Adventures in Boobieland: Breastfeeding in Public

 Today Merle and I took the train out to a mall near my parents’ house to do some Christmas shopping (well that wasn’t originally why we went out there, but that’s another story). Merle still eats every two hours so that meant I needed to breastfeed her on the train, twice, and at the mall. When Merle was first born, I was hesitant to nurse her in public. What would people think of me? Being a young mom calls enough attention to me, let alone having a boob hanging out. That all changed the first time I took Merle out with me to run errands in the city.

She loved being out and about, until it got close to mealtime and began crying uncontrollably. I couldn’t bear seeing her tears, but we were still a few blocks away from our apartment. Instead of freaking out, I found the nearest bench, unbuttoned my top and let the milk flow. In the moment I wasn’t concerned what how other people were reacting, I was focused on feeding my daughter.

Since then I have completely disposed of my inhibitions surrounding breastfeeding and pumping in public. My breasts have seen the light of day just about everywhere I go, from parks to mall food courts. I’ve even pumped while standing at the platform waiting for a train (yea the battery powered option comes in handy). While I am ‘doing the deed,’ I focus on Merle and trying cover up what I can, but every so often I catch the reactions of people around us. They range from sideways glances to surprise to reassuring smiles, but most of the time people don’t even notice. My former worry about feeding Merle in public was almost completely unfounded. A hungry, crying baby is cause for much greater concern than whatever other people will think. 

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