I have nursed Lucas in lots of different places, with and without a cover. If you had asked me two years ago, I never would have thought I would be okay with nursing in public without a cover. For the most part, I do prefer to use something--I'm not a fan of feeling "all out in the open." But, meeting my child's needs is and will always be my first priority, and sometimes, that means I nurse uncovered.*
*Side note: Cole is still not comfortable with this choice of mine. Fortunately, I'm usually prepared and have at least a blanket to use.
That being said, I've still never experienced discrimination when breastfeeding in public. I've never received dirty looks--actually, I've never even noticed if I HAVE gotten any looks. Cole is usually the one who points out if someone was staring, and by then, we're not in the same place anymore and the point is moot. I've never been approached by anyone. I've never been asked to leave. If I found myself in any of these situations, I still feel that the best way to handle them would be through "open dialogue, consideration, and compromise" (as I said two years ago).
My opinion changed somewhat on the issue of formula-feeding. Now that I know I can breastfeed, I will accept nothing less for the rest of my children. Does this mean I think formula-feeding is bad? Not at all. I will NEVER belittle, criticize, or think ill of any woman who formula-feeds her baby, either by choice or by necessity. For ME, however, it's not an option. I do have to be careful, though, because sometimes I get a little complacent. Sometimes I find my knee-jerk reaction at seeing a mom giving her baby a bottle to be a little judgmental, or even smug: "That poor mom. I wonder why she's giving her baby a bottle. I'm SO glad I don't have to do that." I mentally slap myself whenever I do this: "You don't know her or her situation. She is doing what is best for her and her baby, and you have no right to judge her" (yes, I might be a touch schizophrenic). This mental conversation takes all of a couple of seconds, and when it's over, I'm able to admire the unselfishness and commitment that is motherhood in any form.
Anyway, I love breastfeeding. I love that Lucas makes the funniest sound when he wants to nurse--it's part yelling, part laughing, and part coughing. I love that the one sign he does semi-consistently is "milk." I love that if I'm holding him on my lap and he wants to nurse he tries to lay down and "assume the position," as Cole calls it. I love that even though he really likes eating solid food, he still wants to nurse after eating to wash it all down. Even though sometimes it's a pain to get up at night with him, and sometimes I wish I didn't have to share my body, I still wouldn't trade this experience for anything. It's worth the pain, the time, the effort, and the lost sleep.
|Wait, does that say what I think it says?|
|Yes--yes it does. Courtesy of Grandma, Papa, and Aunt Nennie|