It's amazing that, in 2016, we still have a stigma surrounding public breastfeeding. The fact that something that has been around since the beginning of time to sustain life requires a hashtag in order to be "normalized" is literally astounding. I live in Brooklyn, an open-minded little enclave of the world where one would imagine women nursing in parks and sidewalk cafes all day long. Sadly, this is not the case. So there were plenty of opportunities for me to feel like I had to challenge "the system," and times when breastfeeding in public made me feel powerful.
Of course, breastfeeding made me feel powerful regardless of where I was doing it. After all, it's an incredible feeling to be able to feed your child straight from your own body. The first time my baby latched onto my breast in the hospital felt like a miracle. Not because there was any reason for me to think he wouldn't have latched or that my breasts would have been problematic. It is just that, well, you can't believe that this tiny newborn that literally just came out of your womb knows how to get to your nipple and find food. It is amazing!
So, how crazy is it that we take this wonderful thing that babies and (many, although definitely not all and that's OK) mamas can do, and we shroud it in secrecy and shame and encourage women to do it discretely whenever they're in public or when they leave the house? I had many powerful breastfeeding moments when I decided to reject suggestions that I hide my breastfeeding from the public and, instead, asserted my right to breastfeed publicly without shame. And it didn't take long for me to really relish that power, and become kinda badass about it.