Actually, I don’t want to breastfeed in public

When it comes to my own body and my own breasts, it’s just not for me, and that’s okay.

Actually, I don’t want to breastfeed in public

If you have the confidence to lift your shirt (or pull it down) and expose your breast in the middle of a waiting room, a swimming pool, a playground, a Christmas party or at your husband’s place of work, then I truly admire you.

I’ve tried it. Instead of feeling empowered and proud of my body’s ability to provide the perfect nutrition for my baby girls, what I felt most was, “Oh my gosh, I really don’t want to do this in public ever again.” Of course, I did. A few times, merely due to necessity, but I didn’t like it one bit.


I don’t like the feeling that everyone around you is trying not to look at you while they’re also blatantly trying to actually look at you. Not because they’re perverts but because your breast is exposed. Who wouldn’t want to look at that?

Breasts are gorgeous! I’ve had two of my own for most of my life and I still can’t help but look at  women’s breasts when they pop into my view via real life, magazine, internet or television.

Breasts are perfect creations—perhaps more perfect than a tropical sunset or a supremely ripe strawberry. They’re multi-purpose, too. They lure our partners to us in an irresistibly seductive way and then, nine months later, they actually feed our children!

I must say, breasts are gorgeous, and mine are too, let me tell you. As much as I appreciate positive attention, I don’t want everyone on the airplane to see my breasts. I don’t even want my in-laws or my cousins or my very own sisters or my mother to see my breasts.

I’m a grown woman. I’ve put a great deal of effort into making sure these gorgeous puppies are only revealed to those most worthy (specifically, my husband, my hungry newborn children, and, as infrequently as possible, my doctor).

There are many people—women and men—standing up for a woman’s right to breastfeed in public these days. That’s a wonderful thing, but it’s left me feeling a bit confused as a new mom.

If I’m not comfortable with exposing my breasts in public to feed my child, what does that say about me? Does it mean I’m insecure? Does it mean I’m not a good mother? Not dedicated enough? Not “natural” enough? Does it mean I care more about my appearance than my child’s well-being?

Instead of baring the breast in public, I would gladly bring a bottle of formula (gasp!) to feed my child while we’re at the doctor’s office. Does this make me less of a mother?

Why would I feel ashamed for wanting to keep a part of my body private that I’ve been taught to keep private for the 28 years I’ve been alive prior to becoming a mother? For my entire life, my breasts have been something society has taught me to cover, and now, suddenly, I’m supposed to be completely okay with popping one out in the lobby of my husband’s office?

If I was at the grocery store without any nursing children of my own to feed, and I lifted up my shirt and unclipped one side of my bra, I would be on the local news and probably asked to leave the store for “indecent exposure.”

If I was in a toy store and I walked around the store with one breast exposed and my hand just barely covering the nipple (the part of my breast covered by a nursing baby’s head), it wouldn’t be surprising for the store to call the police and assess my mental health. However, once you become a mother, you’re supposed to be okay with this.

Again, I repeat: if you’re okay with exposing your own beautiful breast in public to feed your child, I think you’re one very awesome gal.

When it comes to my own body and my own breasts, it’s just not for me, and that’s okay. Wanting to keep the most private parts of your body private—even as a breastfeeding mother—shouldn’t be a surprising thing. Hey, maybe it’s not, but I don’t see anybody else talking about it.

I want other new moms to know that it’s really okay if breastfeeding in public is something you’re not going to take part in. It’s okay to bring a bottle of pumped milk or even formula to the playground instead. Even if you’re in your own home and there are relatives visiting, it’s okay if you’ll only nurse in the confines of your bedroom.

I don’t want to breastfeed in public, and I don’t have to. That’s okay.

Originally posted by Ginger Vieira on Parent Co.

By its very nature, motherhood requires some lifestyle adjustments: Instead of staying up late with friends, you get up early for snuggles with your baby. Instead of spontaneous date nights with your honey, you take afternoon family strolls with your little love. Instead of running out of the house with just your keys and phone, you only leave with a fully loaded diaper bag.

For breastfeeding or pumping mamas, there is an additional layer of consideration around when, how and how much your baby will eat. Thankfully, when it comes to effective solutions for nursing or bottle-feeding your baby, Dr. Brown's puts the considerations of mamas and their babies first with products that help with every step of the process—from comfortably adjusting to nursing your newborn to introducing a bottle to efficiently pumping.

With countless hours spent breastfeeding, pumping and bottle-feeding, the editors at Motherly know the secret to success is having dependable supplies that can help you feed your baby in a way that matches lifestyle.

Here are 9 breastfeeding and pumping products to help you no matter what the day holds.

Customflow™ Double Electric Breast Pump

Dr. Brown's electric pump

For efficient, productive pumping sessions, a double electric breast pump will help you get the job done as quickly as possible. Quiet for nighttime pumping sessions and compact for bringing along to work, this double pump puts you in control with fully adjustable settings.


Hands-Free Pumping Bra

Dr. Brown''s hands free pumping bra

Especially in the early days, feeding your baby can feel like a pretty consuming task. A hands-free pumping bra will help you reclaim some of your precious time while pumping—and all mamas will know just how valuable more time can be!


Manual Breast Pump with SoftShape™ Silicone Shield

Dr. Brown's manual breast pump

If you live a life that sometimes takes you away from electrical outlets (that's most of us!), then you'll absolutely want a manual breast pump in your arsenal. With two pumping modes to promote efficient milk expression and a comfort-fitted shield, a manual pump is simply the most convenient pump to take along and use. Although it may not get as much glory as an electric pump, we really appreciate how quick and easy this manual pump is to use—and how liberating it is not to stress about finding a power supply.


Nipple Shields and Sterilization Case

Dr. Brown's nipple shields

There is a bit of a learning curve to breastfeeding—for both mamas and babies. Thankfully, even if there are some physical challenges (like inverted nipples or a baby's tongue tie) or nursing doesn't click right away, silicone nipple shields can be a huge help. With a convenient carry case that can be sterilized in the microwave, you don't have to worry about germs or bacteria either. 🙌


Silicone One-Piece Breast Pump

Dr. Brown's silicone pump

When you are feeding your baby on one breast, the other can still experience milk letdown—which means it's a golden opportunity to save some additional milk. With a silent, hands-free silicone pump, you can easily collect milk while nursing.


Breast to Bottle Pump & Store Feeding Set

After a lifetime of nursing from the breast, introducing a bottle can be a bit of a strange experience for babies. Dr. Brown's Options+™ and slow flow bottle nipples were designed with this in mind to make the introduction to bottles smooth and pleasant for parents and babies. As a set that seamlessly works together from pumping to storing milk to bottle feeding, you don't have to stress about having everything you need to keep your baby fed and happy either.


Washable Breast Pads

washable breast pads

Mamas' bodies are amazingly made to help breast milk flow when it's in demand—but occasionally also at other times. Especially as your supply is establishing or your breasts are fuller as the length between feeding sessions increase, it's helpful to use washable nursing pads to prevent breast milk from leaking through your bra.


Breast Milk Storage Bags

Dr. Brown's milk storage bags

The essential for mamas who do any pumping, breast milk storage bags allow you to easily and safely seal expressed milk in the refrigerator or freezer. Dr. Brown's™ Breast Milk Storage Bags take it even further with extra thick walls that block out scents from other food items and feature an ultra secure lock to prevent leaking.


Watch one mama's review of the new Dr. Brown's breastfeeding line here:

This article was sponsored by Dr. Brown's. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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