An X-rated meal

If you've wandered into a maternity store lately, you've probably noticed all the racks featuring those super-nifty tops with clips on the straps that fold down and bare all. And while many women only know this style as associated with lingerie and sexy time, the growing supply of nursing bra's, nursing tank tops and nursing night gowns is a sign of the times- Breast feeding is totally in.

Many new moms (such as myself) find the option of breast feeding to be a no-brainer. Seriously ladies, why do you think they are even there? Decoration for your sternum?

It's shocking to me that once upon a time, breast feeding was not considered the best option for babies. My grandmother recalled how doctor's offered an injection at the hospital to “dry you up” because breast feeding was so outdated. We had formula now, and newer is always better. Right?

False. But even though the medical world is now pushing breast feeding, there is still some apprehension about the practice and I can understand it. We have been raised to think that breasts are a private part of our body (at least I was.) And suddenly, they are no longer an piece of your sex appeal, but a critical part of motherhood.

The challenge of getting it right, the fear of it being painful, the hassle of timing feedings and/or pumping- none of those scare me too much. I'm more uncomfortable with the idea of how many people are going to see my boobs by the time my child has stopped nursing. I've never been one to reveal cleavage. I think Snookie's mother should have locked her in the house for dressing like she does.

Being exposed at the hospital is one thing. They're medical professionals, the human body is nothing they don't see every day. So a nurse helping my baby latch on might be ok. But what about when you come home? Everytime a visitor comes during meal time, will they get the hint to take a hike and call first next time? Or will I get to enjoy the awkward dance of “I need to lift my shirt up now, what are you going to do?”

I'm guessing I'll just exile myself to the nursery for feedings when others are around, but eventually I will want to leave my house and need to bring the baby in tow. Then we get to see how the rest of the world will react to a public display of breast feeding.

Many moms say after a certain amount of time, you just stop caring who sees you and what they think. After being pooped on and having your boobs leak through your shirt so many times, I'm guessing you stop sweating the small stuff. 

So when baby's tummy starts growling, you stop mid-stroll through the park, or on a bench at the mall, or even out at a restaurant and then what? Whip out one of your girls and let the little one chug away? Throw a stylish nursing shawl over your shoulder first and think no one will notice? Or do we hide away in a bathroom stall until our babies are full?

I think no matter what we do, there will always be people who stare or are uncomfortable by the practice. We can go to whatever lengths possible to be discreet but it won't matter to some. I think the proper approach to breast feeding in public is whatever we as mothers are comfortable with. After all, they are our boobs. If you don't want to see them, don't look.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous8:53 AM

    I remember when a bunch of mothers protested at Applebees in Lexington a few years ago because someone had been kicked out for breastfeeding. It all comes down to how society has dictated that the female body is sinful as much as it is sexy. I say you should brandish your motherly boob with pride.

    Oh, and on leaky boobs and poo messes, read this: http://offbeatmama.com/2010/11/self-congratulation-disguised-as-self-deprecation and remember that little CeCe isn't asking you to give up your entire sense of self-image. :)