I am breastfeeding in public as I write this- in my two-piece bathing suit at an indoor water park.
My family and I are spending the day here at Great Wolf Lodge enjoying some fun and family time, poolside. My two older kids are running around, going down all the water slides, and now my baby is nursing/napping on me, while I sit and relax. The acoustics and constant noise of water is great for helping a baby fall asleep.
Anyway, breastfeeding in public is not a new controversy. Moms have been dealing with haters of breastfeeding in public for quite a while!
But I am optimistic because we have came so far.
We now have laws in all 50 states protecting our rights to breastfeed in public!!
And if we’re not comfortable breastfeeding in public, more and more places (like Target and even some shopping malls!) offer comfortable and private rooms for nursing. I recently learned that the Denver Airport even offers a private room for nursing – although, during my last trip there I found it easier to breastfeed my baby in the seating area near my gate, but it’s nice to know I had options.
Also, I’ve realized people today are so busy! Between social media, texting, emails, work, and their own lives, people are too busy to care about what we’re doing or how we’re feeding our baby.
In fact, I don’t think anyone here at the water park has even noticed me breastfeeding my baby. Everyone is busy doing their own thing – swimming, relaxing, or sitting down and looking at their phone or tablet. Nobody is even giving me a second glance – except for the little girl that just ran up to to me, to see my baby and say, “Oh, he’s so cute!” And I’m not sure that she even realized he had a nipple in his mouth.
My baby and I got more looks and attention when he cried from being splashed in the pool, than we have while breastfeeding.
The only people who have ever noticed me breastfeeding in public (which I have done with all three of my children for a total of six years now!) are other moms, who have been there, done that, who will give me a thumbs up, or a smile. Which is awesome! We should all be giving each other thumbs up or smiles, because who doesn’t need a little breastfeeding encouragement?
Although I am fairly modest when it’s feeding time, and maybe that helps? I don’t use a nursing cover or blanket over his head, because he can’t stand it and just rips it off. But I keep fairly covered, and people either don’t notice or don’t care that I’m breastfeeding.
(However, everyone has their own needs and comfort level when it comes to modesty and breastfeeding – if your baby needs to eat, it doesn’t matter how much skin is showing!)
Even though there will always be those people who are uneasy with the sight of a breastfeeding mom, they’re becoming fewer and farther between. Breastfeeding is becoming more and more of a norm. And the more we talk, encourage, and help each other, the more normal it will be.
To all the breastfeeding mamas out there: you have a super power, don’t be afraid to use it! People don’t care if you need to breastfeed your baby, and the ones that do don’t really matter.