Breastfeeding in Public

I am such a sucky blogger. I give up on promising I’ll get better, because I’m enjoying spending time with my sweet baby love so much, and we all know the last three times I promised it didn’t happen anyway, but hopefully someone will stick around for the occasional post.

Topic for today: boobies!

Pre-baby I was very anti-breastfeeding-in-public-without-a-cover. Yes, I realized it’s natural, and yes, I realized that in other countries/cultures it’s normal to just pop it out and stick on the baby. But really, casual hugging and touching is also natural and prevalent in other cultures/countries, and it has even been scientifically shown that more casual touching is better for us. But it’s not acceptable in our culture/country, and just because I think it should be doesn’t mean I can walk around caressing everyone. I felt the same for popping out a boob. Whether or not they should be, in our culture/country they’re sexual objects and it’s not ok to show nipples publicly. I thought this seemed fairly self-evident.

Then I had a baby. And I still felt that way. I got a couple fantastic bebe au lait covers cheap second-hand, threw one over me and baby when she was hungry and we were out or people were over, and that was that. It was kind of a pain, especially in the summer heat, but not that big a deal.

Then my baby got older. And her limbs got longer. And she enjoyed flailing them around while eating. And she got bigger. And it was harder to fit her on my boob between me and the table at a restaurant, let alone have space to position a cover over us. And she enjoyed squirming while getting in place to be fed, which added another layer of difficulty to getting the cover arranged without dropping her. And I began to understand why people say covers are such a pain.

And as the months of sore nipples and a stranger’s giant, firm boobs on my chest and them being used as a food source every few hours by a crying, selfish creature and hooking them up to a milking machine daily went by, I stopped thinking of my breasts as sexual. At ALL. And I began to understand why people have no problem exposing their breasts in public, and even briefly exposing their nipples.

I still use a cover. I am very aware of how others feel, and from my past views I get how a woman exposing her nipple to latch a baby on is not socially acceptable. And to be quite honest, when I see other moms breastfeed without a cover, even now, it makes me uncomfortable.

But I get it. Oh boy, do I get it. And seeing it also makes me jealous.

So I won’t be one on the front lines, trying to normalize breastfeeding by doing it publicly exposed.

But now I will cheer those women on, and hope that maybe for one of my next kids, at least in my progressive area, it will become generally accepted to ditch the cover and breastfeed publicly.

Because, while we as a culture view breasts as nothing but sexual, breastfeeding really could not be farther from it.

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Filed under Baby Girl, Life

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