Breastfeeding has been a huge challenge for us. Throughout everything though, I still feel perfectly comfortable nursing in public...until someone looks at us. Well, stares more than looks. I was able to use a thin scarf to cover us when I went out when she was a newborn, but now she is more interested in the world and just fusses if I try to cover her up. She rarely will stay latched for more that ten minutes at a time, and loud noises (or children, or talking, or anything really) will cause her to let go and try to look around.
I try not to see this as a problem. I'm often quick enough to pull my nursing tank back into place, or even just put my arm in the way until I'm covered. My wonderful boyfriend is supportive of me nursing our girl in public, and will even just stand in front of us if we're having some trouble. I'm pretty clumsy, Gem's squirmy, and I really just don't like the idea of strangers looking at my breast(s).
BUT STRANGERS STILL LOOK AT MY CHEST!
I do not try to flash my goods for everyone to see. I understand people can't help but look at our beautiful girl. For some reason though, whenever I get really awkward or even dirty looks from people it is because they caught a flash of my nip. Honestly, you were looking at my breast while I was feeding my daughter, did you expect a bottle to magically appear there if she let go?
If strangers trying to catch a peek wasn't frustrating enough, my family really does not know how to react to us. My aunt likes to take us places, and for my birthday we went to Walmart, Old Navy, and Panera Bread. A trip to three public venues can be tough on me. When Daddy comes with us, Gem will let him carry her around and she will just look around and smile and enjoy her Daddy time. When I take Gem out she wants to nurse, then look around, then look around while nursing, then change positions, then almost always has a diaper blowout, then gets overstimulated and upset and wants to nurse again. In the same hour. So for my aunt's sanity, I nursed Gem before we left the house, in the Walmart parking lot, in the store, and in the car again. During all of this it was pretty cold outside so Gem was happy to be snuggled under my scarf. In Old Navy she was getting fussy, but by the time we were at Panera she really just wanted to be at home snuggling in bed.
The Panera Bread near us has a fireplace and big cushy chairs surrounding it, with small side tables. I was able to eat my food and nurse much more comfortably. It was very warm however, so I did not want to cover Gem and make her too warm. My aunt stood and held a bad in front of us almost the entire time we were there! We weren't even facing anyone. Someone would have to actually try to see what we were doing, and if they did I had a very calm and tired out girl in my arms, so she was sleeping on my breast blocking any mishaps.
I know auntie was just trying to help me be modest, and she didn't want to offend anyone. I was offended. I do not understand why I need to hide away while I feed or comfort my baby. It did not help that there was another family who had their baby sleeping in a carseat with a pacifier. My aunt would have been fine with that scenario. Breastfeeding is something she has not been exposed to, and since I'm not doing what she did she does not know how to react.
Just so everyone knows, I did not give in. I did not say anything to her, and ignored her requests for me to use a blanket. I just smiled and kept eating.
Also, I got some cute leggings and the most beautiful scarf from Old Navy.
I wear the leggings all the time, and I lost the beautiful scarf....somewhere. I really thought it was in the car. It isn't. I thought it could be in the living room. It's not. The twins must have found a new hiding place because I really think my scarf is gone for good. Seriously.