The Life of Bon: NIP: Nursing in Public.

Monday, August 11, 2014

NIP: Nursing in Public.


In September, Olivia Wilde is going to be featured in Glamour magazine as a proud breastfeeding mother.  She's got pictures to prove it- decked out in a gorgeous gown and strappy high heels, breast feeding her naked son in public like it's the most acceptable thing in the world.

I'm jealous of this picture not for the reasons you would think- I don't envy the dress or the perfect hair.  Mostly I want the total acceptance to nurse in public like Wilde is doing.  I've been at the breastfeeding game for a whopping four weeks.  I was lucky in that it was much easier for me than I imagined it would be- had it been at all difficult I surely would have given up.  (I'm not one to tenaciously insist on doing something that I am not good at.)  June is a good nurser and eats at a very consistent schedule meaning I really have no excuse to keep breastfeeding her as long as she decides.

Deciding to definitely be a breast feeding mom, then, now presents me with a new dilemma.  I am constantly on the go.  I plan to return to work.  I am not in a private setting every three to four hours where I can comfortably nurse.  June, a normally very chill and happy baby, goes all sorts of crazy when it's time to eat.  Panic mode sets in, and convinced that she will never eat again she resorts to high pitched screams of absolute frenzy until she is satisfied.  It's awesome.

I was at the library last week when this happened.  We have had trouble getting internet and cable into our new home so for the past week I've been doing all of my blogging business at the one open kiddie table at the public library.  I was blissfully typing away when June let out a hunger scream.  It was time to eat.  Now.

I had about 20 minutes left of writing and editing before I could publish my post.  June was not about to give 20 minutes.  I was not about to drive 15 minutes home, feed June, and drive 15 minutes back to finish the post.  I checked the bathroom, but it did me no favors in the breastfeeding department.  And so, desperate and tired, I whipped out a swaddling blanket to cover myself and fed June right then and there.  The cover was hot and obnoxious, but I didn't quite dare go at it cover-less.  June ate voraciously while I attempted to type one handed and finish my post. Besides the fact that she drinks about as loud as an elephant, I convinced myself that no one had the slightest idea of what was going on.

Since then I have gotten a bit more comfortable breast feeding in public, as long as the trusty cover is in place, of course!  (One site I read said to practice in front of the mirror.  Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems like the only thing more awkward than breastfeeding in front of other people is breastfeeding in front of yourself.)  Greg and I spent an evening in Park City last weekend with his family and when June was hungry during dinner, I fed her right there in the restaurant. (Although as my sister in law pointed out as she watched me maneuver the nursing cover, the shirt, the nursing bra, "That's like a circus!"  Yep!  Welcome to the show!)  I didn't ask my in laws if they were comfortable with me nursing during dinner, I figured it was easier just not to ask because heck, I didn't want to miss dinner and I certainly wasn't going to make everyone wait 45 minutes for me.

After the successful dinner nursing, I figured I was in the clear.  I was a nursing in public prodigy!  I wouldn't be afraid of donning my obnoxious cover (It's so hot!) and feeding my child wherever, whenever.  But then yesterday at church Greg asked me,

"What are you going to do when June needs to eat this afternoon?"
"I'll just feed her."
"In the middle of church?"
"Yes...We're going to be in primary." (The class with all the kids aged 4-11.  Greg and I teach the 10 year olds).
"Yah, I'll just sit in the back and feed her."
"I don't know if the kids and teachers are going to be comfortable with that.  I think that's why they have the mother's room..."  Greg sounded hesitant.
"You're uncomfortable with me nursing in public?"
"I'm not uncomfortable with it, I just don't want to make other people at church uncomfortable."

I have to admit, I was kind of surprised by Greg's reaction.  He was totally comfortable with me nursing in a very public restaurant, but not comfortable with me nursing at church.  I nursed in front of his brother and dad, but not in front of a bunch of squirrely ten year olds.  Is there, then, some "public" nursing that is more acceptable than others?

In the end, I acquiesced.  Instead of nursing in primary, I banished myself to the "mother's room", a closet sized room with a couple of rocking chairs designated for breastfeeding moms.  I found myself in there with two other moms and we spent the last 45 minutes of church in there together, all feeding our babes under covers instead of sitting in the classes we were supposed to.  I couldn't help but think it strange that I had to miss a significant portion of church to feed my child.  The other two women were missing relief society- a class of only adult women.  Surely they didn't feel like they needed to leave a class of only women to feed their babies because the other women would be uncomfortable with their feeding?

