I spent the day out yesterday with my kiddies and another Mommy and baby. We're on the mend after being sick for weeks - thank goodness. The weather was beautiful - blue skies, in the 50's. Yes!! We were ripe for a playdate. We went to the local library and then to the mall for lunch and shopping. We all had a ball. The older silly girls gave my little guy loads of unabashed giggles. Warms my heart!
So, I nursed in public the whole day long. I've always felt a little shy about it, and I usually don't do it. Instead, I usually bring a bottle of formula with us when we're out. While I brought the bottle as a back-up, I decided I would just focus on nursing him instead. I got a few stares, a few under-the-breath comments. One man, while his wife was eyeing the jewelry counter, kept ogling in my direction. Maybe he didn't notice that I was in the process of setting-up with my blanket, baby and latch-on, but I could feel his eyes waiting for a glimpse. What can you do? I used a blanket to cover-up. I wore a zip-up vest and a wrap around top for easy access. It was my mission not to let people interfere with nourishing my baby. He'll take a bottle, but it gives him gas, and I can see the pause in his face when he drinks it. I've carried pumped milk, but it leaks and I don't always have time to pump before we leave the house. Anyway, the nursing worked out beautifully, really. At the end of the day, I noticed that he was in much better spirits having the close contact with me all day. It's a lot, for a young baby, to deal with all the commotion and a bottle, too. He just wants the comfort of my chest, and, frankly, I want that for him too. We just did our thing and I tried my best not to look at anyone. After I finished up on one session, I got a wink from another Mom, that beamed, "You go, girl!". My little guy felt relaxed and satiated. And I felt good about it.
I've nursed in public before. In my early days with my first baby. In a dressing room, I'll do a diaper change, babyfood (that's our word for it) and down time. If there's a quiet corner I can go to, I'll nurse. No big deal. I've even nursed while walking from the parking lot into BJs. But, at the mall on a bench, at the food court, by the carousel? Not until yesterday. A good nursing top and a spoon full of courage went a long way for us. And the tranquility on my little guy's face after being out for 7 hours was all I needed.