So here’s the thing. I had a baby (3 actually. At different times.) I chose to breastfeed. I chose to breastfeed in public; privately. I’m not sure how I am supposed to feel about this. I feel confused about it.
I mean ultimately I don’t care what anyone thinks about my choice but I still wonder.
My breasts are a private part of my body to me. They were prior to my child bearing and to me they do not become public because I had a child.
I am all for choice and non judgement. I sincerely feel that if a woman opts to breastfeed openly in public, then they should do so. Comfortably and confidently and unscrutinized. It is natural. The child is being nourished in a natural manner and like any other living mammal. It is society driven human comfort that we have chosen to be discreet about our bodies and cover them with clothing, legal in some instances. For several reasons, I am greatful for this trend. However, it should not make it unacceptable in any facet, to fulfill the basic need of our own offspring.
That being said, I often wonder how I am perceived.
For instance, I will sit in a restaurant with other diners present or between innings while playing in a baseball game, and feed my child; however I will be covered up for my own comfort. To hide a part of my body I consciously choose to remain private. I also ensure my child is comfortable in these conditions. They are not suffocating in unbearable temperatures or afflicted. I do not speak baby to have had them tell me this first hand, but based on experience; if a baby who cannot communicate does not care for the situation in any manner, they will make sure you are aware. My children have always appeared comfortable and satisfied with my efforts. Sometimes this may mean moving to a slightly different location, such as an air conditioned vehicle or a shady tree, away from the crowd, but that is an accommodation I am willing to make to maintain the baby’s well being and my own discretion. For the most part though, I do not have to remove myself from any situation, I simply take the appropriate measures to prepare and cover myself for the process, and carry on naturally.
To other mothers: I don’t say this to change your mind if you have chosen to avoid the public breastfeeding movement, or feel ashamed of yourself if you are comfortable openly bearing a boob to feed your babe. I am simply acknowledging my personal and alternative choice because I otherwise never hear about it.
To the prying eyes, the opinionated bunch & the inappropriate whisperers: collect yourself. You are literally making something out of nothing. No one is trying to offend you or sexualize themselves when feeding their child. They have made a choice that the priority of a dependant supersedes your opinion. Do not make this a thing. Remove yourself from the situation if you are uncomfortable or cannot contain yourself. That mother underwent extreme measures to bring that child into this world and maintain it’s well being; and your missed meal at a restaurant or comfortable seat on the bus or new kicks at the mall, do not take precedence over another valuable life. I sincerely apologize for your inconvenience.