I am interested to hear what you all think about the NIP debate- when and where is it acceptable? (And with what people?)  Do you feel uncomfortable when other women nurse in front of you?  Do you always have to have a cover to nurse in public, or is it ever acceptable to nurse your child freely? (Because boy, am I over the cover already!)  Sometimes I wish I could just go to Argentina, where women are bare breasted and feeding their babies on the back of motorcycles like it's nothing- now wouldn't that be the life?!

(The first time I wrote about breast feeding was here-  I can't say my opinion has changed too much over the years.)

60 comments:

  1. I'm on my third child, and it took me until #3 to be fully comfortable nursing in public w/o a cover. It helped that my third got hot so fast, and screamed and thrashed around if he had a cover over him (even the lightest blankets) so it became a necessity. I'm pro nursing wherever you need to, with or without a cover. However YOU feel comfortable. Not worrying about if you're making others feel comfortable or not. I've done this so many places, and not gotten one mean comment, or even rude look. I'm so glad it's going well for you!!

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  2. Who cares? Breastfeeding is not a new thing. Women in my mom's era didn't have this mommy blogger obsession with the mechanics of it. Either you care what people think or you don't. That dictates what you do in this situation.

    I personally don't like when women flaunt their magical tit like they're some goddess, almost daring anyone to judge them, it's cocky and that self righteous feminism we're currently experiencing in the states. But anyone who seriously has a problem with a baby eating what it's supposed to biologically eat is a bigot, a misinformed turd who has never experienced anything out of the box and probably cries when they have to use a public restroom.

    It's really not a big deal nor something worthy of a cause, or laws, or outrage on either end. Feed your kid and to hell with the politics of it.

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  3. I'm not a mother so I have no first hand experience. I think it's kind of a shame when mothers feel the need to go hide in a back room. I don't know if most of them do it out of being uncomfortable themselves or out of fear of making others uncomfortable. I don't mind seeing women nursing in public. I can't remember a time when I saw a woman do it without a cover, but as long as she didn't completely expose herself I wouldn't care if she did it coverless (what can I say? I'm American not Argentinian so complete bare breastage might startle me a bit!).

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  4. I started with a cover, just like you. By the time my son was 5 months old, he started fighting the cover so bad that it looked like I was wrangling a rabid monkey. It was definitely drawing much more attention to the fact I had a baby attached to my boob than just popping him on and making sure everything was covered appropriately. I actually accidentally left my cover at a friend's house right around then and just never got it back. It was liberating!

    In the end, do what makes YOU and June comfortable. Don't worry what other people are thinking!

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  5. Bonnie, I'm usually more of a passive (although loyal) reader of yours, but this post hit home with me. I grew up in a (baptist) church but later went on to get harmed by my church and the spiritual leaders I once trusted. I don't doubt the fundamentals of my faith, but I definitely have grown to identify and disagree with a lot of issues within the practice/interpretation of the religion. I start off making this point for a couple reasons, and I'll tie back to it. In my church I was definitely raised to think that my body was something I should be ashamed of; it was something that was responsible for causing others (men) to fall into sin and evil and it was something that was not mine to own or decide what to do with. I was born in an inherently evil figure. Since growing up, I've learned that my body and my sensuality (and identity!) is mine to own and I have every right to love myself and own myself and feel confident in myself.

    However, this ties into my feelings about your experiences. I think "modesty" is something pushed so much and viewed so twistedly within churches that it ends up hurting girls (like it hurt me [among other issues in the church]). Many people - church-goers or not (although I think it all started from the puritanical roots/ "christian-founded country", etc) - over-sexualize the female body to the point where it brings harm and anger and shame. Nips are nips. Girl nips are a heck of a lot more valuable and useful than boy nips. Boy nips do nothing at all and are completely acceptable to show. Girl nips FEED BABIES. Girl (well, any) nips are NOT sex organs.

    I'm not a mom, but I know that I'd personally prefer to use (or at least start with using) a cover. But I DEFINITELY don't think anyone has a right to make you feel like you have to quarantine yourself away in a closet to feed your child. I understand committing to using a cover in church would be a nice consideration for the congregation (don't want to make anyone faint or anything by FEEDING YOUR CHILD). But like, what are these people worried about? Kids know boobs feed babies. People KNOW you have boobs. This really isn't news. People know what boobs do. What are they concerned about by you breastfeeding? Are people scared they're going to be made EVEN MORE AWARE that you have boobs? I really don't understand. I think it's dumb, and you have every right to own your ability (and right) to feed your baby UNAPOLOGETIC ALLY where ever you are.

