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!
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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.)
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