Boobies

>> 1.21.2010

Whew... what a week.
Liam has had doctor's appointments, physical therapy, breastfeeding support group.. and today, his synagis shot. I am Worn. Out. Our pace the last couple weeks (a.k.a.- snail? sloth? corpse, perhaps?) has not prepared me for all this running around! I mean, Liam may be only five pounds and change... but the boy has some serious baggage. And he isn't the one lugging it around, now is he? Hopefully tomorrow will be a quiet, peaceful sort of day. I need to recover.

As a side note, we had some added excitement yesterday when Josh and Natalie's Nellie Rose joined the world. We will be popping by to see the family tonight. From pictures I can tell you- the child is gorgeous. I can already see the broken hearts she will leave in her path. Liam might very well be one of them.

Anyway... today, I had my first public breastfeeding experience. Liam was due to eat at 3:00.His pulmonology appointment was at.. guess when? Yep. 3:00. Of course.
Snug in his wrap he did not seem to notice that he was missing anything.. but then I had to strip him to his diaper for a weight check.. and then he was PISSED.

I waited. And waited. And bounced. And shhhed. And waited.
And gave up.
And whipped the boob out.
And Liam chowed down.

Of course, after 15 minutes of waiting for the nurse, she showed up 3 seconds after Liam started eating. I hate to interrupt him because we've had some latch issues (a.k.a.- Liam is lazy and wants his milk to pour blissfully into his mouth at the flick of his tongue. "Suckling? What is this suckling you speak of? Give me my food, woman!") but interrupt him I did and we got down to the synagis business.

Now.. I have watched them do some pretty serious stuff to my little one while he was in the hospital. And you would think that would desensitize me to the sight of a needle going into his thigh. But it didn't. At all. His wails broke my heart. Long after he stopped crying, (all of 5 seconds) I was needing cuddles. Liam was just needing more boob. So.. we found a bathroom because I do not yet have a nursing cover and Liam finished his meal. Bold
Well, this got me thinking: how do you feel about public breastfeeding? I really have no problem with it; however, I personally would not nurse in public without a cover. While I am not exceptionally modest or anything and if I am in a place that I know it will not offend anyone, then I have no shame, I do not want to run the risk of making anyone uncomfortable. I feel that respecting other people is very important, regardless of whether or not I agree with them. I know this can be a pretty heated issue- some are offended by the sight of a baby with a boob in its mouth, others are offended that you would ask that the child be covered... but I am interested in your [civil] opinions.

8 comments:

Lindsey January 21, 2010 at 5:42 PM  

Oh Natalie had her baby!!! How exciting! I can't wait to see pictures of her and read the birth story!! It's so funny cause she announced on her blog when you had Liam, and here you are announcing her birth. Funny!

As far as breastfeeding, I am very modest, but don't mind breastfeeding in public as long as I am covered. And it doesn't bother me to see another woman breastfeeding, covered or not. It's what we're made for.

Little M and Baby G January 21, 2010 at 6:55 PM  

Somewhere along the lines I lost my breastfeeding modesty. I used to only do it with a cover, and once I nursed him in a bathroom. (After that I vowed never to do that again. I would never eat in a bathroom, nor would you expect to see someone bottle feeding there, so I won't feed my son there anymore.)

I tend to utilize a 2 shirt method. One goes down too keep my tummy covered and the other goes up only enough to get Grey latched on. Very little, if any breast is exposed. I find this method draws less attention then if I whip the cover out. It just looks like I'm holding my baby close.

I've nursing in public for 9 months now and have never received any snarky comments. I show less breast while feeding my son then most young women out walking around. Breasts are made to feed babies after all, why should we hide it?

Toni January 21, 2010 at 11:06 PM  

I agree with the other posters, we were made to feed our babies, and after nursing three, I have no shame nor pride left in whipping out my boob.

