always gotta cause a problem

I’m a modest person. When I say this, I mean physically. I’m not one of those, if you’ve got it, flaunt it type people. But I don’t begrudge those that are.

Today over at MBG, she wrote a great blog about breastfeeding in public. She, pregnant with her first, hasn’t yet experienced the fun that is public breastfeeding. And when I say this, I’m being sarcastic. It’s not fun. And here’s why.

Other people’s opinions.

I’m just feeding my baby. That is all. I’m not giving some raunchy strip tease, I’m not letting the girls hang out and I’m certainly not trying to draw attention to me.

My comment was this:

I plan my day around when Mae needs to eat. I won’t leave the house if she’s coming up on a feeding, because it’s just inconvenient for all involved. I’ve never once flashed my boob and after three kids, if I mistakenly did, I really don’t care because it’s NOT POLITE TO STARE.

However, when I’m at home, it’s boobs to the world. I only use the cover around the outdoors and strangers. And family that I’d rather not see my boobs. And I’m typically polite and go elsewhere, or sit inside the booth at the restaurant or whatever, because I hate ruffling feathers but c’mon. It’s natural. It’s healthy. It’s normal.

And I seriously don’t know why it’s any one else’s business.

Let me break it down for you and expand. As I said above, I have never purposely flashed a boob. If I have, then apologies, because the last time I willingly let someone look at my tit for fun was outside a restaurant when I had recently pierced it. I’ve grown up tremendously since then. And even then, I just let the guy look down my shirt. No Mardi Gras flashing going on here.

Now, my boobs are merely for Mae. And for the hubbs.

What I mean when I say, “boobs to the world,” it’s that I’m at home. In my four walls with the kids, the dog, the cats and perhaps my Mom. She’s got boobs. She’s seen my boobs. She’s also wiped my butt and changed my diapers. So it’s all good.

When I was in labor with Claire, my Mom was there, and it was SO WEIRD allowing her to willingly look at my hoo-ha.

When I was in labor with Luca, it was EVEN WEIRDER allowing Carly to see it.

See? Modest.

But. Breastfeeding in public should not be frowned upon. Honestly, have any of y’all ever witnessed a woman breastfeeding her baby in public without covering herself? Because if so, shame on that woman because she makes me look bad and totally ruins my point. Point being – most women don’t want you to see their boobs any more than you want to see them. (Unless you’re some creepy perv.)

And when women who say they aren’t mothers say that it’s awkward, then don’t look. I’m doing my best here to cover up the girls, and I’d like to add I’m a pro at it these days, that there’s no need for your wide-eyed Bambi just got shot and strapped to the roof of a car look. Unnecessary. And I’m not just going to formula feed my baby when I’m out and about because it makes you more comfortable. For any person reading who hasn’t breastfed, going many, many hours without doing so makes the girls hurt. This in turn makes me cranky.

When I had Claire, I was so nervous, so scared to breastfeed in public that I’d go into a bathroom stall to do it. Now come on, here. I was so afraid to get gawked at, or whispered about, that I fed my kid in a bathroom. Would YOU eat in a bathroom? Would you let your KIDS eat in a bathroom? No. No, you wouldn’t. Then why should I?

I’m speaking for myself here. I’m good at what I do. Most people don’t even realize that I’m feeding my baby. And what would you rather? Me discretely feeding her or you listen to her cry?

As Bob Marley says: “Don’t you look at me so smug, and say I’m going bad. Who are you to judge me and the life that I live? I know that I’m not perfect and that I don’t claim to be. So before you point your fingers, be sure your hands are clean.” -Judge Not

He also says, “The road of life is rocky and you may stumble, too. So while you point your fingers someone else is judging you. Love your brotherman!” -Could You Be Loved

So goes the Word of Bob.

*stepping off soapbox*

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About Cassie

Two sisters from two misters. What could be more fun?

Posted on July 26, 2011, in Cassie and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. *nodding in ageement*

    I’m with you 100%. I nurse in public. I do so discreetly. I don’t enjoy having to do it, but at this point, Hadley’s needs have to come first.

