Driving home from work yesterday, my phone rang. A friend from college with a 3 week old had all these questions about her son's eating habits. We talked for a little while and somehow ended on the subject of nursing in public. To this, my friend said "I'm not comfortable nursing in a restaurant, so I just go stand in the bathroom stall."
WHAT?! Who wants to eat their dinner in a bathroom stall? I know I sure don't, so why would I feed my child in there!?
Now, don't get me wrong. I'm a PRUDE. In my adult life, I've worn a bikini a couple of times, but generally speaking, I'm fully clothed and don't even really like shorts. And, for a long while, I would go hang out in the "mother's room" at a department store at our local mall when I'd need to feed my son because it has comfortable chairs and a nice changing area. But why should I be banished to the bathroom? You can't even people watch inside the mother's lounge. Don't get me wrong, it took me a while to get comfortable nursing in public and Noah would take a LONG time to eat, so it just made sense for me if I had the chance. But standing in the stall?
Last weekend, we (husband included) met up with some friends at the mall for lunch. We got there a little early, knowing Noah's feeding schedule, so I could nurse him before we sat down for lunch. I, too, prefer not to nurse in a restaurant if that's an available option - if I'm nursing, I can't really eat because at least one of my hands is busy holding Noah and it is distracting so I might miss some conversation. In the past, I would have told Adam I'd meet him after I nursed in the mother's lounge. But this time I decided against that. We sat on a couch in the mall together, so I didn't abandon him and I was stuck staring at the wall while I fed the baby.
Yes, feeding a newborn is difficult, but I guarantee that it is easier sitting in a booth in a restaurant than standing in the bathroom. What this particular mom lacked was a Hooter Hider. Some genius out there created basically an apron so you're not showing anything while you nurse (and I use one at work to pump) and you can still see your child.
I'm not selling this brand nor am I making money from posting this. I just like this one better than others because the brand name is fantastic. Plus, it has a nice loop to see the baby easily.
Then, I started thinking about why nursing in public can be weird: clothes. The first few times, I couldn't figure out how not to show off my back and stomach when I nursed and then I realized - now all of the clothes I buy are nursing accessible. I love the nursing cami's from Target - especially when I'm traveling and stuck with my frenemy, Medela, instead of the baby. But, there are so many clothes that are simple to nurse in that aren't maternity clothes and are just normal clothes. Last time I checked, Kohl's had a ton of cute (and inexpensive) V neck's that are very new-mom friendly. Plus, after much research, I found the website/brand Motherwear which sells cute clothes that are discreet and easy to nurse in. In fact, most of my Disney tops came from that very website. No one sees anything anyway and then adding the cover, you're showing less than wearing a low cut blouse or a bathing suit!
Hopefully this will make people rethinking hiding out. Give it a try - for all mother's out there, you can do it!
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