Friday, September 10, 2010

The Joys of Nursing in Public #2

Today we are happy to host a guest post by Dawn. Here is her nursing in public guest post.
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NursingFreedom.org co-founder Dionna nurses her own
almost-three-year-old, Kieran (it's not in Dawn's Whole
Foods, but it's in a comfy chair all the same!)
One of my favorite places to stop and nurse when out shopping is, believe it or not, a public rest room.

My local Whole Foods Market has a bright, spacious rest room, complete with a big, cushioned chair that's very comfortable for nursing. I've seen similar rest rooms--and chairs--at other Whole Foods Markets (and no, I don't work for them! I just believe in pointing out a great nursing-friendly venue when I see one).

When my first child was an infant I would often be found in the Whole Foods rest room's comfy chair, singing show tunes (they were my baby's lullabies, and dang, those tiled walls give a great reverb!). I never had anyone give me any negative reaction to my nursing (or my singing, for that matter). Either I would get friendly smiles or averted eyes.

One time a woman asked me, with a warm chuckle, if I would come and sing to her while she had her lunch too.

That rest room's comfy chair turned into a jungle gym for my daughter after she weaned, and back into a nursing chair when her younger brother came along. He's still nursing strong at the ripe old age of two and ten months, and we are still frequently seen nursing, and sometimes singing too, in that chair.

This week when I stopped to nurse my son in the Whole Foods rest room armchair, an employee came in to sweep up. She stopped dead in her tracks when she saw my son at the breast. "How old is he?" she asked.

Oh, no, I thought. I've been nursing in public for four years and haven't gotten a snide remark yet. Please, lady, don't go there.

"He's almost three," I answered calmly.

"And you're STILL nursing him?"

Oh, crap, we ARE going there. Keep nursing, keep smiling, hold your head up.

"Yes I am," I said evenly.

"How long do you plan to keep nursing?"

Breathe, be pleasant, don't get defensive, just educate.

"It's up to my son to decide when it's time to stop."

"That's AMAZING!" the woman exclaimed. "I've NEVER seen anyone nurse that long! I stopped nursing when my baby was one, because my doctor told me to. Big mistake! Doctors are idiots when it comes to nursing. When I have another baby I'm going to nurse a lot longer than that. Maybe even as long as you! Good for you for still nursing! You're an inspiration!"
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Despite the fact that negative nursing in public experiences get the publicity, more women receive the kindness and thanks from strangers for making breastfeeding a normal sight.
We want to share your positive stories so that other breastfeeding mothers and mothers-to-be will be inspired and encouraged to N.I.P. If you have a positive N.I.P. story, please contact us. We will include them in the series and credit you, your site, or post it anonymously if you so desire.

7 comments:

That's a heartwarming story! Thanks for sharing!

This is a great post, it is great to hear stories of support instead of condemnation. I love your site! So much great information and the interactive map of laws is fantastic! I’m adding your badge to my site right now :) I’m also starting a weekly breastfeeding carnival/hop that will happen each Friday. Yesterday was the launch and I will be leaving the linky up for the entire week so everyone has time to jump on board. I’d love for you to link this post and join me each week to increase awareness and acceptance of breastfeeding in public!

Thank you Birdie! Be sure to put a link up on our Facebook page and I will try to click over and add our link to your carnival.

Good for you!! I stopped nursing my oldest child (I have four) when he was only 7 months...I wished I would have gone until at least a year! Nurses and doctors should not tell us when to stop! My baby is 20 months and my pediatrician has been telling me for about 10 months to stop nursing her!!!! But I am not following her directions! =)

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