Here I am feeding my little guy while getting my hair done. Yes, I put him at risk of hair dye falling on his leg but at least he can still have a snack when he is hungry. You see, to him he is not “breastfeeding in public” he is simply EATING!
Here I am feeding him at the shops later that day (darker hair! I get bored)…
Of course now that he is six months old and very interested in the incredible world of people doing their shopping, he must pop off at various times throughout the feed to see what is going on. It is very important to him that he does not miss A THING. He MUST look at that woman over there with the two shopping bags walking past that amazing looking shop…
Here is my last “public” breastfeeding for the day at the supermarket. Thankfully not a “selfie” as I ran into a friend who could take the pic!
I remember when I was asked to leave a bagel shop in America when I was breastfeeding my middle child. He was one week old at the time. The man said, “we have a bathroom down the hall.” I looked at him totally confused…”pardon?” I said. Again he said, “we have a bathroom down the hall.” It then clicked in my mind. My only response that I could think of at the time was, “so if I was feeding him a bottle that would be OK?” and he said, “yes.” GGGRRRR! If only I had been more energetic and awake to think of something creative to say, but I was not energetic and I was barely awake and I was a hormonal new mum. We stood up and immediately left the shop. Now another baby later I am prepared if this ever happens again to me. I have a little speech in my mind! I have practiced! Please someone tell me to stop breastfeeding in public so I can say this amazing speech!
I have realized now that this whole “public breastfeeding” thing should not even be a topic. The fact that I even have to write about this is absurd! I was born with breasts to feed my baby. YOU (bagel shop man) have sexualized my breasts. YOU have the problem with it. It’s not MY issue. My breasts are not for YOUR sexual discomfort or sexual viewing pleasure.
What can we do as breastfeeding mums? It’s simple. Let your boob hang out and breastfeed your baby everywhere you go. No matter who is watching. I even breastfeed infront of my father-in-law. I also breastfed infront of my late grandfather. I also breastfeed infront of my father and step father. I do this because my baby is hungry and because (as mentioned before) my breasts are here on my chest for the sole purpose of feeding my baby!
What can you do as a non-breastfeeding person? Go up to that breastfeeding woman and congratulate her for feeding her baby wherever she is. She is making it easier for other breastfeeding mums to do the same.
Breastfeeding in public, not weird, not brave, not sexual, just boringly (is that a word?) normal! And awesome!