Categorized | New Baby, Parenting Tips

Nursing in Public, emotions and lessons learned

Re-Posted from the HuffintonPost.com

Nursing in Public, emotions and lessons learned

It was 99 degrees out when we visited Disneyland last week.

Have you ever tried to nurse a 4-month-old baby in 99 degree heat? It feels like your face is melting off. My chubby, sweet boy slid across my chest as his cheeks burned a brighter red than mine. His thin onesie soaked through with sweat, and it stuck to my hand as I tried to hold him still underneath my nursing cover. His little hands pushed at the cover as sweat collected like raindrops on his forehead. Hot tears pooled in the corners of my eyes as I tried to create more space underneath the cover so that I could blow air on his little face. Ben wiggled and kicked, his tears finally falling as he frantically tried to get my milk to let down. I cursed the heat. I cursed the Happiest Place on Earth for being so unbearably hot. I cursed the nursing cover.

And then I took it off.

It was 99 degrees at Disneyland. My 4-year-old and my husband were darting from air-conditioned ride to air-conditioned ride. I had spent most of the trip holed up in our hotel room with the baby, cooling off. But I wanted to be a part of this vacation. I wanted to see the look on my big boy’s face when he came running out of a wild ride. I wanted to take a family picture in front of Cinderella’s castle. I wanted to feel ridiculous in a pair of those stupid mouse ears, and actually participate in the vacation that we had been waiting so long for.

So I took my cover off. I took my cover off because Ben needed to be able to breathe while he ate. I took my cover off because his latch is still not perfect, and it’s too hard to fumble under the cover with one hand while only half-holding him with the other. I took it off because he was batting at it and yanking it and crying when it covered his eyes. I took it off because it was SO DARN HOT. I took it off because it was time.

It was time to be brave. It was time to be free. It was time to exercise my legal right to nurse in public, without fear of what others would think or say. As embarrassed as I was, as frustrated as I was, it didn’t matter. What mattered was that Ben needed to eat. He needed to stay hydrated. He deserved to eat while being part of the world, not in a bathroom, and not hidden away in a corner. So I took a deep breath, and tucked the nursing cover underneath the stroller. While I was turning my body away from everyone in line at Captain EO, and discreetly pulling my breast out and popping it in Ben’s mouth, I realized a few things.

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