    You do not need to apologize for
    1) having boobs
    2) being a woman
    3) having a baby
    4) FEEDING YOUR CHILD
    5) anyone else being uncomfortable about you feeding your child (and no real, supported argument against it. Seriously - if you ask anyone why they're uncomfortable about you feeding June, they'll be like, "What? Well, cause... they're boobs! BOOBS!" like it's something we don't already know).

    I love you, and I love reading about your experiences, and I want you to know I fully support you and your right to all of this. There's no reason for anyone to make you feel you have to drive all the way home to feed June or to sequester and hide yourself to feed her. You're doing an amazing thing. There is absolutely nothing risque or scandalous or immodest about what you're doing (esp. if you are so considerate to decide to use a cover!!!!!!!!!).

    <3 HaleyFaye
    xoxo

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    1. Just, yes, this comment was awesome on all accounts.

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    2. Amen and amen.

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    3. Co-signed. You said everything I was thinking.

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    4. I finally got around to reading comments and I also love this!!!

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  6. I think breastfeeding should be acceptable anytime, anywhere. If someone else is uncomfortable, THEY can leave. You are nourishing your child- that trumps all. I only nursed in public a couple times and used a cover- total pain in the ass. My son still needs me to hold my boob AND requires a nursing pillow, so nursing out in public these days is a bit more difficult, plus he gets way too distracted if we aren't in a dark, quiet room. Anyway, I digress- nurse your beautiful baby. Who cares about other people.
    ps- I am so envious of your easy (or easier than expected) transition into motherhood (past post). It gives me hope for #2. That first week I slept 10 hours (I calculated). Little June sounds amazing!

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  7. I just have to say I literally could have written this post myself. I feel the EXACT way. Only, you are braver than I, if that's the right word? No, it's not. It's not about bravery, and it really shouldn't be. But anyway. This weekend, we went out to eat with my family, and I banished myself to the car to nurse my baby instead of doing it right there at the table. I've done that a few times, and each time, it sucks more and more. I feel like I'm missing out on so much. And I am! And I shouldn't have to! I'm totally rambling, but I guess I just wanted to let you know that what you wrote here really spoke to me and kind of awoken something inside of me, and so thank you for that. I'm still definitely not comfortable enough to do it sans cover (even though, omg you're right- SO HOT) but gosh, I really need to work on my comfortable-with-cover situation. So yeah. I'mma work on that. And high fives all around! ;)

    xo

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  8. I say go for what is most comfortable for you and your child, and don't worry about anyone else. I would rather see a boob then hear a baby screaming bloody murder! Breastfeeding is a natural act that nourishes your child. We have turned breasts into sexual organs only - and they can be sexual! - but they do serve a non-sexual purpose and I think we should celebrate that, not shame women for it. I don't have children and I can't say I would be entirely comfortable whipping out my boob - there are decades of conditioning to fight against - but if you are comfortable, that's all that matters.

    Also, as of 2010 federal law (the Break Time for Nursing Mothers Law) requires that employers give you a quiet, private space (other than a bathroom) with at minimum a chair and a table to breastfeed or pump, so hopefully your school will provide you with that. If not, they are breaking the law, but I've worked in HR and often the law isn't enforced until a nursing mother brings it up. I would encourage you to fight for that in your school if it is not available to you. You should also have a locking door in the space so you don't have to worry about people walking in on you.

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  9. Forgot to add: that Olivia Wilde picture is ridiculous because all mothers (and some of us non-mothers) know that breastfed babies poop a lot, often while still feeding, because breast milk is highly digestible. So while the picture is pretty, that baby probably pooped all over her lovely designer dress.

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    1. Haha! I didn't see that someone else had mentioned this. But seriously... this picture made me cringe for that very reason!

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    2. That's exactly what I was thinking. Why is that baby naked? That's the only weird part about this picture.

      I think the church thing is the kids. A lot of people feel bad about doing it on front of children, because ten their others have to explain why a lady had her normally private part out and why someone else was sucking on it and how it's appropriate in that situation because that's how a baby eats but it's not appropriate for them to do etc. Sorry for lack of punctuation with that one, my phone won't even let me go back to edit. :/
      I say Nip. Just don't be rude about it. Not that you would. I have seen a few others, though, make it more about a big show instead of feeding their child. It makes me wonder what's more important to them. Most nip is just feeding a baby. There's nothing wrong with that. Nothing at all.

