Monday, February 8, 2010

I Nurse In Public

Papa Bear, baby bear and I went to visit his parents in Florida last week. This is what I wrote while traveling.

The TSA website has special instructions for 'pumping and nursing while traveling.' I understand that trying to pump while flying could be difficult but I just don't see the need for additional instruction for nursing. Part of the joy of nursing is that it doesn't require any extra planning. I don't have to pack anything, sanitize anything or worry about forgetting. It's not that I am immodest. Ok, maybe I am immodest. It doesn't bother me if you see a part of my breast. It doesn't bother me that it might make you uncomfortable. It really doesn't bother me if you can tell that I am nursing. In fact, I hope you can tell. I hope that your children can tell and they ask you to explain to them what my baby is doing. I hope to help normalize breastfeeding for women and girls who want to nurse their babies in the future. Maybe seeing me unashamed, casually nursing in the airport while still going about my life uninterrupted, will encourage them to do the same.

I was gazing down at my nursling in JFK last weekend and it occurred to me that Josephine doesn't know that breastfeeding is controversial. She doesn't feel scandalous or outrageous. She was just absentmindedly stroking my hair, playing with my necklace while doing the most natural thing she can do. She gets hungry, she nurses. She feels tired or uncomfortable, she nurses. To her the idea that breastfeeding in public could be wrong might seem as odd as judging someone for snuggling or rocking.

No pictures from this weekend, but here we are at the Commonground Fair last summer nursing in a wrap;

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