Breastfeeding Older Babies in Public

A few months ago I wrote a triumphant post about the joys of comfortably feeding baby on the go.  “It’s easy!” I proclaimed with glee.  “Why do people sequester themselves in private when you can just toss a blanket over baby’s head and continue socializing?”

Funny how much I forgot from my first baby!  Now that Jovi is almost one year old, she utterly refuses to be covered while feeding.  Even when I can arrange my shirt so that I’m not flashing the world, she stops regularly to look around and provide a milky smile for all to see, leaving me a bit exposed.  As this painting proves, distracted babies have been pulling off the breast to smile at onlookers for hundreds of years!

Breastfeeding in Public

breastfeeding in public green babiesIn my hometown public breastfeeding is no biggie–but I’ve heard that in other parts of the country it’s taboo for a mom to feed her baby unless she has ducked into a nursing lounge or locked herself in a bedroom.  What a drag!  As an extrovert, I would resent being sent away every few hours feed my baby.

My husband’s parents, who are originally from Thailand but have resided in Maryland for decades, were shocked when I told them I’d be feeding my baby while we ordered dinner at a restaurant.  In fact, my mother-in-law brought a bottle of my pumped milk just because she was sure I’d be using a bottle.  When I whipped out my “Hooter Hider” and put my baby to breast, everyone seemed a bit stunned.  (For those who don’t know, a “Hooter Hider” is a great draped piece of cloth that is easy to use for public nursing.  They’re expensive but I received one a as a gift. Check out their site here.)