The Big Latch On Event and Nursing in Public (NIP)
August 3, 2013 was a first for me, I attended my first public breastfeeding event…oh, how far I’ve come…
As a new mom, I was proud to nurse, but struggled to even use the term “breastfeeding” (what a weenie, I know). Somewhere between only nursing shrouded in my van and breastfeeding in the park with over 30 mamas plus dads, grandmas, supporters, photographers, and kiddos…I became comfortable with my body and it’s purpose of nourishing my babies.
I have nursed in a zoo (a public one, not just my home), in church services, parks, shops, and even while working an Essante Organics booth.
I’ve learned that if I can wear my baby, I can feed him.
For me, NIP was more about accessibility than anything else. I rely on my Boppy to position and hold my baby in order to breastfeed while seated and standing holding baby one handed is out of the question. However, once I became comfortable wearing my baby, nursing while standing and walking was a breeze.
The Big Latch On event was an amazing opportunity to meet other mamas and babies of all comfort levels and in different places in their breastfeeding journeys. From a new mom to a tandem nursing mama…we were all on the same path. Each with unique goals, but a single purpose. To give our babies the best start possible and promote the normalization of breastfeeding.
The complete gallery of pictures may be viewed at 5thMonday.com
Where’s the coolest place you’ve ever breastfed your little one?
My public breastfeeding story:
I was a new mother with a 2 month old baby. Since I live hours away from my nearest relatives, I decided to fly to NJ with the baby to see my family for my grandmother’s 80th birthday.
After a difficult first month of breastfeeding, I finally got the hang of it and was excited and nervous to be breastfeeding in public for the first time. I bought a cover, packed my bags, and left.
The first time I fed her, I went to a secluded part of the airport so no one was near me. When I was at the Memphis airport though, no such luck.
An older gentleman sat right down next to me and started a conversation. I was sitting there thinking, “Oh no, can’t this guy just go so I can feed my baby in peace?” but he kept on talking – about breastfeeding! Mainly about how he rarely sees anyone doing it anymore, even though his wife breastfed their children. And how he was so glad that people still were breastfeeding.
It was quite an experience. It made me feel more empowered, and less embarrassed about feeding my child in public (which shouldn’t be embarrassing).
Breastfeeding support in the form of a 60 something stranger!
Not too long ago we went to out to get some pizza. Baby was sleeping so we took her in the car seat into the restaurant. (not a common practice for us as we tend to baby wear instead.) I knew she’d be awake soon so I was trying to determine what position would be most comfortable to nurse while in the booth. As I often do, I scanned the restaurant to see if there were any creepers in the area. I don’t mind nursing in public, but I do mind skeevy creepers and peepers. For some reason I felt it would be better to use my cover. I am not well practiced at using the cover since I find it more trouble than benefit.
She woke before I could formulate my plan. I quickly covered and attempted to get her latched on. In the process she got very mad very quickly. I abandoned the cover idea. I pulled the cover off, pulled my shirt down, walked over to a table, grabbed a chair, brought it back to the booth and proceeded to get in a better position to nurse. We both got happy, she stopped crying and mealtime was completed. When I stoop up I discovered that in my short journey to collect the chair my nipple had leaked, a lot.
Moral of the story, just nurse how it’s most comfortable and be ready the first time. Trying a technique you’re not used to while in a public setting just doesn’t pay off for anyone.
If you have a story you’d like to share, please go to https://www.facebook.com/AdaptiveMom and leave it for me in a message by August, 6 2013. After that date, feel free to share your own stories in the comments below. Thanks!