Monday, July 19, 2010

Nursing in Public

Welcome to The Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival!

This post was written as part of The Breastfeeding Cafe's Carnival. For more info on the Breastfeeding Cafe, go to  For more info on The Carnival or if you want to participate, contact Claire at clindstrom2 {at} gmail {dot} com. Today's post is about Nursing in Public. Please read the other blogs in today's carnival listed below and check back for more posts July 18th through the 31st!

I will never forget the first time I nursed in public.  It followed the last time I tried nursing in my car in July...with a 6 week old baby.  We were in the tiny town of Eufaula, Oklahoma.  We were there for the weekend.  My mom and I had taken my daughter to a cute little cafe in town for lunch (for us, not her!).  This little cafe (sadly, now closed) was also the town flower shop.  About half-way through our lunch, like any good little baby would, mine decided she was hungry.  I tried nursing her there, but it was awkward.  I have large breasts and was just figuring out what to do (yep, it took me about SIX weeks to figure it out!).  So, I headed to my BLACK car in July in Oklahoma.  On a side note, I'm not sure if you know anything about summers in Oklahoma...but, it's HOT! In fact, yesterday Oklahoma City was the 3rd hottest city in the country, right behind Las Vegas and Phoenix.  Now, they're in the desert, so they don't have all the lovely humidity (and mosquitoes) we do.  So, it's HOT here!  Back to the story....

I'm headed out to my car with babe in tow.  I attempt to get all cozy in the backseat.  Of course, the black leather interior does not help the fact I'm already drenched in sweat.  About this time, this cute little woman comes running out of the store.  She was one of the waitresses.  She told me the owner of  the store (a man, no less) saw me going outside with my baby.  He knew I was taking her outside to feed her and he thought that was not right. (And, I sit here sobbing, thinking of how his grace and kindness changed my life...and my daughter's...literally.)  She told me he insisted I come inside.  He would find a private...albeit to nurse my daughter.

And he did.  He brought me a chair to the flower shop part of the store.  Strangely enough, the man loved birds.  I don't.  I sat their among flower, birds, and one lady making arrangements and nursed my baby.  What happened that day changed my world.  I am forever grateful to him.  His beautiful act of kindness made this momma proud. 

And so, at dinner that night (on a dock) I nursed my daughter.  Now, I was not about to walk all the way back to the car (and down the pier) to feed my child.  Other people were eating there.  My dad (who was seated across from me) said many women were looking at our table...some in support, some condescending.  I don't really care about the naysayers.  A kid's gotta eat.  But, I was saddened.  I had entered the dinner so proud and confident of myself.  I thought everyone should be supportive of nursing in public.  And, I did use a cover-up...because I exposed no less than half of my upper body when I nursed!  Women giving my family dirty looks, like I was some kind of heathen.  It was amazing the difference in two meals in one small town.

I learned a lot that day.  Unfortunately, I learned people can be mean.  People can be unsupportive of women feeding their children the best food possible in public.  I learned, more importantly, people care.  For every one person that gives a dirty look, there are dozens more that don't give a hoot what you're doing.  And, there more supporters than not.  People do care.  The tide is turning.  Nursing in public is accepted.

I have nursed in some crazy places too....the state fair, in a car (she stayed in the car seat!), at Sonic (I took her out of the car seat for those), and many many more! So, go in peace, nurse in peace, nurse where you feel comfortable!

 Here are more posts by the Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival participants! Check back because more will be added throughout the day.


BoobiesNBabies said...

Thank you for your post! It brought tears to my eyes, yes I am sensitive. I am so thankful for those that will go out of their way to help us have successful breastfeeding partnerships with our children.

Family of 5 said...

wonderful your 1st experience was a kind one. no one should sit in a hot car in the middle of summer!
wonderful story :)

Anonymous said...

What a lovely shop owner! I wish all people were so kind to new moms!