I love breastfeeding Avery. I really do. I am finally at the point in my life when I no longer care about what the outside world thinks of my parenting skills and confident in the choices I make for both of my children. Even the choice to breastfeed her. And yes, even the choice to breastfeed her in public. What was once something that I considered to be completely terrifying, is now something that I am extremely proud to be able to do.
I never bring a bottle with me out in public when I know that Avery is going to be with me the entire time. It is much more convenient for me to nurse her when we are out rather than having to get a bottle ready for her. I simply put on my nursing cover and feed her wherever we are and whenever she needs to be fed.
As much as breastfeeding has become acceptable (and encouraged) in our society, there are still times when I am reminded that not everyone is completely comfortable with it.
During the week, I frequent a coffee shop every morning so that I can get my work done while my oldest is in camp. Avery usually sleeps for most of my time there, but when she does wake up it is time for her to eat. When she wakes up from her nap, I do what I do all the time, put on my nursing cover and feed her.
The room that I work in is in the back of the coffee shop and has very few people in it. Those that are in the room with me are ones that frequent the place often as well and have no problem with me nursing her. Last week, however, someone came into the coffee shop who made it abundantly clear that she was neither okay nor comfortable with me nursing in public.
As she entered the room I was already feeding Avery. Avery is currently in a stage where she is very loud when she eats. She hums, grunts, and is as vocal as she can be. She was humming along and eating as the woman glances at me and gives me a look of pure disgust. I stared back at her, gave her a little bit of a smile, and went back to doing my work.
A few minutes later, I see her staring at me, then whispering to her boyfriend, then looking back and whispering. I don’t know if they were trying to be sly by talking about me, but they were making it very clear that they were. It wasn’t making me uncomfortable at all about it, just really pissed off.
Other than Avery being a little bit loud, she would have had no clue otherwise that there was a person under the cover eating. I was doing something completely natural and completely covered (although even if I wasn’t covered, it shouldn’t have mattered.)
Shortly after talking about me in disgust and continuing to make ugly faces at me, the woman and her boyfriend quickly packed up their food and drinks and left. I just assumed that they left the coffee shop and thought I’d never really know if they were leaving because they had to go or because they were truly uncomfortable and realized I wasn’t going to stop what I was doing. It wasn’t until I was leaving that it was made clear to me it was the latter. They were sitting in the main room of the coffee shop as happy as could be.
It was clear that this woman was uncomfortable with me nursing Avery. She was so uncomfortable with it that she had to leave the room. I’m okay with that. What I’m not okay with was the nasty looks she gave me and the comments she was making to the person sitting next to her. She was trying to make me uncomfortable for feeding my baby.
I’m so happy I didn’t give into her rude remarks and stood confident in my decision to feed her in public. It took me a while to get to that point, but I’m finally there and not going to let anything or anyone get in the way of it.
More from Lauren on Baby’s First Year:
Read more from Lauren at her personal blog, A Mommy in the City, where she chronicles her life living in New York City with a suburban mentality. For more updates, follow Lauren on Facebook and Twitter! Check out more of Lauren’s Babble posts at Being Pregnant and Baby’s First Year