Nobody puts baby in a corner

August 1-7 is World Breastfeeding Week. If you saw me at BlogHer this past weekend, or follow me in basically any circle of social media, I took Emma with me to New York. Part of the reason, actually the main reason, is because she’s exclusively breastfed.

With Joshua, I pumped exclusively for about four months. This time, my girls are all “Oh hell no” every time I hook up my pump. They lock up tighter than Fort Knox and no milk comes out, or at least not enough to amount to much. Because I can’t really seem to get up much of a stash, where my boobs go, Emma goes. And if she can’t go, my boobs don’t go either. Which means I don’t go.

We’re a team, she and I.

Nursing in public
Team Boob.

Breastfeeding is important to me, and so is my belief in a woman’s right to nurse in public. And by public, I don’t mean in a public bathroom stall while someone drops a deuce next to us. (Vom.)

So far, I’ve been met with (almost) nothing but support in any venue in which I’ve nursed Emma. And so far, I’ve nursed her in a lot of places. And by a lot of places, I pretty much mean wherever I am whenever she needs to eat.

Places like the bounce house.

Nursing in a ring sling
This is what Emma does while Joshua plays.

Or, the airport.

Nursing in the ring sling
Don't mind us. Just killing time.

Or a train.

Nursing on a train
We're going on a train ride, train ride, train ride...

Or, a park along the river in New York City.

Nursing in public
Dining al fresco

Do you know what you don’t see in any of these pictures? My boob. Because nursing in public doesn’t mean “whipping out a boob” or flashing people or being an exhibitionist.

It just means feeding my kid.

I request to sit in booths whenever we go out to eat because they tend to offer more privacy than a table in the middle of the restaurant, which means Emma gets less distracted. (This is as much for corralling Joshua as it is for my ability to nurse Emma discreetly. When dining with preschoolers, booths are your friend.) Nursing in the ring sling is also a way for me to feed Emma while walking around without having to use both hands to carry her, but sometimes she just gets tired of being in the thing so I’m okay not using it if I don’t have to.

Another way I nurse discreetly, and without a cover (because that thing is crazy-making), is by layering my shirts. I wear a nursing camisole under my regular top. I pull one top up, unsnap the nursing tank, and then use my shirt to cover any exposed skin while Emma eats. The camisole covers my mom-stomach which means no one is offended by my stretch marks, which are more offensive than my boobs, I can assure you.

I’m pro-nursing in public because the more we SEE it, the more normal it becomes. And feeding babies with boobs is normal. Seeing women nurse in public makes nursing in public less taboo. Less weird. Because it’s not weird. And it shouldn’t be taboo.

Nobody puts baby (and Mama) in a corner.

Leading Lady
The People's Party

Leading Lady sent me two nursing tanks, which are quickly becoming my absolute favorites because of their softness and fit, to wear while I nursed in public at BlogHer. Their website is stuffed with great information about nursing apparel like bras and camis and when to buy and how to ensure a proper bra fit. Additionally, they have an excellent Breastfeeding Tips section written and maintained by an IBCLC. It’s awesome to see a company trying to help moms be successful in meeting their breastfeeding goals instead of just selling a few bras. Thanks, Leading Lady, for the nursing camis!

FTC: Leading Lady sent me two nursing camis. They didn’t send me my opinions on those camis or pay off my student loans.

43 thoughts on “Nobody puts baby in a corner”

  1. I’m not a great breastfeeder. I say that because with Emma I gave up as soon as I could and pumped for 8 months instead. But I’m having the same experience as you this time around. Addison is a breastfed baby. Everywhere I go, she goes. ut I recently got split up from my family on an oversold flight. I was seated in a middle seat between two men. It was the first time I felt like I couldn’t feed her in public. I did it anyway of course. Thanks for the tip on the layering. I’ve been letting my mom belly hang out for all to see. Not pretty.

    1. My only moment of panic was Sunday on our flight home when I was seated with two men, but not between them. I had to nurse her, though, and practically dared them (in my head) to say anything about it. And you’re welcome for the tip!

  2. Awesome post! I didn’t breastfeed my son for a few reasons but I DO want to try breastfeeding our next baby, whenever that happens. I love your suggestions and your laid-back attitude about nursing on the go. Sounds like you and Emma make a great team! :)

    1. I was WAY not this cavalier about nursing Joshua in public, mostly because I couldn’t take him in public without him screaming his face off. This time, with him, I can’t stay in the house all the time. He needs to be out and about. And she needs to eat. So? I had to figure it out and I’m really, truly glad I did.

  3. I loved this. I nursed my youngest everywhere in public. Nursing at a table in a restaurant when you’re part of a huge group means you might accidentally flash the waiter – wait, that was just me. I hated the nursing covers, and so did my youngest. She would whip them off.

    1. I’m sure someone has accidentally seen my boob, but the amount of time for which they saw it was probably so short as to make them wonder if that’s what they’d actually just seen, you know? Nursing covers make me STABBY.

  4. Love this post! Which tanks do you have? I have a few (not from this company) that give me weird lines under shirts. Not cool.

    1. I have several from Target, two from Leading Lady, and two from Gap that are just for wearing around the house because they are 1) too short and 2) not a style I like. They’re comfy cotton though.

