Making meals for your family is one of the most loving things we can do, so making those meals with our own bodies is extra special. That's why, while I know that breastfeeding isn't the be-all end-all of early motherhood, I'm still really proud to have done so, and to have nursed in lots of places every breastfeeding mom should be proud to feed in.
As my son and I wind down the breastfeeding phase of our relationship, I have a lot of fond memories of nursing in cool places to look back on. Especially once we mastered nursing while babywearing, we've breastfed everywhere: on top of a mountain, inside a cave, in museums, radio and TV studios, and even inside the U.S. Capitol Building and the West Wing of the White House. I have fond memories of nursing in lots of ordinary places, too: during a perfect summer sunset on my friends’ porch swing, on our roof deck, and especially in my favorite chair. Though breastfeeding hasn't always been a walk in the park, there have been plenty of quiet, satisfying moments that have reminded me why I chose to breastfeed in the first place.
It can be hard to feel proud while breastfeeding sometimes, since there are a (thankfully declining) number of people who believe breasts are shameful, and who try to shame moms for using them for their biological purpose. But moms shouldn't feel ashamed to care for our little ones the best way we know how, whether or not that involves breastfeeding. As for breastfeeding moms, we should feel proud to nurse in places like the following, and anywhere else we have a right to be.
Her Chosen Place Of Worship
I mean, what would Mary do? If you can't feel proud feeding your child the way they did back when any religion’s major texts were written, then whomever is shaming breastfeeding moms at that house of worship needs to do some reading and re-reading.
Everyone else is eating, why shouldn't very young children get to eat, too?
Breastfeeding is just another way to feed a young child. In a situation where everyone is eating and spending time together, moms and the family members they've made should feel proud to participate.
Breast milk is easily among the healthiest foods available at any mall. Moms should be proud to serve it, and babies shouldn't be interrupted while eating it.
The Grocery Store
That whole “don't shop on an empty stomach” rule is good for very young children, too. Well-fed little ones are way less likely to wail and throw tantrums. You're welcome, fellow shoppers.
Children who grow up knowing what breasts are for won't have to go through many of the struggles as those of us who weren't raised seeing lots of proud breastfeeding moms. It's not the slightest bit indecent to nurse on the playground; milk is baby food, after all.
The Doctor’s Office
Doctors should know better than just about anybody how beneficial breastfeeding is. Nursing a baby in the waiting room, or after they've gotten some shots? Rock on, mama.
If you'd be proud of packing a nutritious lunch or snack for your older kids during a day at the museum, it only makes sense to be proud of making a nutritious meal for the younger one(s), too.
The Great Outdoors
Nursing a baby on a hike, or during a picnic, or any other peaceful outdoor setting is the best. (It's especially awesome when they're really small, and you don't have to worry about bringing any other foods or handling bottles while out in the wild.)
At Her Favorite Team’s Stadium
Some teams, like my beloved Nationals, have amazing nursing lounges for breastfeeding moms. Either way, normalizing nursing while watching your favorite team is a win.
On An Airplane
Breastfeeding helps babies deal with their ears popping, keeps them more comfortable, and often helps them settle to sleep. Moms should definitely be proud of helping their kids not cry on a flight.
Of course, moms usually feel free to do whatever we need to in our own homes when it's just us and our families. But that shouldn't change when we have guests, either. Breastfeeding is a great way to nourish our little ones, and we should be proud to have breastfeeding-friendly homes.