Monday, March 21, 2011

Nursing in Public. Yea or nay?

Ben had a meltdown right as I entered Costco today. Poor little guy was hungry. Unfortunately, I had just dropped the car off to have the tires rotated so I had an hour and a half to kill. With a screaming baby.

The meltdown happened immediately next to the Spring patio display: comfy furniture with plush cushions and high footrests; a lovely cabana shading the display from the harsh warehouse light above.

Believe me, peeps, when I say that I was tempted to plop down and nurse the kiddo right there in the middle of Costco in those nice plush chairs. Very, very tempted. Wearing the hooter hider, all you see is a pair of baby legs. That's not so offensive, right?

But I didn't.

I'm not that brave.

Instead we retreated to the women's bathroom where I stood in the disabled stall for 25 minutes while Ben tanked up.

11.6 pounds of baby gets heavy very, very quickly.

Not fun.

What about you? Are you a bold baby feeder?

Or, if you are not a parent, how do you feel about moms nursing in public? Totally acceptable or a big 'heck no!'?


  1. I know it can feel like there is a giant spotlight on you, but I think the patio furniture scenario you just described sounds absolutely fine and like a completely appropriate way to feed a hungry baby. And anyone that doesn't like it can go eat their lunch in the bathroom.
    I have become very aware of baby-feeding-friendly locations to visit and Costco doesn't rank so well. And 25 minutes in a bathroom stall? Gold star for you.

  2. I don't care one way or another - particularly with a... "hooter hider?" ;) There are definitely some situations where, I might not recommend breastfeeding sans a cover of some kind - like hanging outside your local high school - but not because I care (because of the crazies - some of them do). If you are covered and comfortable, who cares who sees that you are breastfeeding? Oooh... they see... Nothing.

  3. Nurse in public. All the way! It's your legal right. And it's not like you're just walking around topless. You're nourishing your child.

  4. I nursed all four of mine whenever and whereever they were hungry and that was long before hooter hiders! It can still be done discreetly and unless someone is trying to sneak a peak they're going to see nothing, but a contented baby. With the unrelenting sexualization of our culture, I don't see how anyone could rightly take issue with one of the most pure forms of human contact.

    That's not to say there's anything wrong with a mother if she feels more comfortable in feeding her baby in private.

    I have a feeling though, that after the handicapped stall incident, Benjamin will have a chance to experience the patio furniture department sometime in the near future!

  5. Not a mom, but I believe nursing in public is completely acceptable. Although I do think it is easier to do with a cover of some sort (such as the superbly named "hooter hider" :)). Not that I think there's anything wrong with the natural course of breastfeeding, but unfortunately there are people out there that feel uncomfortable seeing it...or worse, get their kicks out of it. So I would probably be one to cover up. Then again, we were sitting in a cafe in Montana (a cafe known for it's very liberal views) & a lady popped out her boob to nurse her baby, no cover up at all. Can't say I would be that brave.

    I tried to imagine how it would feel in that situation...and I probably would have done the same thing. Like Cherie said, our culture has become overly sexualized, so something as natural as breastfeeding has taken on a "taboo" feeling for some. Hopefully you won't feel like you have to hide in a bathroom stall again. :)

  6. Agh. I've been wanting to comment on this for a while, but D was visiting...and I got distracted by the great company. ;)

    When I was living in Spain, I went to this very formal business dinner with a lot of Spanish businessmen and their wives. We were all sitting around the table, dressed to the nines and talking politics, when one of the men's wives who had recently had a baby whipped out a breast from the low-cut dress that she was wearing and started feeding the baby at the table, without any form of cover, with a dozen Spanish businessmen surrounding her.

    I have to admit, the act took me a bit by surprise. But as I looked around the table, all the men respectfully averted their eyes and didn't miss a beat in conversation.

    So, I don't know if I'd recommend doing that exactly, but I do think its interesting to note how much more accepted public breast feeding is in other cultures, Spain among them.

    I have a feeling I may be more of a 'nursing in private' sort, but it's difficult to say without experience. I'm also highly practical, so the 'nursing in private' thing might not last long. ;)

    -- linds

  7. ...and then I read Chicky's post. Hahaha - apparently uncovered public breast feeding IS highly accepted at a single cafe in MT. :)

    -- linds