Category Archives: Nursing in Public

Wordless Wednesday: 5 Favorites

WE have had so many neat submissions on different topics that are important to creating a healthy family…here are five that demonstrate a different value we have:

Breastfeeding

BLOG WBW13 ww chandler1 spf

Babywearing

Babywearing on a hike

Babywearing on a hike

Co-sleepingBLOG SPF ww cosleep2

 

Green LivingBLOG ww140312 spf.7

 

Whole Food (and french fries!)

Night Owl eating out - nothing on the menu appealed to him, so he ordered his own smorgasbord for lunch!

Night Owl eating out – nothing on the menu appealed to him, so he ordered his own smorgasbord for lunch!

 

 

Brandnewbaby2

Explaining Breastfeeding to Children

As we continue with Breastfeeding Awareness Month posts, it made sense to write about children and breastfeeding on our family blog.  Pictured above is an image from the Alpha Parent’s blog listing children’s book that show and/or talk about breastfeeding.  I think that picture pretty much sums up how older siblings feel about new babies and nursing!

So, continuing on with yesterday’s Thoughtful Thursday topic,  “Normalize Breastfeeding” over at Sweet Pea Births, how do you explain breastfeeding to children?  Here are the things that worked for us.

Siblings:
If you breastfed your older child(ren), it is helpful to share pictures of you breastfeeding them.  It is natural for children to feel jealous of all the time the new baby will be spending with Mommy.  Showing them how they were fed and close to you until they became more independent may help.

Side note:  My friend Rachel Davis made a photo book for her children showing their progression through pregnancy, labor, birth and their first year.  Depending on how old they are, it may help the older sibling understand that the newborn phase is not forever and that soon, they will not feel like all your time is consumed by the baby.  She does caution to be mindful of which pictures you put in there…your child will be proud of this book and show it to anyone and everyone that will read it with them.

We have also taken the time to point out all the things we will still be able to do with them while nursing the younger sibling(s):

      • we can snuggle together and read a book
      • we can sit on the floor and do a puzzle
      • we can sit next to each other and play quietly or color
      • they can let the baby fall asleep so we can get our own together time without the baby

We have found that including them in the nursing sessions helps them feel like they are still part of the “inner circle”.  We try to be mindful that although they may have weaned, they still crave our time and our touch.

I also take the time to show them the mechanics of nursing.  How does the baby latch?  How can we tell if the baby is actually feeding for nutrition, or might they be comfort nursing?  Does it hurt?  I want them to not just accept it, but to learn about how to nurse.  If they have more questions, we talk about them.

Talking to children outside your family:
I have nursed our children wherever and whenever they have been hungry.  Sometimes that is at a family gathering, at a playdate, at a park.  When I nursed with a nursing cover, children would be curious and want to know what was going on under the cover.  I would ask the parents permission first, and if it was okay with them, I’d let them look under the cover to see the baby nurse.  If parents were not okay with it, they would simply tell their children that it was not okay and to leave us alone.

Either way, I would take a second to tell the children that I was feeding our baby my milk. I made sure to say it was one of the ways to feed children, being mindful that maybe they were fed differently.  Again, if they had more questions, I would answer them.  Some questions I got:

  • How long did the baby eat?
  • When would they start eating food?
  • Did I ever give them a bottle?

Now that I nurse with a loose blouse instead of a cover, the nursing is not under or hidden.  Curiously, I get less questions about breastfeeding – isn’t that interesting?  Nothing to hide, nothing to explain.

Have you talked to children within or outside your immediate family about breastfeeding?  What did you share with them?

Want to read more about normalizing breastfeeding with the younger generation?  Try THIS piece about breastfeeding on a children’s program, published January 2012.

Do you have a business card to hand someone who questions your right to breastfeed?  If not, contact me and I will send you one.

Tuesday Tip: Breastfeeding On The Road

Are you getting ready to travel?  If you follow breastfeeding advocacy in the news, you have probably already seen THIS VIDEO and read the story about the mother in Texas who was harassed at a public property over the weekend.

You have the right to breastfeed wherever you are lawfully present without prejudice.  In most states, you are not subject to indecent exposure even if you choose to nurse in such a way that exposes breast tissue or your nipple.

HERE is a link to see the state laws across the fifty states.  Do a quick search if you are going to be traveling outside of your home area so that you are knowledgable about the law where you will be spending time.

Should you be approached by someone asking you to move, cover up, or stop breastfeeding, you are within all of your rights to decline.  Do not be shamed or bullied into doing anything besides continuing to feed your child.

Some ideas to handle the situation:
State and federal laws recognize that I am simply feeding my child, and our right to do so is protected by law…
…Would you (or the patron) be more comfortable if you were relocated?
…I am not doing this to cause a problem.  How can we resolve this without me having to (move)(cover up)(etc.)?
…I would be happy to have you call the police so that they can enforce our rights to be here.

Obviously, there are many variations to this scenario, and what you say depends on your confidence level.  So, please speak up if you are harassed.  You can also take it to the next level by filing a police report or at the very least, by calling this hotline:  1-855-NIP-FREE

Have you been asked to stop nursing in public?  How did you handle it?  Or if you are like me, which one-liner did you come up with after the fact?

Breastfeeding Here, There, and Everywhere: Toddler Edition

Today’s Wordless Wednesday is prompted by the theme for the final day of Nursing Freedom and San Diego Breastfeeding Coalition‘s Blog Carnival.  Enjoy these images of breastfeeding mamas around the West Coast, and be sure to check out breastfeeding babies over on our Sweet Pea Births blog.

