Nursing in Public
I recently went to the Washington State Fair. You know, lots of typical fair things – corn dogs, roller coasters, live animals, etc. What made me pause was later in the day when we were seeking shelter from a sudden downpour of rain, we went into an exhibit that had pigs and piglets. Super cute – baby pigs are adorable. On one side of the exhibit, there was a mama pig nursing her piglets. In case anyone is curious, she was in side-lying position ;)
The baby pigs had their choice of many a nipple to pick from. Lots of people were crowded around this mama feeding her babies. The sounds of “oooohh, how cute!” were heard throughout as well as lots of giggles as one baby pig was lying across the head of his brother and sister. I asked my 4 year old who nursed well into toddlerhood what the baby pigs were doing and her reply was “getting boo” with a huge smile across her face. That’s what she calls breastfeeding. I kept waiting for the spectators to start saying things like, “what a hussy! How can she be doing THAT in public?” and “look at her – clearly, she’s just TRYING to get attention” and “My gosh! Why doesn’t she cover up??”.
It was so interesting to me that people were bringing their children in to see these pigs and not shielding their eyes from pig boobies. Why is it so different when humans feed their babies? The baby is EATING from a breast, what it is biologically designed for. As a society, we have a long way to go when we people have this mentality:
I know in some cases, the mom prefers to cover-up and that’s fine if you’re more comfortable doing so – perhaps you’re using a nipple shield or your baby pulls off the breast during a letdown, or he gets distracted during feeding. If you are more comfortable covering up, that’s your right to do so, but please don’t do so to make *other* people comfortable. The more frequently people see women feeding their babies at breast, the more normalized it becomes (the fact that we having to normalize feeding your baby at breast is a whole other post).
Just Carrie wanting a space to write about being a mom to 2, boob nerd, military wife, and food enthusiast. But mainly a place to talk about boobs and babies!