Breastfeeding in PublicMadelinePetersen
I am sure public breastfeeding has been talked about a ton on baby’s first year, but I’ve just started doing it and I really want to reflect on my specific experience.
While I am on maternity leave, my husband and I are doing the farmers market circuit selling Alaskan salmon (my husband’s family business). Doing this has been such an adventure and even more than that a family affair. Both Steve and I are working hard on the project and Tate is always with us. I love that we are able to spend so much time together as a family while trying to make a living. However, it does brings up interesting challenges, for example, I have to entertain, diaper, and feed Tate while trying to work. I get to do all this in a 10×10 outdoor booth, generally with an audience.
I honestly don’t mind doing it. I have a nifty nursing cover that my mom made for me, and I have gotten the hang of getting Tate to latch in a jiff. The trouble is that unless I position myself in the back of the tent, making the fact that I am feeding Tate inconspicuous, I scare business away.
Men especially seem to walk by and when they notice I am nursing my son they immediately pretend that the tree next to the booth has suddenly become the most interesting tree on the planet.
It’s such an interesting paradox. We are continuously reminded that breast feeding has the best health benefits for our children, but no one wants us to do it anywhere near them. I hate the thought of being tied to my house or a retail store changing room because other people are uncomfortable with the thought of me nursing (I am using a nursing cover after all). It’s not that I have had anyone vocally share their disapproval, but the looks I get sometimes are just as obvious as a verbal beating.
Maybe it’s that I’m in a conservative state (Utah), or maybe it’s that I’m more sensitive to it as a new mother, but it seems unfortunate to me that breastfeeding in public is pretty much taboo.
Tell me if you have felt the judgement of others breastfeeding in public or how you feel about the whole issue honestly….I’m interested.