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  10. You know, before I had my baby a few months ago I wasn't sure if I would be comfortable ever nursing in public, but now I can do it comfortably and discreetly even without using a cover, although it took some practice on both our parts to get there. Now I have pretty much done it everywhere... in sacrament meeting, relief society, the baseball game we went to last week, the Walmart shoe section, restaurants... you name it. Anywhere there's a place to sit, pretty much. However, I do try to be discreet. You can get the job done without Olivia Wilde-ing it, if you know what I mean. I try to keep the girls out of sight for everyone's benefit, but mostly for my own comfort. (Also, I'm just really concerned, due to experience, about her holding a naked baby because babies are poop-making machines and that seems rather risky. Just saying.)

    Oh, and if you haven't read this, PLEASE DO. I was dying laughing. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bunmi-laditan/how-to-breastfeed-appropriately_b_5530806.html

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  11. This post compelled me to comment for the first time. :) I agree with those who have said just do what makes you comfortable. I am a breastfeeding mama and although I've gotten much more used to it, I prefer to have the cover.

    I do think your comment specifically on breastfeeding at church is interesting. I have thought many times that although it's nice to have the option of the mother's lounge at LDS chapels, I hope that mothers realize that it's totally fine to breastfeed babies anywhere else! I still prefer the mother's lounge because I have an easily distracted baby, but we have some moms in our ward who have nursed (with a cover) in Relief Society (and possibly sacrament meeting). I think that's great. I also think nursing in Primary should be fine. One of the main reasons moms today struggle so much with breastfeeding is that they don't encounter it in public or through friends prior to doing it themselves--so the more we can help the rising generation (to use Mormonspeak) recognize and appreciate breastfeeding, the better equipped they will be when they're parents.

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  12. It's nature and it's beautiful. You go girl!!!

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  13. Why do women feel the need to wear a cover in the mother's lounge?! It was made specifically for whipping boobs out to feed babies!

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  14. Personally, I feel that my breasts are for me, my babies, and my husband, and no one else, so for that modesty, I'll use a cover, but I'll feed anywhere in front of anyone. I used the mother's room after the sacrament (we have it 3rd hour). There were a few other women there feeding, too. We turned on the speaker so we could hear the talks, but mostly we talked amongst ourselves. It was a nice feeling of camaraderie. And honestly, I'd rather it in a nice rocking chair than on a hard pew.

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  15. I'm a breastfeeding momma and I agree with much that has already been said, so I won't just repeat what many have said. Instead, I'll share what has worked for me. I sometimes use a cover. No one shames me into it, just depending on the location & situation I feel more comfortable with it. Also, though my daughter generally doesn't like the cover, she's easily distracted as she's gotten older so the cover helps her to focus & eat so we can move on. Anyway, Modesty is important to me, if I know I'm going to be out & about a good part of the day I simply plan what I wear around nursing. Nursing tanks that have that handy clip (I got mine from Target) are wonderful! I prefer not to show my belly to the world when I pull up my shirt to nurse, the tank tops help with that. I've also started wearing infinity scarfs a lot of the time. Since its summer, they're very sheer and light weight but quickly double as a cover when I need it and wearing it just as a scarf, it just provides a bit more Modesty than not. The scarfs have also found themselves doubling as burp rags and such and do an excellent job hiding spit up and the occasional milk leakage.
    You'll find what works for you & June! Bfing can be a lot of work but it is worth it!

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  16. The cover I used for my little girl is really light weight. She was born in July so we nursed in the hot hot central valley with the cover in public. She is a very social child and is always interested in other people. So nursing in public without a cover would be impossible. I actually enjoyed nursing in the mothers lounge because it gave me time to bond with other moms without distraction. Clearly none of us were going anywhere for awhile ;) Also I cover never nurse my little lady without a diaper on when she was little because she ALWAYS pooped in the middle of it. I obviously could not be Olivia Wilde.

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  17. Lauren from The Best F Words wrote a really interesting post about this! http://thebestfwordsblog.blogspot.com/2014/05/faith-mothers-lounge.html
    Obviously I don't have anything great to add to the conversation, but you might love her post :)

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  18. Nursing with a cover is a freaking PAIN. it's a hot mess for everyone involved. That being said, I'm not totally comfortable nursing just anywhere with no cover. I'm also only on baby #1. So that might change by baby #3 haha. I will say this - I think if you're going to the mommas room at church to nurse, you certainly shouldn't need to use a cover in there! That's what it's for!! Do what you feel most comfortable doing. Being a mom is all about doing what works best for you and your baby.