And I say pride because with number 2 I felt it was my duty and privilege as a mom to pull my boobies out when and where me and my baby wanted them. :)

I've since then calmed down. I tell other moms, really when you're nursing no one can really see anything except you holding your baby up next to you. The nipple is in his/her mouth and my baby's head always covered the other parts. I've never tried the two shirt idea but it does sound neat.

I enjoy looking down, rubbing Maddie's face and such while she nurses so I've never really worked well with covers, however, like you I never want to make others feel uncomfortable and have even been known to go to other rooms in my own home, depending on the company.

Congrats for breaking the barrier and nursing in public, it does take a moment to get use to. :)

Vanessa Washburn January 21, 2010 at 11:43 PM  

I am super modest. I hate being naked so in the beginning I tried to avoid nursing in public, usually opting for the car or a bathroom where I can put the toilet cover down. But that gets lonely, and I broke a toilet seat at a restaurant. (mind you I am not a particularly heavy person, me plus the baby was probably still under 160.. the toilet was just cheap)

So I usually opt for for a cover in the presence of others. I prefer a blanket though, it's much easier to manuver than the cover I have, especially if there's a volunteer (usually my husband, but on the rare occasion a complete stranger) kind enough to hold it for me. But Haley is prone to flailing her arms and exposing me which does tend to draw unwanted attention. But I, like you do not want to make others feel uncomfortable, especailly my guy friends.

But I am now, 5 months after starting, getting comfortable enough to just let haley eat uncovered in fron of my friends, especailly the girls who have had kids, or who are unfazed by human sexuality.

It is definitely less awkward in front of other guys who have children too, they just seem more understanding, and don't seem to mind looking away for a second.

Speaking of which that works well too. I just ask the guys I know well, like my brothers, to close their eyes for a second while Haley gets situated, and then I can cover her up. She latches on hassle free and no one is any worse for the wear. Much less lonely than excusing myself to the other room for 20 minutes every time Haley gets hungry.

(Wow, I didn't realize I had so much to say on the subject. Future blog post here I come.)

Good luck with your future feedings. Let me know if you find a helpful system :)

Becky January 22, 2010 at 8:36 AM  

I don't mind other women breastfeeding in public -- with or without a cover. There's too many things in this world to argue about...how we feed our babies shouldn't be one of them. If a woman wants to breastfeed, I say, let her do it.

Having said that, I must admit I did not often breastfeed in public. We had problems breastfeeding. There was always lots of squirming and latching problems and I was not comfortable enough, myself, with all the flashing that went with that. Perhaps if I had been more confident or if breastfeeding had been easier for us, I would have been nursing her anywhere and everywhere.

As it was, I would usually either pump before we went out or after we came back (depending on the timing) and give her a bottle while we were out. Plus, we had production problems, which is a whole 'nother topic so we often had to finish up with a bottle, anyway.

But when I see other women doing it, I think to myself "hooray for you!" ... and say a little prayer that with baby #2 maybe it will be easier for us.

Becky January 23, 2010 at 1:09 AM  

I am so sorry that you hated the synagis shot. I cried and was soo upset after the first one. I will say that Isaac has just finished his third and he seems to recover faster!

~Angela (mommylawyer) January 23, 2010 at 11:46 PM  

Breastfeeding is a beautiful, natural thing. I'm all for it - breastfeeding a kid right now, though I'm home right now (and actually, because they're asleep, I don't have my 3 other children watching me breastfeed - not that I mind).

As far as nursing covers go... do you have receiving blankets?! They work just fine. Just throw it over your shoulder with baby cuddled close to the feeding breast, reach under with your free hand to pull up your shirt and unlatch your bra, and pop that baby on. I suggest practicing at home a few times if you're concerned with unleashing your 24-hour snack lump in public as the blanket falls off your shoulder. Receiving blankets - a lot cheaper than covers - and no silly strap to pull over your head or fasten around your neck! ;)

Michelle January 24, 2010 at 11:16 PM  

Actually.. with the way Liam thrashes about.. if I want any hope of staying cover, the thing is going to have to strapped to me in some way.

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