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!

What’s the Most Bizarre Place You’ve Breastfed Your Babe?

Should I wear a special shirt made for breastfeeding moms?  Where would I sit?  Would people stare?  In the beginning of my motherhood adventure, public breastfeeding seemed complicated and impossible.

Now, breastfeeding is no big deal. I simply cover baby with a blanket, pull up my shirt (and any old shirt will do) and discretely put baby to breast. I’ll admit that I did enjoy my “Hooter Hider” before we accidently left it at a park, but I wouldn’t tell any new mother that she had to have lots of fancy equipment, clothing, or prearranged locations to nurse her infant.

breastfeeding in publicI’ve breastfed in pizza parlors, grocery store aisles, dressing rooms, airports, buses, my car, restaurants, friends’ houses, and while walking through the zoo toting my babe in her Ergo carrier. I once breastfed her in church during silent meditation in the hopes of quieting her for a few moments.  It backfired, resulting in lots of loud slurping sounds which echoed through the room–causing smiles to appear on several faces.