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  19. I don't have children yet, but I have no problem seeing women breastfeed in public. Sure, I may notice it but they're just feeding their living, breathing human. It's normal, as much as some people in society seem to make it seem like it's not. I do think it's a bit more polite/proper to have a cover, but I don't care if they don't either. And I don't get why they should be relegated to (often dirty, gross) bathrooms or back rooms. I've even asked my boyfriend what his opinion is and he said he rarely notices and when he does he really doesn't care.
    Lauren
    1sweetfairytale.blogspot.com

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  20. I don't think I've ever commented here before even though I've been a reader for awhile but I had to comment on this post. I have 5 kids. I breastfed my youngest 3 (my oldest 2 were adopted from foster care) and it took me until the second one to get comfortable nursing in public. I wasn't embarrassed about what I was doing but I was so afraid of making others uncomfortable. Finally an older mom took me aside and told me to get over it. I did. Now it makes me tear up when I see a mom nursing her child in public because I know I'll never experience nursing a baby again. So know that for every uncomfortable glance you get from a person there is another mom smiling as she remembers nursing her own baby.

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  21. I used to be a "cover it up!" Kinda gal... Until I had a baby. I'm surprised by myself and how little I care these days. What makes me laugh most about the mother's room is that women cover up in there!

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  22. I'm due in October with my first, and I'm nervous about the stigma about breastfeeding. One one hand I am pretty private and I don't want anyone to really see me, but at the same time I feel like I shouldn't have to hide. I definitely don't think anyone should have to miss church services to feed their babies! Who are we protecting? Children who would be a lot better off growing up thinking breastfeeding is the most natural thing in the world?

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  23. I actually just wrote a post About this last week after a women at the splash pad not only told me my 16 month old was too old to still be bbreastfeedung but that I needed to be more respectful of others in public ( I fed my baby for like one minute completely covered up) and then SHE REPORTED ME TO SECURITY!! Of course in the moment I was stunned and didn't say Nything but sorry but now I wish I would have told her off on behalf of bf mommAs everywhere! I prefer to cover up just for my own comfort but whatever we should do whatever we want as moms, that's what these tatas we're made for ammiright?

    Here's the post
    http://1comewhatmay.blogspot.com/2014/08/on-mothering-normalize-it.html?m=1

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  24. I don't think there's anything wrong with nursing anywhere you want. You have to feed your baby. But, I totally get the thing about feeling uncomfortable. I never did get the hang of nursing in public, and honestly spent a lot of time in the car or places like the mother's room you mentioned. But, I think if I had to do it over again I would try to get more comfortable with nursing in public.

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  25. I am not sure if I have commented on here before, but read all of the time, and I had to post about this. It is something near and dear to me. I think nursing is beautiful and wonderful. I just really want every breastfeeding mother out there to do whatever it takes to make it a beautiful experience for them too. I was really nervous about nursing with my first kiddo, but the more I nursed my baby, the more I realized that it was truly about only me and my baby. I don't nurse with a cover even anymore. I think it is more about how comfortable you AND your baby feel. My babies refused to nurse with something over their heads and being unable to see me. When I put myself in their shoes I can't say that I blame them. Eating with a sheet over my head seems uncomfortable. The covers were always a pain for me, but some mommas really love them. There are tons of AWESOME clothes that are made for comfortable, convenient nursing. Like this line: http://studio-peekaboo.com/store/
    Or a thousand others. Just google nursing apparel. Zulily.com gives great discounts on some of the clothing too.
    That being said, seriously just figure out what make you the most comfortable, and what works for you and your baby. Everything else just really doesn't matter. If you choose to nurse in the mother's room because that is where feel the best, then perfect. If you decide to be a non cover wearer, nursing in the middle of the park kind of mom because that is the best option for you, then great! It is such a "you decision".

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  26. I think you are right to feel the way you do. Breastfeeding is natural and the movement behind it should never have to be question. It's terrible when a woman feels that her and the well being of her child should be stifled by the need of another. While I'm all for respecting those around us, I've always felt that over the years, people have become so entangled in their need to "fight for the right" of something, that sometimes they forget to respect the rights of others. I have two amazing kids and when I breastfed them both, I covered up for my own reasons...my own modesty. I didn't do it to appease others. Honestly, we're probably one of the few countries left that dramatize things that are natural or have been around before we've blinked. Behavior is learned. Americans in general, have become over sexualized, to the point that something as natural as breastfeeding has become a taboo, all the while a young woman dressed in a provocative bikini is allowed to grace the covers of magazines that can be viewed by our next generation (our mini-mes). I say, do what you need to provide the love, bonding and nourishment to your child. Because in the end...that's what's going to matter most.

