Friday, August 20, 2010

Places my boobs have been Lactation Locations: First in what might be a series about nursing in public

Never in a million years did I think I'd become a bit of a lactivist. I've made fun of La Leche League (not that I knew anything about them, really, but I can make fun of nearly anything. Comedienne, etc). More than that, I routinely mock my Santa Cruz sister just for being a crunchy mommy. While I didn't have a problem per se with her nursing my nephew into his second year (and how stupid does it sound to start a sentence like that, but I was ignorant then), I could tell you pretty soundly that "as soon as he/she is old enough to ask for it . . . ." Har har, right?

So what happened?

I birthed a cluster feeder with a crap latch who liked to nurse for 2-3 hours at a time.

So I was stuck on the couch. A lot. Because of the cluster feeding I could never shoe-horn in pumping (after every feed, don't you know) so there was never a to-go bottle ready.

Even when her latch developed and she fed more efficiently, she was still an on-demand, boob-fed kid.

My options? Stop breast feeding or never leave the house again. Clearly, neither of those was going to work.
The third option? Nurse in public.  For a long time (in baby terms anyway) I was wary to leave the house when I knew I'd be gone long enough for her to want to eat again because she ate for so long I'd be anchored somewhere else the same as I was anchored at home.  But eventually, I just got the eff over it and struck out in the world.

I was saddled with the knowledge that, of course, someone would make a comment. Someone would ask me to remove myself from wherever I was feeding. Someone would stare.

But you know what. People didn't do that - haven't done it yet anyway. So here I am, mother of a nearly-6 month old who only needs a spare few diapers, some wipes, and her breasts and is ready to go. That's really great because things are complicated enough without worrying about how to carry food for you baby as well.

Wait, I just thought of better title for this series: Lactation Locations. Let's go with that.

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