    Luckily, I can say that even with nursing all 3 in public, over a span of 8 years, I’ve never once gotten a rude comment. Phew. And heaven help me if I did because I think my response would be like “Stop looking at my National Geographic boobs, you perv.” And that’s just going to make things awkward for all involved. 😉

    • I have only been gawked at a few times and when it happens, I immediately feel as if I’ve done something wrong. Later, however, I feel pissed. How dare they look at ME funny. I hope they were breastfed.

  2. I see boobs in art and in movies all the time, and it just. doesn’t. bother. me. And it shouldn’t bother anyone! Who cares?! They’re about the least-traumatizing thing you can see. And they’re providing food to someone!

    I can certainly understand that you wouldn’t want people looking at you, though. I basically want to wear a turtleneck every day with the way people stare on the train.

    • I can only imagine if I were to breastfeed on a train! Oh lord.

      And why on Earth would someone ever compare breastfeeding to peeing?! Um, polar opposites, much?

  3. Amen.

    I don’t know much on the subject yet but i know a mom has to do what what she has to do. Shame on any of them for judging or making rude comments. Sure there are some that are just insanely vulgar, none that I have seen but have heard of, but there are also murderers and other crazies out there that we aren’t compared to, so why do that to a mother discretely nursing her baby?

    I also applaud the statement about a crying screaming baby vs nursing. It’s not like a nursing mother is running around topless in public. Eyeroll. Some people need to get off their high horse.

    • Thank you, Ashley! Some people just need to complain about something. Just because it’s not something they’d do, doesn’t mean it’s wrong.

  4. Great post, Cassie! I’m definitely going to breastfeed Harper in public if the need arises. Hopefully, it’ll go a little smoother than I’m anticipating!

    • It’s really not that difficult. Especially if you have a reliable cover. I’ve never flubbed with the Udder Cover. Ever. And that’s even with boobs hanging out and transitioning.

      I say, get a really good nursing bra. No worries.

  5. I am way out of my element here. Nothing to see, here. Move along.

  6. Having nursed babies pretty much everywhere, I have to say, I understand. It’s just a baby eating, not that big a deal. Why does anyone care?

    I nursed Maria on a bench at Mall of America and about a thousand people walked by and didn’t even notice.

    And if they did? Whatever.

    The meanest looks I ever got were at a mom’s group, nursing a cranky two year old. I like quiet. Apparently they liked boobs less than quiet, even though the child was tucked under my sweater and wrapped in a blanket. We didn’t go back.

    At Little League, I’d think they’re all dads here. I’m pretty sure they’ve seen a boob before. And yet I’d go to the car to nurse my babies, not in the bleachers.

    You just know. love, Val

    • Thanks, Val! I’m sure, after having TEN KIDS, you’d know your stuff. Isn’t it the truth, though, that it’s other mothers that are the worst judges? I say, judge another Mother and that karma boomerang will come back and bite you in the ass.

  7. As I put on Kel’s blog, I’ve never nursed in public, but it’s just because it makes me personally feel awkward, not because I think it’s wrong. I did however, get the distinct pleasure of nursing (while covered) last weekend as about 5 of Mark’s cousins came running in his grandmother’s house screaming. I’m getting better. And I ordered an Udder Cover!

    Like you, I have no qualms about nursing in my own home uncovered. I try to leave the room to make everyone else feel comfortable. But now that I’m going to have my cover… 🙂

    Also, I think it really depends on where you live. I know this has been mentioned before. But honestly, in the South I have never seen someone nurse in public. Or maybe they were just so discreet I didn’t notice? I know it’s more common elsewhere.

    • I’m sure the South is a whole other species, but please note, I have only seen a few women nurse in public before. I was a waitress for many years and saw it for the first time and said, “Good for you,” to her. She told me she really appreciated it. She was discrete and the only way I knew she was doing it was when I asked, “Um, where’d the baby go?” It can be done.

      No woman should be judged for doing what they have to do to feed their kid. It’s primal instinct.

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