BLOG WBW13 ww CT

Pacific Grove, CA – Washington Park

BLOG WBW13 WW 0807 disney

Anaheim, CA – Disneyland

BLOG WBW13 ww blo1 spf

Payson, AZ – Big Latch On 2013

BLOG WBW13 ww blo2

Payson, AZ – Big Latch On 2013

BLOG WBW13 ww blo3

Payson, AZ – Big Latch On

BLOG WBW13 ww blo4

Payson, AZ – Big Latch On 2013

BLOG WBW13 ww camp verde

Camp Verde, AZ – Montezuma’s Castle National Monument

BLOG WBW13 ww Chandler tandem

Chandler, AZ – the rare tandem nursing photo snapped by Puma while most of us were sleeping!

BLOG WBW13 ww chandler1 spf

Chandler, AZ

BLOG WBW13 ww disneyl spf

Anaheim, CA – Disneyland

BLOG WBW13 WW phoenix

Phoenix, AZ – The Farm at South Mountain

BLOG WBW13 ww roseville spf

Roseville, CA – Doctor’s Office!

MotherBaby needs to feed and eat not according to a schedule; instead if and when they need to in spite of the convenience of their location.

Thoughtful Thursday: Nursing in Public

We are giving a new blog feature a try.  Here is our first “Thoughtful Thursday”: Reflections on things that have worked for our family

breastfeedingcafecarnivalWelcome to The Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival!

This post was written as part of the Breastfeeding Cafe’s Carnival. For more info on the Breastfeeding Cafe, go to www.breastfeedingcafe.wordpress.com. For more info on the Carnival or if you want to participate, contact Claire at clindstrom2 {at} gmail {dot} com. Today’s post is breastfeeding in public. Please read the other blogs in today’s carnival listed below and check back for more posts July 22nd through August 4th!


Thanks to the efforts of groups like the Breastfeeding Café, more mothers who breastfeed know it is okay to feed their hungry babies wherever and whenever they are.  I have been the beneficiary of all the groundwork laid by groups that are hard at work to normalize breastfeeding.

Here are the tips that helped me gain confidence as a breastfeeding mother who fed her baby outside of the home, as well as some that I have seen our Bradley Method® students use successfully:

  • Attend a La Leche League or other support group meeting so you can see what nursing looks like.  You will see people nursing lots of different ways, and maybe you will see a style of nursing that looks like it will work for you.  There are nursing covers, nursing shawls, nursing ponchos, nursing wear that lifts up, tank tops with easy access, the list goes on.  You will see mamas ditching it all and simply lifting their breast out of their shirt and offering it to their nursling…seeing it in action may help you decide what you want to try first.
  • Go out with your partner or a friend the first few times you nurse in public.  Especially as a new mom, it’s very stressful to have your baby crying, feeling like you can’t move fast enough, and you are all slippery-fingered from sweat and “flusteration” (flustered and frustrated at the same time!).  Your support person can help you get organized while providing moral and physical support, reminding you that you are not alone.
  • Find out where other nursing moms go because they have found them to be baby/breastfeeding friendly.  Your local mamas will know who has a nice lounge in the women’s room (Nordstrom’s near us has one), or where to go where there are changing tables and comfy chairs (i.e., IKEA family restrooms have a room separate from the commode, Babies R’Us nursing rooms).  Check in with the mamas at the support group and they can probably rattle off a list of shops, restaurants and other businesses that you can go without feeling intimidated.
  • Travel as a pack with your mama tribe.  One MotherBaby pair is easy to pick on.  Two women will give someone who is thinking of saying something pause.  Three or more MotherBabys in a group and I am guessing you will be left alone, especially if one or more of you are nursing your baby as needed.  You also have a trusted companion to keep an eye on you (nothing showing that you don’t want showing as you NIP) or your baby (maybe you need to use the ladies’ room) as needed.
  • Know your rights as a breastfeeding mama under the law (click HERE for a state by state look).  Forty-five states* in the US have laws on the books that protect your right to breastfeed wherever you are lawfully present.  Some states take it even further and put fines in place so that anyone who harasses a breastfeeding MotherBaby is held accountable.  If you are approached, kindly inform the messenger that you and your baby are lawfully present as you are.  Would they like to be reassigned to a different section (i.e., if you are at a restaurant), or would the complaining party like to be relocated?
Do you have a business card to hand someone who questions your right to breastfeed?  If not, contact me and I will send you one.

There is no such thing as “lawfully breastfeeding”. The question is, “Does this state protect my right to breastfeed with law(s)?”

When I look at what is most important about this topic is for mamas, I believe it is to be liberated from nursing in their car or the public bathroom just so that they don’t offend anyone.  Especially new mamas who are already worried enough about what they are and aren’t doing right…a basic necessity like meeting hunger needs should be easy and carefree for them.  As a society, we need to grow up and just let them nurse already, without having it become a major news story!

Closing thought:
You do not need permission to breastfeed somewhere.  It is a human right for a MotherBaby to feed and receive nourishment in accordance with Nature’s design.

What is your tip that has helped you with breastfeeding more confidently in public?

* Idaho, Michigan, South Dakota, Virginia have protection from indecency laws, but there is nothing that specifically allows a mother’s right to breastfeed at any public or private location.  West Virginia has nothing on the books in regards to nursing in public.

 


Here are more post by the Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival participants! Check back because more will be added throughout the day.