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  27. I have a four month old and am nursing. I will only nurse in public with a cover, but I'm fine with doing that wherever. I'm most comfortable nursing in a changing room at a department store though, there's almost always a chair or chair to sit on and no one has ever questioned me. Oddly I think the only place I haven't nursed is at a restaurant. I think it's interesting too that church is somewhere that your husband isn't comfortable with you nursing. I haven't nursed yet in church but I see tons of women doing it, almost all are covered. We're Catholic though, so maybe that's why so many people are ok with it. My husband has never said anything to me about it.

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  28. I don't have any children but I'd like to think I'd be the way I am about most things: bold and with a "it's your problem" attitude. I live in Philadelphia and see women nursing sans-cover in parks all the time. Baby needs to eat, they feed them. I see them at restaurants and other public places nursing without covers too. (of course I do see some with covers). Interestingly, I don't see many women breastfeeding in the surrounding suburbs but maybe I just don't go out as much in the suburbs. I guess you just have to be prepared for the different reactions you'll get in different situations. Kids might point and have questions and adults might give you a side eye. Just go on with your bad breastfeeding self. Btw, love her name!

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  29. I would actually think that it's more acceptable in a church than anywhere else to nurse. God made breasts for breastfeeding, and I would think that people who believe in God would understand that... and aren't they supposed to accept everyone for who they are? But I know that's not the reality of our world. I'm personally terrified that my baby won't want to nurse and I'll have to resort to formula and my family will judge me for that, because my mom breastfed all of us until we were almost 3 years old (not exaggerating). So I'm just trying to go with the flow and see what happens when he gets here!

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  30. I don't have kids, but as long as one is covered, it doesn't bother me for anyone to breastfeed in public. And especially at church! I always thought the Mother's Room was there to make the moms more comfortable, not the rest of the ward.

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  31. I'm not a mom yet... But I am constantly around moms that breastfeed. I think that the reason so many people are uncomfortable with mommas breast feeding in public without covers is because to people that aren't moms boobs are a sexual thing. They don't see boobs as the bad A built in food source for your tiny human, but rather as "hehe boobs". And I totally get that. But even though they think like that, it's extremely rude of them to make a mom uncomfortable go feeding her baby! That being said... There are some moms out there who take it to the extreme and make sure everyone knows they are breastfeeding. There is one mom in particular at church that while she was breastfeeding pulled out both boobs at once and then left them out for a good 20 minutes after she was done feeding her baby while her baby sitting on her lap. Not to mention this was at a youth activity with about 30 boys and girls who were between the ages of 12 and 16. After 20 minutes of both boobs out but no feeding going on, one of the leaders went over and nicely asked her if she would mind covering back up because we she was in a room with 30 teenagers and she didn't like being asked that. So she stormed out of the building. That was definitely not cool. Breastfeeding? Awesome. And super cool. But flaunting like that? Not cool. And pretty disrespectful. That being said... You feed that cute girl anytime and anywhere you want and how you want! You are her food and that's pretty dang awesome.

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  32. I am not a Mother, but hope to be soon. So here's my take:
    I do not care for bare-breasted public breastfeeding because we are not an uncivilized society, nor is it respectful to God and our husbands to put our body on display for others to see. We gals would not wander around in public randomly displaying one breast throughout the day (unless we're Janet Jackson)- so what makes it different now that we're feeding a baby? There are so many lovely and creative options to cover up with, so that you can still feed baby, maintain a little privacy, and generally keep it classy.

    https://www.etsy.com/listing/190723096/breathable-stylish-breast-feeding-cover?ref=sc_3&sref=sr_152ab38b89683195e7130718dacad7f21bad07cc4a1006d68b2cab4793c6780c_1407862813_14324083_cover&sref2=MTkwNzIzMDk2%3AY292ZXI.%3AMTQzMjQwODM.%3AYnJlYXN0ZmVlZGluZyBjb3Zlcg..%3Ady4y%3AMTQwNzg2MjgxMw..%3AMzoxNDA3ODYyODEzOk9NY1NES0x0WTRCMkZvYWhfZW1KeFVIVW1CdnM6NDc5MDMzZjJmYmFkNjMxNzllZjBlZWQ4NDE4ODU5NDk3OTJhMmNjNTAxYzI2MTZjNTAwNjAzYzZmYjllM2VhYw..%3A47c171af866e5a81ee1e3337dd02248bea1b49e9&ga_search_query=breastfeeding+cover&ga_order=most_relevant&ga_ref=auto3&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery

    Buuuuut either way, it's ultimately your decision. Good luck and congrast on your adorable little blessing!

