July 21, 2014 by Stacy McDonald
I breastfed my babies for nearly 200 months collectively. I frequently nursed in public areas (restaurants, stores, homes, parks etc), and was NEVER asked to stop by anyone. As far as I know, no one was ever offended – likely because no one could even tell what I was doing (and it wasn’t even always due to a blanket).
If I couldn’t manage to be discreet (curious toddler stage, clothing challenges etc.), I nursed privately (dressing rooms at store, my car, a nursing mothers room); and I even used a “criminal holding cell” once when I had to go to court to dispute a ticket and my then-toddler was in a peek-a-boo stage while nursing. I always found everyone to be accommodating and helpful.
I know that, while I had a good experience, not every single person is accommodating or friendly to nursing mothers; there are surely lots of bad experiences out there. But you would think that, if the general public opinion was SO anti-public nursing, out of my 200 months of breastfeeding, I would have at least experienced one incident of kickback. But none. Not even a frown.
So when I hear people getting all freaked out about the supposed chronic infringement upon their right to nurse in public (like HERE), I have to wonder if there is more to it. Like, maybe the self-centered attitude that others should be forced to participate in our public nudity without any effort to be polite or loving in return.
The school simply asked this mom to use a blanket or find a private place to nurse. They even confirmed the “beauty of breastfeeding.” However, the woman in this article interpreted this as “shaming” and “bullying.” Seriously?
Note, I never forced others to participate in my private experience by exposing myself, so I don’t think they felt like I was violating their space. I also didn’t behave as though vendors or private businesses owed me a special room in which to nurse. Where in the world is this entitlement attitude coming from? What happened to preferring others?
I loved nursing and, now that my kids are mostly grown, I miss it! And I want young moms to have the same great experience I did, and to feel the same ease in nursing in public as I did. If you’re having trouble with responses from friends, find a Titus 2 woman in your life who can help you figure out what is causing others to feel uncomfortable, and to perhaps give you some ideas on how to help you overcome the conflict! It’s worth it!