The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Feeding necessary, if awkward


August 8, 2008

I am not a show-your-boob-while-you-breastfeed type of mom. But I respect anyone’s personal style, full view, partial view or no view at all. The way a mom decides to breastfeed her child is her own business and not mine to judge.

This said, I was extremely surprised when, while discretely breastfeeding my daughter at the mall, a military man, dressed in uniform, told me that what I was doing was appalling and shouldn’t be done in public. Luckily (for him) he spoke quickly and walked away just as fast, but I couldn’t believe a man would go out of his way to tell me something like this when, despite my Italian heritage in which seeing naked breasts and tight buns on the evening news is expected, I choose a more conservative approach to nursing my children.

I have mastered a perfect technique for breastfeeding in public, greatly encouraged by my Ninja husband who wouldn’t take well to a public display of nipples. If I’m in a public place, I sit in an out of the way spot, adjust my cotton blanket over my shoulder and the baby, and then latch her on with nothing visible to the outside world, unless someone has x-ray goggles. How can I be sure? Because of my slightly obsessive-compulsive nature, I have checked over and over in front of a mirror, standing, sitting and walking around: nope, not a hint of a boob.

I think this really shouldn’t matter though. The way a woman nurses her child is her right and no one else’s business. Did the prude who disapproved of me at the mall go over the Victoria’s Secret and tell them to cover up the mannequins? Probably not, so how is that consistent?


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