I didn’t. I would if I was at a friends house, and it was just the two of us. If there was a group, I would use their bedroom. if I was out at a place like Walmart, I would use the car.

When Ava was born I was determined to nurse my baby when and wherever she was hungry.

I did just that when we took her out to the mall when she was 11 days old. Charles was with me, and we fumbled around with that darn blanket.I got fed up and tossed it to the side. After that I felt so brave, and empowered.

I had conquered one of my fears. I was setting an example for other moms and moms to be.

After that I had no problem nursing her in public. I even had a mom come up to me in the mall and say that she was happy to see another mom nursing her child. That made me feel really good.

Since Samuel is our 3rd I feel great about nursing in public. I wish I could have had this confidence with Nakiah.

We have recently nursed at the zoo, Walmart, downtown, at the mall, at the park, library and anywhere else we might be if he gets hungry.

While at the zoo I ran into a mother who was nursing her 15 month old daughter. It was extremely hot that day, and her daughter wouldn’t drink anything else. She offered her the breast so she could keep her hydrated. What a beautiful thing!

A few weeks ago my inlaws came over for a visit. Samuel was hungry and I told them that I was getting ready to nurse him. I told them if they didn’t want to see boob to move to the other side of the room.

While he was nursing my sister in law asked me how I knew he was done eating.

I explained to her that he would either come off when he was done, he would fall asleep and come off, or I would break his latch with my finger when I noticed he was done.

Right then I thought that more women need to nurse in public. The more moms that nurse in public, the more normal it will become for others to see.

Nursing in public is not disgusting. Breasts are for breastfeeding! I’m sick of the stories week after week about a mother who was told to leave the restaurant, or told to put a blanket over her babies head.

A couple of years ago we were at a neighbors house for her daughters birthday. My oldest grabbed a doll, lifted her shirt and exclaimed that she was giving her baby ni-ni’s. My neighbors family was shocked, but my friend and I thought it was very cute. I thought it was great that I’m showing my girls who will someday breastfeed their children, that breastfeeding is normal, natural, and so is breastfeeding in public.

I’m thankful for the journey that lead me to feel comfortable nursing in public. I understand. I’ve been the mom who is feeling nervous, or worried about what others will think.

When we nurse in public we are loving and taking care of our children, and there is nothing wrong with that.

I’ll tell anyone who has a problem with my nursing in public to feel free to look the other way.

Art by Erika Hastings at http://mudspice.wordpress.com/

Welcome to the Carnival of Nursing in Public

Please join us all week, July 5-9, as we celebrate and support breastfeeding mothers. And visit NursingFreedom.org any time to connect with other breastfeeding supporters, learn more about your legal right to nurse in public, and read (and contribute!) articles about breastfeeding and N.I.P.

Do you support breastfeeding in public? Grab this badge for your blog or website to show your support and encourage others to educate themselves about the benefits of breastfeeding and the rights of breastfeeding mothers and children.

<center><a href=”http://www.nursingfreedom.org/p/carnival-of-nursing-in-public.html&#8221; title=”Carnival of Nursing in Public”><img src=”http://www.babydustdiaries.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/inip1.png&#8221; alt=”Art by Erika Hastings at http://mudspice.wordpress.com/&#8221; border=”0″></a></center>

This post is just one of many being featured as part of the Carnival of Nursing in Public. Please visit our other writers each day of the Carnival. Click on the links below to see each day’s posts – new articles will be posted on the following days:

July 5 – Making Breastfeeding the Norm: Creating a Culture of Breastfeeding in a Hyper-Sexualized World

July 6 – Supporting Breastfeeding Mothers: the New, the Experienced, and the Mothers of More Than One Nursing Child

July 7 – Creating a Supportive Network: Your Stories and Celebrations of N.I.P.

July 8 – Breastfeeding: International and Religious Perspectives

July 9 – Your Legal Right to Nurse in Public, and How to Respond to Anyone Who Questions It


12 thoughts on “>How I Came To Nurse In Public

  1. >What could possibly be more natural than nursing a hungry baby? I had hoped that by now women weren't having to deal with the looks and insults we sometimes received when I was nursing my young ones, but it seems times haven't changed that much. I am grateful for your courage to continue trying until you found your comfort zone. Many blessings.

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