May 21, 2010

The Twins (Not the Baseball Team) Meet the Minnesota Public

Typically, I'm the first to say that boobs and public locales don't mix. In fact, while I was pregnant, I loudly resolved to the hubs that I would never, under any circumstances, nurse in public. Nor would I nurse in front of anyone but my husband, whether they were relative, friend, or foe. Period.

To all of the lovely pregnant ladies that read my blog, I would encourage you to lay off of the hormonal resolutions. Because I should have been a bit more open. And as soon as Nathaniel was born, all modesty went out the window. My kid needed to eat and it's not like I could forget my boobs at home when we walked out the front door. I had the food and I provided it.

It started on day 2. My in-laws were visiting the hospital and the hubs and his father went to grab a pizza. Have any of you tasted hospital food? Pizza was not only necessary, it was ESSENTIAL TO MY SURVIVAL. And you do not want to question a woman who is bleeding out of every orifice while recovering from a 22-hour labor that resulted in a person the size of a small bowling ball exiting her body.

My mother-in-law kept me company while the men were making a pizza run. And lo and behold, the babe got hungry. Those days, we had latching issues so when Nathaniel asked to eat, I jumped on that bandwagon faster than you can say "engorgement." Somehow, the fact that I was half-naked in front of my mother-in-law just didn't seem important any longer. The important part? Teaching myself and the babe to nurse. And you don't learn something like that without a whole lot of practice.

The next nursing challenge occurred at my in-law's house. Typically, I relocated the babe and myself to a bedroom where my mother-in-law had created a comfortable and private nursing spot (after hearing my pregnant tirade about nursing in front of people) when he needed to eat. Or I brought a bottle. But I am not known for my impeccable planning skills when it comes to packing enough bottled milk. Nor am I known for passing up the opportunity to watch a good movie on a 650-inch YOU ARE ACTUALLY IN A THEATER television screen because of a hungry baby. And so one night when we gathered to watch a movie, I nursed Nathaniel, under a blanket, in front of my husband's family.

After much prodding and encouragement from my readers, I looked into purchasing a nursing cover because I didn't enjoy baking myself and the babe each time I nursed under a blanket. But even with the cover, I was hesitant to nurse in public. After all, you don't see a lot of women nursing in public, especially in old-fashioned, Lutheran Minnesota where the mere mention of boobs must be preceded by a church potluck and several truckloads of hotdish.

Early this afternoon, I had lunch with the hubs at his work. Along with the babe, my mother-in-law, and all of the 8000 employees who were oohing and aahing over a baby in the cafeteria.

As we were eating, you can guess what happened. He Who Poops A Lot started showing signs of hunger: trying to grab our food (although what he would do with a burrito, I don't know), sucking on everything in sight, and fussing at a deafening volume.

So I took a deep breath, broke out the nursing cover, and fed my son in front of hundreds of complete strangers. And while I received a few uncomfortable glances from people, I was surprisingly at ease.

Once Nathaniel was finished and I had safely stored away the twins in my nursing bra, I wanted to jump up on the table and shout my accomplishment to the world. I may not be a perfect mother, but dang it, I'm going to feed my baby when he's hungry. Even if it takes away your appetite for that cottage cheese you brought for lunch.


  1. LOOOOVE this! Had I been able to breastfeed, I would have been hesitant to do so out in puplic. But let me tell you, while I was in the hospital, all the nurse got a look at the goods. haha

  2. Good for you! I'm really nervous about this too, but I have a cover just in case I get the guts to do it.

  3. Pippy, I totally encourage you to give it a try... even if it's a couple months after the babe makes her appearance! It's so much simpler than bottles!!

  4. Great post! I am also an extremely modest and private person, and swore I would never nurse in front of anyone other than my husband. It's funny how fast priorities change! Now, I walk around topless nursing the babe in front of my MIL and husband in the same room. Crazy... However, I still have yet to nurse in a public place with strangers. Haven't gotten that brave, yet. But, I think my day is coming soon. Because, bottles are annoying. ha ha