*We've partnered with Bravado Designs to help normalize breastfeeding anytime, anywhere. When it comes to breastfeeding, we say: anytime, anywhere. And we think the more images we can get out there of women breastfeeding -- on the subway, on a park bench, on a stoop, street corner, supermarket and more -- the more we can help a new mom gain confidence to breastfeed wherever she wants, whenever she wants. We've been sharing stories of women breastfeeding in public all week, and now we want you to share YOURS. Head over to Instagram, post a picture of yourself breastfeeding, and tell us about why and how you breastfeed in public. What was it like YOUR first time? What's it like now? Why do you keep doing it? Don't forget to tag @wellroundedny and our partner @bravadodesigns and use the hashtag #thisiswhereibreastfeed. Not so into Instagram? Email us your story at firstname.lastname@example.org with a photo (or 2...or 10). Every Instagram post or email will enter you for a chance to win a Bravado Designs breastfeeding package filled with beautiful bras and accessories. Plus, we'll feature one reader story next week on Well Rounded! Make sure you post your story or email us by June 15! Need some inspiration? Meet some mamas who are breastfeeding in public, with confidence.
Alyson Schwartz, a lawyer and mom of two, photographed in Brooklyn with Baby Paz: My first experience breastfeeding in public was with my son, in Los Angeles, where we then lived. The culture there felt really open and casual, and I never thought twice about breastfeeding him in restaurants, parks, and wherever else we happened to be. Then, when he was a few months old, I was almost kicked off of a flight for breastfeeding him without a cover. The flight attendant told me that I needed to cover up, and when I responded that I didn't have a cover because my son wouldn't nurse with one, she told me that if I kept breastfeeding him without a cover, I would need to get off the plane. She said, 'I'm pro-breastfeeding, but only when it's done appropriately.' I apologized to her and took my son to the bathroom, where I tried to nurse him on the toilet and we both cried. I've since nursed my son on dozens of flights, and have already nursed Paz on at least ten more. I think back to that flight years ago when I was a younger, less experienced, breastfeeding mother, traveling alone with a four-month-old, and I wish I could have summoned all of the confidence and strength that I have now and give that flight attendant the response that she badly needed to hear. I'd like to see someone try to stop me from breastfeeding Paz whenever and however she'd like! I think they'd regret the day they crossed my path.
Fallon Santiago, mom of a toddler and another on the way, photographed in Brooklyn feeding her son Jayden:I remember the first time I breastfed in public. About 3 weeks after my son was born, everyone had gone home and the dust had started to settle. I ventured out to the library, wearing my son in a wrap, and he slept for the majority of our trip. We stopped by a local bistro so I could grab some lunch, and moments after I sat down, he woke up hungry and crying. I wasn't sure how I was going to nurse him and keep myself covered, and also not let on that I was in a lot of pain. I tried to just give him his pacifier, but it didn't work. I was super nervous — the bistro was filled with people as it was prime lunch time. But his crying was getting louder and louder by the minute, so I just bit the bullet and started nursing him right there at the table. The waitress arrived, took my order and didn't bat an eye, which instantly made me feel more comfortable. By the end of my lunch, I realized no one really cared what I was doing.
Niurka Maldonado, mom of two, photographed in Brooklyn feeding her daughter Paulina: New motherhood can often feel like junior high, a time when you're convinced everybody is watching your every move and talking about you behind their back. In this state of mine, the briefest moment of eye contact with a stranger can feel like you're on the receiving end of snickering. We do this to ourselves — does that guy think my son shouldn't be on an iPad? Do these folks assume I spoil my daughter because she's throwing a tantrum? Is that older woman disgusted at the sight of me breastfeeding? What I came to realize over time is, in reality, most people just don't have that kind of time for me. In real life, the only people alive who think of me that often are myself and, well, that little baby who will never again be so dependent on me. Share your story! Email us or share it on Instagram! Don't forget to tag @wellroundedny and our partner @bravadodesigns and use the hashtag #thisiswhereibreastfeed.