1 | You are in a place with people around you, a public sort of place.
2 | You have a small human having a feed through your breasts, breastfeeding, essentially.
3 | You are sitting down.
4 | Or standing up.
5 | You are looking quite relaxed.
6 | Or maybe a bit hassled, if someone who doesn’t agree with feeding babies is eyeballing you
7 | You are eating lunch.
8 | Or maybe doing something else.
9 | Your baby is not crying.
10 | You aren’t standing on a table with no clothes on singing “My Milkshake brings all the boys to the yard.”
Here’s the thing; it is virtually impossible to tell when a mother is breastfeeding in public! Breastfeeding is an everyday activity and the single sign it is happening is that there is one less baby crying due to hunger.
Even if it isn’t completely discreet (why should it be? A tiny person is getting her basic needs met, and she should get her needs met any way she needs to!) it is very easy to ignore. What you do is, you kind of move your head in another direction and focus your eyeballs on something else. You with me? It’s a bit like not looking.
I’ve been breastfeeding for over half a decade and have taken great pleasure in being able to feed my babies the most nutritionally potent substance there is and I’ve loved the connection it has provided to my angsty toddlers.
I’ve had lots of different experiences of nursing in public from people shouting at me from a balcony, to a women giving me some straight up facts about there not being anything left in a breast after six months, to another mother coming up to me and encouraging me for nursing my baby out and about.
This last experienced made me vow to do the same.
So now, wherever I am, if I see a mother breastfeeding her child in public I give her a big fat smile, and, if I’m feeling brave enough, sometimes I even go right on up and say “Good on you! Every mother that breastfeeds in public is making it easier for someone else.”
The next time I see someone dancing naked on a table to Kelis, I’m going to give them a smile too. Why not? You gotta live the life you love, right?