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  33. I definitely think nursing in public is fine, but I also definitely think that any nursing in public should be done with a cover. I think nursing is natural, which is why I have no problem with seeing women nurse in public (with a cover), but I think the human body should be more private, so I do think women should cover themselves when nursing in public.

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    1. Agreed 100 percent! Well said.

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  34. I'm due in January with our first. If breastfeeding works out for us, I plan to use a cover and feed wherever. I just don't see myself being comfortable WITHOUT a cover. I know my husband wouldn't be comfortable with me uncovered either. I think a boob is a boob is a boob and I prefer to keep mine covered.

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    1. Very true Alyssa great comment thank you!

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  35. We are three months in with my little girl and at first I was super shy and always made sure I discreetly fed her. After a few times in public with my baby screaming her hunger cry (like you mentioned) if I don't have time to dig through my diaper bag for my cover, out comes the boob. It gets to a point of desperation really. Honestly the longer I've breastfed the less modest I've become. You'll get to that point too I'm sure :) one of my favorite tricks is to wear her in my Moby wrap because usually I can just turn her little body to the side and stick her on the boob, and nobody's the wiser. They think I'm just carrying her around the store in my wrap and I'm totally covered!

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  36. I feel like you should nurse in private if there is a private place readily accessible. If not, go ahead and nurse wherever but just make sure you have a cover. No cover-less in public please. No one wants to be flashed during dinner. Breastfeeding does make a lot of people uncomfortable because of the lack of modesty so I think it is important to take into consideration the feelings of those in your immediate proximity. For example, my sisters nurse all the time in front of my dad but when the grandparents come over, it makes them uncomfortable so they slip into the next room.

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  37. Free the nipple, Bon. Free the nipple.

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  38. I have been waiting for this post!! My husband is kind of like Greg, a little unsure what to do with my feminist stance on breastfeeding :) I never used a cover in the mother's room. We have had 24 babies born in our ward this year. That means that there are 24 moms trying to use two chairs during a three hour period on Sunday! So my friend in the RS presidency (as am I) wanted to make an announcement that nursing in RS is totally fine and no need to leave. Our president was a little hesitant, thinking it might offend someone! Anyway, she and the first counselor (seriously everyone is pregnant here!!) are just going to set the tone by nursing their newborns in RS. The only reason I like to use the mother's room is for comfort. Dang I should have gone in there to bottle feed! So comfortable and I can still listen to the talks! :) I actually wrote a whole post about this, but I'm scared to publish it and hurt people's feelings (because I talk about how they hurt mine) but we'll see. Maybe I can change the wording.

    I wish we could just hang out and talk about all this mom stuff!

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  39. God I love this.

    I was SO afraid when I saw this title you were gonna be one of those people that's like "EWWWW COVER IT UP" but I love your stance on it. Your baby's gotta, eat, she's gotta eat! Love it!

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  40. Honestly I think us bf moms are more worried about what others will think than what people ACTUALLY think. I nursed my baby on the steps of the Lincoln memorial (I KNOW) last week, sans cover, and the people around me hardly batted an eye. Primary might have been a little tougher, but i honestly believe we overthink how other people will react!

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  41. I will never understand why some people have a problem with a breastfeeding mother, yes I seem them around when I am shopping but guess what I don't really take any notice to me it is no big thing but I know there are people out there who have a problem with it and they really should get over it, it is natural

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  42. Eh screw covers. Though I ended up just going to the car half the time because my kid would unlatch and I would spray milk all over everyone if I wasn't careful. But seriously, no one is really looking at you when you're nursing... we think we're drawing more attention than we actually are.

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  43. I'm not a mother so I don't really have a stake in the conversation, but I have to say that I have an idea of where your husband was coming from with the church situation. I know that my own husband wouldn't be comfortable with the idea of a bunch of children having the opportunity to see one of my breasts and potentially become distracted from the lesson. Also, when it comes to being around other people's children/teens some of their parents might have had an issue, especially if they are trying to teach their children to be modest and not allow others to see parts of the body that are taught to be private.

    With that said, I feel pretty much the same way about breastfeeding in public as I do about checking my blood sugar and giving myself insulin in public (I have type 1 diabetes), do what you need to do, where you need to do it. Don't make a show out of it, be discrete and don't feel like you have to run to a nasty public bathroom to do it.

