I’ve breastfed three babies for at least a year each — an accomplishment that has required flexibility, dedication and a fair amount of breastfeeding in public for convenience. I’ve never once had someone make a rude comment, give me a nasty look or ask me to nurse elsewhere, but you definitely hear reports of this kind of thing happening. (Well, one lady did get up and leave a waiting room when I had to nurse, but I can’t say for certain it was because I was breastfeeding. Plus, the other 10 people there were very pleased that my baby stopped crying.) I must say, I always halfway expect negativity, but it appears that those vitriolic anti-breastfeeding online commenters aren’t as brave in real life as they are behind their computer screens.
I’ve gotten quite good at discreetly nursing in public, but it always gets tricky the bigger the baby gets. You can’t trust the baby to stay latched, and I’m always at the ready to cover up with my hand when the baby decides to take a break to investigate any little noise. Because nursing covers? Yeah, right. Baby’s like “No way, Jose! I HATE THIS THING.” I got quite good on vacation recently at finding places to nurse quickly. At one point I breastfed at the top of an out-of-the-way stairwell, which was all well and good until a man had to walk up it. I wasn’t bothered, but I think he felt a little awkward; I could practically see this thought bubble: “Don’t look, don’t look, don’t look.” At another time I scoped out a spot I thought was private until a flood of people came out the door next to it. Oops.
Breastfeeding in public is certainly an adventure, which is one of the many reasons I love this video about why you should never nurse where you might offend the public’s sensitive eyes …
Can’t see the video? Click here to watch four reasons to never nurse in public.
I think this video perfectly smashes any of the reasons “haters” have for why a woman shouldn’t breastfeed in public — or how she should do so. Just like anything else in life, if you don’t like something, look away.
Did you ever have anyone comment on breastfeeding in public? I’d love to hear if your experiences were as good as mine. —Erin