Remember those birthday cards that would say something like “SEX. Now that I have your attention, Happy Birthday”. See what I did here? Boobs. Now keep reading.
I never thought of myself as an “uberboober”. I nursed Annie for about 7 months while looking for any excuse to stop. I did it because it was easy and she seemed to like it but as soon as all those teeth came in….OW. Then Judah lasted about 3 months. I wasn’t into it, he wasn’t into it. We kind of tried but we were both much happier with the bottle.
Then came Lisi. Did I mention she was born without an epidural? I’m sure I have but just thought I’d throw it out there again. I remember sitting in my hospital bed and she was nursing wonderfully. Maybe since she was the third my milk came in a lot faster but she was gulping away. A doctor came in to see if I wanted to meet with the lactation consultant and he looked at us and said “oh, you probably shouldn’t go, you’d make everyone else feel bad”. It’s working out really well for us. I mastered sleeping while nursing (I know, that’s a no-no), nursing in the baby carrier, at the zoo, in Century 21 — while shopping! Totally rocking it so why stop?
Another thing that’s different this time is that I’m less shy about it. With Annie I remember hiding in the bathroom to feed her. But even that was tricky. If there was a line or I got stuck with one of those automatic flushing toilets it was a pain. I had one of those nursing covers that I carried around everywhere with Annie and Judah but neither of them cared to be covered during the feeding (and throwing on a giant nursing poncho kind of draws attention). When Lisi was 10 days old I fed her on the subway for the first time. I think that was my first time nursing in public. It was totally fine. Slowly I started getting more comfortable with the idea and realized I can nurse pretty much ANYWHERE.
One of the list serves I’m on sent out this email:
“Last week at the Spuyten Duyvil branch of the NYPL a library employee asked a breast-feeding woman to cover up while nursing or leave the toddler story time….. if you support a mother’s right to breastfeed in public, please join us for a “nurse-in” this Thursday….”
A nurse-in??? How cool is that? I’d never heard of one and wasn’t sure what to expect but figured if anything, it would give me something to blog about. I was one of the first to get there and wasn’t really sure who was there for story time and who was part of this little nurse-in, but I kind of went with the flow and headed on to story time. After a round of If you’re happy and you know it and The wheels on the bus, the librarian started reading. All of a sudden it was like a flash mob of nursers. One by one boobs popped out. And I totally joined in.
I left shortly after but from what I heard, it was a complete success. A year ago, I never would have imagined myself doing this but I’m really happy I did! I used to think it was inappropriate when moms would nurse anywhere. I totally would have judged myself but now I get it. I don’t think I’m a better mother because I breast feed and I don’t think Lisi is any healthier (I do think I’m a little richer though, formula is quite costly!). I do it simply because we both like it.
Just a little info on breast feeding in public in New York. You have the right:
- To breastfeed your baby in any public or private place where you have a right to be.
- This includes stores, day care centers, doctors’ offices, restaurants, parks, movie theaters and many other places.
- No one can tell you to leave any of these places because you are breastfeeding, and no one can tell you to breastfeed in a bathroom, a basement or a private room.
Moral of the story? Do what works for YOU. I don’t care what you do. And don’t mess with a breast feeding mama or she’ll get all her friends to stage a nurse-in. And believe me, that’s a lot of boob.