I may have been 7 or 8 years old the first time I was exposed to breastfeeding. I was on an airplane with my mom and grandmother and I remember seeing a woman nursing her baby. I saw a breast, felt my cheeks flush red, and quickly looked away. I had never seen anyone do THAT before! What on earth was she doing? I can’t remember if I asked my mom or grandmother any questions about what I had seen. I was probably too embarrassed to ask.
Fast forward 25 years…I am now “that lady”. I have flown many times since my youngest was born. I always nurse in public while traveling…in the airport and on the plane. I really have no choice. When my baby is hungry, I feed him. It really is as simple as that. This attitude isn’t limited to our travels…it’s an everyday way of life. I have been blessed to never have encountered any rudeness or dirty looks as a result of me nursing in public. I’m discreet, but I will not pile up blankets on top of my baby’s head…I live in Florida where it’s hot!
Sadly, a friend of mine (who does not breastfeed) has encountered negativity–while traveling. She was on her way home after visiting me and her 9 month old daughter was asleep in her arms in the cradle hold. A young boy (between 8-10 ish years old) was seated next to her. The boy’s mother made a big scene and complained to the flight attendant that she didn’t want her son sitting next to that lady while she’s breastfeeding. My friend got a little angry. She was obviously not breastfeeding, and lifted her baby away from her body to prove that she wasn’t, which, in turn, caused her baby girl to wake up.
All I can say is that I’m glad it wasn’t me! I’m pretty sure I would’ve told the woman where she could go and how to get there. I’m proud to be “that lady who breastfeeds her kid in public”. I’ve nursed at church, the mall, the beach, various restaurants, public parks, my kids’ school, the doctor’s office…practically everywhere!
Gawk all you want…maybe you’ll learn something!