Friday, April 16, 2010

Nursing Covers?

I think motherhood (and, um, the whole GIVING BIRTH thing, too) has made me less modest, and a whole lot more opinionated - especially when it comes to breastfeeding my babe.

But... it sometimes feels like the rest of the world is becoming more conservative.  Just recently, I read in the newspaper that a woman was asked to cover up while she nursed her baby in a restaurant - it is completely illegal in my state to ask this of a woman (or to ask a nursing mom to leave), btw.  When she refused, and after her husband had some words for the management, they were asked to leave.

REALLY?  Really, people?

I used to use a nursing cover when I nursed Eliza out of the house - in restaurants, at the mall, etc... I used it for other people's benefit, not my own and certainly not Eliza's.  She stated hating it; she would sweat and get annoyed by the fabric over her head.  So, I decided to stop using it.  I just do NOT care what people think anymore, and let me tell you, IT IS FREEING.  I'm feeding my baby, and I'm actually doing it in a fairly discreet manner - I wear a nursing tank underneath my shirt, so my tummy is covered and the top of my chest is covered, and really, Eliza's head covers any skin that might be showing... Anyway, the truth is, I wouldn't care even if - OHTHEHORROR - my skin were to show.  I am SO proud to nurse Eliza; it is a beautiful, wonderful, nurturing act, so why was I hiding it?  When I was using the nursing cover, I felt like I was saying "this is something I am ashamed of", when I really wanted to be saying "I nurse my child and I am so happy and proud to be doing it".

Now.  This is just ME.  I'm not saying anything about other women who choose to use a nursing cover - I get that some people are uncomfortable nursing without a cover, and that's why nursing covers are a great thing for some nursing mamas.  They just aren't for me!

So, if you see me IRL, you might accidentally catch a glimpse of bo.ob.  If it makes you uncomfortable, I won't be offended if you choose to look away :O)

ETA:  OH.  You MUST go read this article that Aletta directed me to:
It is a wonderful article and will even have you laughing.  If you're like me, you'll be wishing Americans could be a little more like Mongolians once in a while... 


Summer said...

I've actually heard a little bit more about that story of that woman. Apparently her husband was swearing and causing a huge scene which is why they were asked to leave. It sounded to me like it was bigger than just nursing uncovered in public. And I also heard that it sounds like they were kind of "looking" for a fight.

Now - don't get me wrong, I agree with you. If you want to nurse in public and don't want to cover up, then you shouldn't have to. However, I think this couple blew this particular story way out of proportion!

And with that said - my baby needs to be nursed :-)

B MoM said...

I'm a lot less modest also. I pop out my boob when I'm at home no matter who's around, it grosses my brother

Dawn said...

Good for you!!! It's absurd how nursing mom's are made to feel like they are doing something dirty. People need to grow up!

Aletta said...

Well, I didn't start out modest to begin with. But, there's no way I ever considered using a nursing cover. It's fine if people want to, but I'm always sad when people feel like they're necessary because society dictates it. Or to take it a step further, that they have to take bottles when they go out. I would have gone nuts if I'd had to do all that planning to get out of my house with a little one.

Have you read Apparently the Mongolians take this to the opposite extreme from Americans.

Aletta said...

Gr, looks like Mothering Magazine bought the rights to the article and now I can't find it online anyway. That just ruined my opinion of Mothering. Bah.

Aletta said...

Here it is:

Read it quick before they get a takedown notice.

Abby said...

Well, you already know my (not-so-quietly-held) opinion, but I never owned a nursing cover or brought a bottle of milk . . . nursing your baby is a totally beautiful and natural thing (and you're right: the babe's head usually covers up any interesting parts). I'm hopeful that all of us going around nursing in public will help change people's attitudes about it! Some day! =)

Ella said...

Thank you for that link, Aletta - that is a wonderful, inspiring article! Makes me wish I lived in Mongolia a little bit :)

Abby said...

Awesome article! And oh man, that visual of the competing breast-shaking (including grandma and grandpa) . . . I'm still laughing!

BabyWid said...

I too used a nursing cover and actually still do sometimes but if Claire is unhappy while nursing because she is under it. I have NO problem taking it off. I'm feeding my baby, she has the right to eat too.

justadrienne said...

Way to go Momma. I can't wait to make people uncomfortable by nursing in front of them. Seriously. Because you're totally right, it is a beautiful and natural thing, and the more people treat it that way, the more people will look at it that way. I plan on everyone I know seeing my baby nurse as often as possible. LOL.

Eliza's Stats

Birth: 8 lbs 5 ozs
Going home: 7 lbs 10 ozs
5 days: 7 lbs 13 ozs
2 months: 12 lbs 6 ozs
4 months: 17 lbs
5 months: 18 lbs 12 ozs
6 months: 20 lbs 13 ozs
9 months: 24 lbs 3 ozs
12 months: 26 lbs 13 ozs
15 months: 28 lbs
18 months: 29 lbs 3 ozs
2 years: 32 lbs
3 years: 34 lbs

Alice's Stats

Birth: 8 lbs 11 oz
2 Months: 13 lbs 10 oz
4 Months: 17 lbs 15 oz
6 Months: 20 lbs 4 oz