Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Code Name: Mama

Welcome to the July 2010 Carnival of Nursing in Public

This post was written for inclusion in the Carnival of Nursing in Public hosted by Dionna and Paige at All week, July 5-9, we will be featuring articles and posts about nursing in public ("NIP"). See the bottom of this post for more information.

As a new mother there was a lot I didn't know about being a mother. Ok, there was more than a lot, there was a ton. Why didn't anyone tell me that I'd feel like a failure while giggling like a maniac?

But I digress.

I made the choice, long before the jelly bean was born, to breastfeed. Actually, it wasn't really much of a choice at all. I was raised around people in the medical profession and as such, was privy to scads of medical textbooks. Being a voracious reader as a child, I took advantage of all the knowledge I could absorb. I knew at a very early age that breastfeeding was a good thing, even if I didn't quite understand why.

I am lucky enough to live in Canada, where we are free to make medical decisions based on need and preference, rather than money and availability. As such, I had the privilege to give birth in a teaching hospital that is very pro-breastfeeding, with lactation consultants just dying to show you anything you need or want to know. I am also blessed to have an amazing doctor who is also our jelly bean's pediatrician. He is pro-breastfeeding and, thankfully, his ideas and expertise jive beautifully with us practicing Attachment Parenting.

While my relatives and family haven't been around a newborn in about 40 years, they were eager to be part of the experience and did research along with me. They encouraged my nursing, and tried their very best to make me feel comfortable with nursing in public (NIP) as well as nursing around loved ones.

For the record, I've never had an issue with NIP if I had my nursing cover (I swear by the bebe au lait style of cover) and the bean was being cooperative and not ripping the cover off. Had I not been so extremely well endowed, I might have been comfortable without a cover. Unfortunately, my breasts are very large and nursing discreetly is impossible. There is no way for me to latch beaner on without holding my breast up for her as well as holding her.

It's not a matter of me feeling like everyone is staring, they ARE staring. I know my child has to eat, but having that much breast exposed is embarrassing for me. It's why I nursed my child in bathroom stalls and private rooms until I got the advice about the nursing covers. Not because I had to, but because I wanted to be discreet and these puppies demand attention.

What I am trying to say is that it's my right as a mother to NIP and it's my right as an ample chested woman to want to keep a little dignity and privacy about myself. My name is Tera and I NIP and I use a cover. Unless I forgot the cover or it's in the wash, then it's all boobies on deck. Shame and modesty take a backseat to your child. Just ask anyone who has given birth!

Someday, maybe society will be more accepting and women less sexualized, so that instead of seeing me as the woman with her tits hanging out, I will be seen as the woman feeding her daughter.

Art by Erika Hastings at

Welcome to the Carnival of Nursing in Public

Please join us all week, July 5-9, as we celebrate and support breastfeeding mothers. And visit any time to connect with other breastfeeding supporters, learn more about your legal right to nurse in public, and read (and contribute!) articles about breastfeeding and N.I.P.

Do you support breastfeeding in public? Grab this badge for your blog or website to show your support and encourage others to educate themselves about the benefits of breastfeeding and the rights of breastfeeding mothers and children.

This post is just one of many being featured as part of the Carnival of Nursing in Public. Please visit our other writers each day of the Carnival. Click on the links below to see each day’s posts - new articles will be posted on the following days:

July 5 - Making Breastfeeding the Norm: Creating a Culture of Breastfeeding in a Hyper-Sexualized World

July 6 – Supporting Breastfeeding Mothers: the New, the Experienced, and the Mothers of More Than One Nursing Child

July 7 – Creating a Supportive Network: Your Stories and Celebrations of N.I.P.

July 8 – Breastfeeding: International and Religious Perspectives

July 9 – Your Legal Right to Nurse in Public, and How to Respond to Anyone Who Questions It


Tina said...

Nursing is nursing. Cover or no cover, you've got to feed and you've got to be comfortable. It's great that you found a way to get yourself out of the privy...that couldn't have been fun, or pleasant smelling for that matter!

Noveltyspoons said...

I'm right there with you, Sister-Friend. Big busted and needing to hold my breast for my baby as well as hold the baby and then latch her on... the cover is for me. I didn't have one with my first two babies and I rarely NIP'd, mostly running to my car or to a dressing room (never did it in a bathroom, thank goodness.) I love that I can feed my daughter and feel comfortable about it.

Tera said...

The worst part about nursing in a bathroom with a newborn/infant is the toilet flushing. Scared the bejeezus out of beaner every single time. Which, of course, would lead to her unlatching to cry and then we'd have to start all over again.

I very much appreciated the mother's/nursing rooms in malls once I became aware of them.

Now that beaner is 21 months, I've sold my cover and will NIP if it's necessary. Fortunately she's weaning herself and limits it to being sick or nap/bedtime.

Tera said...

Thank you so much for reading and commenting ladies!

Lisa C said...

For myself, I really didn't want to use a cover, but I can certainly understand your reasons! Waaaay better than using the bathroom! I'm always paranoid that mom's who use covers do so because they disapprove of showing anything, but I bet a lot are like you--doing it for their own personal comfort.

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