However, nursing in public (NIP) has been getting a lot of media attention lately, so I thought I would make this nifty guide for moms whose unruly spawn refuse to only eat in the confines of their own home like decent human beings. One refrain I see over and over again in NIP discussions is "I support moms who breastfeed, but you should at least be discreet about it." Odd thing though- the would "discreet" is actually quite subjective. So what is a mom to do? How do you know if you are being discreet or not? Well, worry no more! I have made this handy little guide just for you. Or, on the flip side, if you are a person who is not breastfeeding but you are worried that the woman tending to her child in the same public space as you is being inappropriate, feel free to check her behavior against this guide to determine whether you should complain or politely calm the fuck down.
Now, please take note- you are still completely allowed to nurse INdiscreetly if you choose to. In fact, your right to do so is protected by law in almost every single state. However, if you would like to conform to cultural notions of "appropriateness", just keep these tips in mind.
What to Do
1. You can nurse with a cover, if you like and the baby likes. Up sides- you have a cover which seems to be some kind of threshold for some people. Down sides- It's hot. Babies are wiggly. Latching can be hard enough without going in blind. And you don't get to look at the super cute human you worked your ass off 9 months to grow.
I mean, it's only 106 F today. They weren't joking when they said modest is hottest!
Stop struggling and have some respect for others, sheesh!
2. If you don't want to use a cover, you have the option of just lifting up your shirt. Upsides- This keeps the topmost part of the breast covered, which seems to be the most offensive. Unless of course it's peeking out of a v-neck, bikini top, or lace bra. Downsides- I found out the hard way that the pressure of the shirt on top of your breast can really send an overactive letdown out of control. Use with caution.
3. If you have experienced the aforementioned overactive letdown issues or simply don't like pulling your shirt up, you can always use the pull down method. Simply take your breast out over the top of your shirt. Upsides- easy access. Downsides- Depending on the cut of your shirt, this can be difficult. When Perrin was itty-bitty and I was super engorged, I used a variation of this where I would also slip the strap of my tank top of my shoulder completely in order to get my ginormous boob out.
4. When nursing in close proximity to others, just makes sure they are able to look in any other direction just in case they don't want to look directly at your beautiful cherub (psh, as if). Upsides- this is pretty much always possible. Downsides- It may be difficult if you are sitting directly across from an individual in an orthopedic halo whose eyelids are either missing or propped open and who does not have enough muscle control to move their eyeballs.
This man is being 0% affected by the baby eating next to him.
Seems simple, right? BUT WAIT! While you are employing all of these awesome tips, make sure you are also avoiding the following behaviors.
What NOT to Do
5. It's cool if you want to NIP, but you don't have to be all up in everyone's face about it.
6. Try to make sure you aren't just looking for attention.
7. Don't be an exhibitionist.
So there you have it. As long as you avoid those three behaviors, you qualify as a perfectly decent and discreet breastfeeder! Nurse on, mamas!