Friday, May 14, 2010

Much Ado About Public Nursing.

If you didn't already hear, ABC's series What Would You Do? is airing an episode tonight that tackles the public's reaction to breastfeeding in public. The show sets up a scenario in a Brooklyn cafe -- a Mom comes in, purchases some things, and sits down to nurse her baby. The (actor) cafe manager begins to harass her, and there are a varied stack of reactions from witnesses to the harassment.

During a discussion of the show on The View today, Elisabeth Hasselbeck mentioned how great Hooter Hiders and the like are for nursing in public.

Yes, they do make ones that cover me up (and I am well-endowed), but I get so frustrated because when my baby wants to eat, he does not want to have cloth over his head. I find I spend more time wrestling his squirmy little arms from lifting the cover and exposing me than actually concentrating on feeding him.

I only use the cover because of my own bodily insecurities-- my breasts are big so I have to lift my shirts up rather than pull them down (I'd stretch my shirts out otherwise), and the stretch marks on my stomach from pregnancy are dreadful-- like a tiger walked up to me and carved my stomach with his claws bad (not lying!). I am not comfortable without some sort of coverage.

That being said, you have already read above that using the nursing cover with Gabe is annoying-- lately I just drape it loosely over the top of me and wrap it around to cover my stomach, leaving Gabe's head totally uncovered. I've decided if someone can see my nipple with this set up they are looking too close to act offended anyway.

And on top of all of this cover-up business, I want to be clear I support all public breastfeeding ladies no matter what coverage is there. I wish I was confident enough to go totally coverless like those who do. In most states, the law is behind you, girls! If someone harasses you, you can call the police.

Check out specific breastfeeding statutes by state here.

**And don't forget, Health Care Reform now requires workplaces of 50 employees or more to allow mothers pumping breaks in rooms with outlets other than bathrooms for at least the first year of baby's life. This reform does not downgrade any state laws that offer greater protection to nursing Moms.**


  1. Do you know that I have that problem too? Noah is 6 months old and throws a fit if I put the cover over his head. I hate it! And even more....I can't believe that there are actually states where breastfeeding in public is illegal! Craziness!


  2. I really wish I had the opportunity to breast feed more with my son and I give my applaud to you for not having anything stop you.

    You're very right, if you have your breast covered and the only thing showing is the nipple, why should people complain? And why are people looking that close onto something that is so personal.

  3. You are doing a great job no matter how he gets his milk. I used to cover up Dal, but she WILL NOT have it now. She pulls it off her head immediately. So, I just gave up and whip it out-though it was not easy at first. I hate my stretch marks-ugh...oh well, I would trade it for the world at this point. I love my post-preg body and you should, too!!!

    Boobs are for nourishing a baby, and if people think it is gross or wrong then they should cover THEIR eyes!!

  4. I am actually watching this right now! I'm glad to see so many people sticking up for these ladies. It surprised me to hear that 57% of Americans are against breastfeeding in public. There is nothing wrong with a woman feeding her child and if they don't want to see it they can throw a blanket over their head. *lol*

    Thank you for stopping by and making my SITS day so awesome! :)

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  6. U said it all right. Ur really doing a good job! Thanx for the info & thanx for sharing!

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  8. I'm appalled that anyone would be offended by something so natural :(

  9. Great post!
    I think public nursing is fine, but with the cover on or in a secluded corner. Come on, let everyone in the coffee shop get what they paid for, just a coffee!
    Simple things like finding a corner behind a bushy plant or turning your chair towards the wall usually does the trick and no one will even dare to harass you then.
    Trust me, I've done it in the mall, in the car, at parties with my twins and have no trouble.

  10. Some people just need to grow up. These people are clueless and don't know any better. It almost seem like they abhor their own mothers! Seriously. I bet they were breastfed too. I bet their mothers had to go thru the same dilemma when they were babies!

  11. Ever try this trick? Under a regular shirt, wear a cami. I wear a nursing cami, but a regular cami will work too -- if it doesn't you can cut it however you need to (get cheap camis for this). Then when you need to nurse, you can pull the shirt up and the cami down, so that only a tiny bit is showing. No stretch mark display! (I bet mine are worse than yours ;) )