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  44. I love this post so much! And everything I want to say has been said but I'm going to ramble for a minute anyway. My in-laws are not pro-nursing. None of my sis-in-laws nursed and my MIL thinks nursing is gross. They all think it's weird and should be totally private. They compare public nursing to having sex in public or going to the bathroom in public. Freaking weirdos. It drives me crazy. Luckily I didn't care what they thought and nursed in front of all of them anyway and made them all super uncomfortable.. Haha. Unfortunately my husband is more in their camp (he was raised by his parents after all) but luckily he doesn't say much to me about it. I haven't nursed in almost 3 years (how is my baby almost 4?!) and I miss it so much. It's such a lovely time. Love your blog and writing and you.

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  45. You and the hot topics, eh? ;) With Blythe I was such a mess-- it was nipple shield, lanolin, an hour… I COULDN'T cover up. It was miserable. The whole thing. I only nursed in front of my husband, my sister, my sisters-in-law, and my mom-in-law. I had to be exposed for awhile to get that nipple shield on, and I didn't feel comfortable doing that in public. However, with Becks, I finally understand what nursing SHOULD HAVE been like [read: I should have NOT nursed Blythe. It was awful and miserable]. It's easy. She nurses quickly. I don't need the shield. Or prescription ointment. So I COULD legitimately whip em out and do it in public. However, I choose to cover up. Why? Though I think feeding my child is natural and important [obviously], and though I think covering up is a hassle and hot [and I usually choose to just find a place I don't have to in privacy], I think taking others into consideration is always valuable. SHOULD everyone be comfortable with it? Probably. IS everyone comfortable with it? No. Therefore, I cover up. If someone gets in my car and they absolutely CANNOT stand a certain type of music or a certain talk-radio host makes them angry, I don't make them listen to it because I VALUE THE PERSON. It's kind of the same thing, right? Breastfeeding makes one of my closest friends very uncomfortable [she is younger]. Even handling breastmilk to put in a bottle is a stretch for her. But she tries SO HARD to be okay with it. So I'm going to try even harder to not put her in a very uncomfortable situation.

    That's just how I see it. But if people want to nurse in public, that's fine. Just be as discrete as you can and keep others in mind because, while feeding your baby is ultimately important, so are other people.

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  46. When my daughter was a newborn through just a few months old, I felt like for the most part I could be pretty discreet about nursing in front of other people--usually just by turning away or using a blanket while I got her on the boob. I actually didn't nurse my daughter that much in public, it was mostly in people's homes (or at my own house if we were entertaining). With the exception of Old Navy and Target dressing rooms. :) I tried to be sensitive, though: for example, I didn't nurse in front of my brother-in-law. He never said or even hinted at it, but I know it would have made him uncomfortable, not because he's against it in principle...he's just a very modest, conservative person, and I was fine with not making it my mission to change him on this. I would have felt awkward at making him feel so awkward, you know? As my daughter has gotten older and squirmier and more easily distracted (she's 11 months now), it's at the point that I really couldn't nurse her in public anyways—she's too all over the place.

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  47. If I am lucky and fortunate enough to one day have a baby, I 100% plan on breast feeding. I have a few friends that do and I am in no way offended when they whip out their boobs to feed their children. As a woman, with boobs and nipples that I see on a daily basis when I take a shower, I do not understand how other women would ever be offended by someone providing food for their child.

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  48. I have no problem with NIP as long as a cover is used. Maybe that makes me a prude, but I just feel like there should be some privacy.

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  49. A hot button topic for me and obviously many others. I love your firm, no-nonsense approach! :)

    I BF two kids exclusively, one to 18 months and one to 28 months. It was the most wonderful experience in the world, and I wouldn't trade it for anything. I learned a lot in the collective 3+ years I breastfed, but what I've really learned is that it is a fleeting moment in time. Don't let ANYONE make you feel uncomfortable about what you're doing for your child, in any situation. It will be over all too soon.

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  50. Here comes the non-mother to chime in ... I don't like it. It makes me extremely uncomfortable to see in person and in photos. If a photo comes up in one of my social media feeds with it, I will unfollow that person. I feel badly doing it, but I just do not want to see it. I am not sure why I am so this way, it is just how I am!

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  51. http://www.upworthy.com/what-do-you-do-with-a-hungry-baby-when-youre-out-shopping-this-moms-prepared?c=ufb1

    Thought you would like this!

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