There are few things that stress a new breastfeeding mom out more than nursing in public. it's not uncommon to hear horror stories from women who have been confronted and shamed (or even had the police called on them) for breastfeeding their babies in public places. There were times when breastfeeding in public made me feel anxious and, honestly it still does, even though I've been at it for a long time. Sadly, I'm willing to bet that the simple act of feeding your kid in public makes a lot of other moms anxious, too.
When I was a brand new mom, I dreaded the public moments when my baby would start fussing and rooting around, signaling that he wanted to nurse. He wouldn't take a bottle so if he was hungry it was boob or nothing, regardless of where we happened to be. He didn't care if we were at the grocery store or a restaurant because, well, when you're hungry you're hungry. For the first several months, I would stop whatever I was doing and head for the car, leaving a cart full of groceries in a busy aisle or my husband alone at the table in a restaurant.
After a while though, I decided I'd had enough. I wasn't going to inconvenience myself or my partner or my baby, on the off chance that someone would be offended by me feeding my kid. I was so nervous the first several times and, if I'm honest, I still get nervous about it in some situations. Still, the over-used sentiment of "practice makes perfect" does hold true, and over time it becomes to easier to simply ignore anyone who has a problem with you sustaining your kid with your own body. So, in the interest of solidarity and because it's extremely beneficial to know you're not alone, here are 10 times breastfeeding in public made me anxious. Perhaps, some day, our culture will come around, the stigma of public breastfeeding will no longer be a thing, and something as extraordinary as nursing won't be unnecessarily burdened by other people's opinions.