Monday, July 19, 2010

NIPs. Not those. Well, kind of those.

I am out of town all week and posting scheduled posts.  If you need me, email me or just post a comment.  I may not get some linkups quite right, but I'll do the best I can.  
Welcome to The Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival!

This post was written as part of The Breastfeeding Cafe's Carnival. For more info on the Breastfeeding Cafe, go to" target="_blank"> For more info on The Carnival or if you want to participate, contact Claire at clindstrom2 {at} gmail {dot} com. Today's post is about Nursing in Public. Please read the other blogs in today's carnival listed below and check back for more posts July 18th through the 31st!

I was about 19 years old the first time I noticed anyone Nursing in Public (NIP).  My mom, sister, cousin and I were having lunch at Harry's when my cousin, Juliana, pulled up her shirt and began nursing her beautiful 6 month old daughter.  I was kind of surprised.  Not bothered, but I just didn't know where to look. I quickly realized that I should look wherever I wanted and that it wasn't a big deal at all:-)

Eight years later, I began nursing Jack. For the first few months I could only nurse with my legs crossed, a pillow on my knee and my hand holding my breast up (in fact, 21 months into nursing, I still hold my breast with my hand as we nurse).  That wasn't particularly conducive to NIP, mainly because it required a comfortable seat, with a back, and a pillow.  Still, though, I nursed in front of people.  

For the first few weeks of Jack's life, my sister, her boyfriend and my mom were often around.  My sister's poor boyfriend got used to me going "Harris, close your eyes" so that I could pull up my shirt and distort myself to get Jack latched on.  Then I'd get all covered up and let him open his eyes.  By the time Jack was two months old, he didn't appreciate even the lightest of nursing covers*.  He wanted to see the world.  So I learned to wear a nursing tank on the bottom and a shirt on top, and I could cover myself completely even while nursing.

And I did.  I nursed in front of my husband's (very) conservative grandparents.  I nursed at our (fairly) conservative church. I nursed at a restaurant (in a booth, with my diaper bag as a pillow).  

The only bad reaction I ever got was in my car. Yep.  I sat in my own car, nursing my baby, and someone drove by, stopped, looked at me, glared and drove away.  So, SO sorry to bother you (sarcasm).  

By the time Jack was 6 months old I didn't have quite as many requirements for nursing position, and so we nursed in the mall and in Gymboree.

And then it happened.  My child, always described as "alert", became "busy".  And that was it.  Nursing in Public became a nightmare.  Rather than receiving nourishment or sustenance or comfort, Jack would play whiplash baby.  He'd pull on and off, on and off, on and off.  Only seconds of suckling, followed by minutes of looking around.   And, so, I gave up.  Not on nursing.  But on nursing anywhere that might disturb him.  It wasn't for modesty.  It was more for convenience. It just wouldn't work.

I love seeing nursing mothers out in public.  It makes me so happy to know that they are comfortably nursing their babies and I can't wait to be joining them in public again.

*I like nursing covers.  I think they're cute, and I'm all about finding new, cute things to purchase.  I also think they can be helpful for a woman who chooses to preserve her modesty.  And I think they're unnecessary.  Use 'em if you'd like, don't use them if you'd rather.  Don't use them for other people's comfort, but don't hesitate to use them for your own. 


  1. way to be flexible and go with the flow! :)

  2. "Don't use them for other people's comfrot, but don't hesitate to use them for your own." Great line!

    I also totally get what you mean about not nursing in public when they're very distractable. I mostly just wait until Dea actually comes to me to nurse now and then she'll pay enough attention to nurse.