Somewhere between my active toddler son’s energetic wind sprints at the park and my daughter’s ferocious infant appetite, I stopped nursing with a cover.
Not that I really ever had any great love for a nursing cover. Didn’t seem to matter if it was a formal cover with the plasticy-bent peephole, or a super-thin-cottony Aden and Anais blanket, I usually used one before. One lives in the diaper bag at all times. I found other women who nursed without covers somewhat forward. Not improper, just very unconcerned with those around them.
I consider myself to be fairly concerned (but not obsessed) with what others may think or not think about my breast size, shape, color, and my infant’s interaction with it. So I covered up. I vividly remember when my doula friend nursed her toddler openly without a cover in a mall, nipple swinging all around. I knew on the scale of modest to exposed, I fell solidly in the “err on the safe side” camp.
Then, one day, I stopped. Call it laziness, forgetfulness or simply I-don’t-give-a-darn-itis. Somewhere between potty training and teething, covering myself up in public just failed to be a priority.
The shocker? Nothing happened.
Like so many young moms, the variety of public places we take our children is endless: the zoo, the grocery store, the park, the mall, the in-law’s, the restaurant, the museum.
I have nursed everywhere. Without a cover.
Not once has anyone ever said anything to me. No concerned stare, no darting glances. No uncomfortable elders. No judgmental mommies.
It really hasn’t been a big deal.
I have perfected the nursing position I lovingly refer to as the “Mommy Slump.” I find a quiet, unassuming corner, cradle the baby, let her latch on, and smush my T-shirt down around my no-longer-quite-baby-fat tummy rolls and any exposed breast-areola-brastrap, and slump discreetly away.
It doesn’t bother me. And it doesn’t bother anyone else.
Airplanes, concerts, festivals, mountaintops. Rest stops, backyards, parties, picnic. Nothing has happened.
Everyone’s breastfeeding experience is different. Mine is your standard variety suburb-living-Target-shopping-SUV-driving-freelance-from-home kind. Based on the mommy blogosphere, I thought I’d really be in for it breastfeeding in public. Nothing has been further from the truth. My experience has been truly unique in that it is thoroughly, comprehensively unremarkable.
Wait! Someone did say one thing to me, one time.
“Oh, you’re still nursing? That’s so great!”
Sheesh, the nerve.
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