I'm not writing this post because it is/was World Breastfeeding Week, but my story is quite timely in that sense.
I absolutely HATE HATE HATE breastfeeding in public. I can appreciate that I have the right to breastfeed wherever I want, or so I would like to believe, but the gliding chair in my baby's room with the assistance of a nursing pillow will always be my first choice. I've learned to make peace with the fact that I have to do it in front of my mom since she is usually here, but even that makes me a little uncomfortable. Recently, some inlaws came over for a visit to meet the new baby, so I felt obligated to spend time with them and not hide away in the baby's room when it was time to feed her. I found it stressful, especially since the baby doesn't stay latched for long periods of time. She is always pulling away and re-latching, which certainly leaves me exposed for all to see. Despite knowing that breastfeeding is completely natural and non sexual, I'm still not comfortable letting other people see my boobs. I didn't like my boobs being seen back in the locker room in Jr. high, and I don't like it now. Most people are polite enough not to stare, but there was a ten year old boy in that pack of visiting inlaws who could use a lesson in manners. This past week, I was on the phone with his mother who suggested that I cover up when I feed the baby when her son is around because ever since that visit, he has not stopped talking about my boobs, their size, their colouring, etc. Great. I love that he has created a visual for the rest of my inlaws. Given that this kid was just busted by his parents for surfing adult sites on the net, I can see why my rack got him talking. My guess is that my set scarcely resembles the perky and probably artificial ones that he saw on line. Hey, the porn industry gave me false expectations too. The first penis that I ever saw belonged to a porn star on a movie that I found in my brother's room. The "actor's" name was Raul, and his schlong was the size of Manhattan! Reality catches up to us all eventually, but I don't want to be the one who teaches this little boy what that reality is, especially if he is not mature enough to understand that boobs in this context are not sexual. (my husband will attest to that) Under these circumstances, I am quite happy to cover up, which I was trying to do in the first place, and I don't mind that it was suggested that I do so. The boy's mother may or may not have used the incident as a teaching opportunity, although that isn't my concern. I just learned that on a more recent visit with my inlaws, the same boy peeked around a corner to catch another glimpse of me nursing my daughter, even though I made a point to do it in a separate room. He was silly enough to brag about it to his mother, and consequently got in trouble for it.
In no way am I saying that women should cover up or hide away while breastfeeding. In the words of HBM, "BOOBS ARE NOT DIRTY. BOOBS ARE NOT SHAMEFUL. BOOBS SUSTAIN LIFE. OF BOOBS PUT TO THEIR NATURAL PURPOSE WE SHOULD BE PROUD. OF ALL BOOBS WE SHOULD BE PROUD." Nonetheless, if this boy is going to gossip about my rack to my inlaws, and possibly noodle himself under the covers as he replays the memory, I'm coverin' up, thankyouverymuch.