  5. Love this post!! I exclusively nursed for 6 months, then continued nursing until Kara was 13 months old. Was it easy? No. Nothing about parenthood is easy. Was it the right decision for me? Absolutely. I wanted nothing more than to provide nourishment for my child. Can you do it and work? Luckily, I could. Was THAT easy? Hella no. Pumping in a staff public breakroom, hopefully remembering to lock the door, and if other staff was already using it, I had to sit on the toilet and pump – 5 times a day. That.Was.Awful. But…I toughed it out. I nursed in public – frequently. I covered myself like you did – layering tops. And not once did someone scowl, stare, or comment. If anything, I was greeted with other mothers’ smiles. It’s a natural act – it’s what our boobs were created for. Moments I remember – Kara’s first airplane ride. I nursed her on take-off and landing both ways. I was sitting next to a man the first flight – I nursed her, carried on a conversation with him, and he thought she was just sleeping. On the way back, the woman next to me loved that I was nursing my daughter. Another time the boobs helped – Kara’s first bee sting at the pool. When nothing could soothe her, I whipped out the boob under my towel, and my daughter quieted. No one else at the pool noticed. More power to you!! Keep up the good work!

    1. I. Hate. Pumping. OMG. Hate it! Most of the time, I’m met with nothing but support when I nurse her in public, and those who would rather I didn’t nurse her have, so far, had the mental acuity not to say anything out loud. So there’s that, at least.

  6. Y’all, I have to say my girl is awesome! I never imagined in my wildest dreams she would be the woman she is today. She freaked out about everything! Vom would make her vom, and poo would make her vom, but let me just say as a mother, I am soooo proud of who she has become and ALL of her accomplishments. She is an amazing friend, wife and mother!

  7. This is the second time I’ve read awesome reviews of Leading Lady nursing apparel. I had to stop breastfeeding my first fairly early for various reasons, but I am crossing my fingers for the next. I just love the tenderness of it… and I will keep in mind the tips about layering, and check out this brand!

    1. Joshua stopped nursing from the tap at 4.5 months and I was kind of crushed. So far, Emma’s a champ. I, too, love the tenderness of nursing, especially when baby falls asleep.

      Do check out Leading Lady! They’re really comfy tanks!

    1. I don’t go around looking for conflict, but you bet your biscuits if someone tries to tell me I can’t nurse her? Hell will break loose.

      It’s just feeding babies. It’s not naughty.

  8. Good for you! I tried breast feeding (didn’t really go as planned) and it is a huge commitment. I commend you for sticking to your principles. And for setting such a good, no nonsense example.

  9. Thank you.

    And thank you for taking pictures and documenting.

    My firstborn nursed, and nursed in public. My second dd is 14 months and still nursing like a champ wherever we are and whatever we are doing. Sometimes she will take a cup or snack, but sometimes nothing is acceptable but nursing.

    1. I know some people think I’m a weirdo when I take pictures of Emma nursing, but this is why I needed them!

      And you’re welcome.

  10. One of my favorite memories is watching you sitting (in a corner,,, incidentally) and nursing Emma at SocialLuxe while hot guy after hot guy brought you plate after plate after plate of appetizers. At one point there was an actual line. And it had nothing to do with a boob being out (it wasn’t) I just remember thinking how beautiful you looked and how cool it was that all of these things were happening so naturally. Also yes, LAYERING. Not something I mastered with Piper, and something that definitely has to be a priority next time. Because it’s hot and covers are icky.

    1. Emma was like a magnet for people to bring me ALL THE THINGS at Social Luxe. It was bizarre and cool.

      And covers are the Devil. I hate them.

  11. At blogher, while talking with someone in the middle of a hallway, I caught a mother breasfeeding off to the side, on a bench, out of the corner of my eye. I kept looking at her, well, more-specifically, to the people around her, ready to get all snippy if someone asked her to leave or said something snippy to her.

    Then I realized that I was, kind-of, watching a woman feed her child, and decided that, perhaps, I was being a little pervy about it. Or that I was looking for confrontation. Either way, it wasn’t cool.

    What was cool is that nobody minded that she was feeding.

    Anyway, yeah, I’m on record as being a fan of boobs — but I love that their actual use is becoming less & less taboo in society.

    1. It was totally cool that no one minded, and truthfully, I’ve encountered that more often than I’ve encountered anyone trying to stop me from feeding Emma. It IS good that it’s becoming less and less taboo, and I’m glad that you were willing to stand up for the mother you saw nursing should she have needed help.

  12. LOVE this!!!!! Seriously, you inspire me in so many ways. I was a total breastfeeding addict with my son. (I mean, mainly because you have to feed so often, but still.) Breastfeeding was such a huge part of our bonding and relationship for a long time. And I had no shame about how often, long, or how many public places I did it. I love reading about how important it is for you, too!

    1. I loved breastfeeding Joshua and I was so sad when he went on a nursing strike that I couldn’t overcome. So sad. With Emma, things are so much easier in so many ways and I’m thankful for that. This is incredibly important to me with both of my children. I’m happy to find so many kindred spirit moms online!

  13. I haaaaaated nursing tanks. Couldn’t find one that worked well for me. Luckily, Isla hid my stomach most of the time! We made it to 13 months and 2 days and then my girl was done and hasn’t looked back. I am proud of both of us. Me, for sticking with it (I ain’t no quitter) and her for knowing when she was done and stopping all on her own.

    1. I’m excited to nurse Emma for as long as she wants to nurse. I think. Or that’s how I feel right now. It’s just such a special thing, you know? Gah. I love nursing mah babies.

  14. Newbie subscriber here. Found you just a week ago. I happen to think you ARE super. I love every word of this post! I’ve breastfed three sons but the youngest of them didn’t take to bottles. No surprise there since I’m now a SAHM and accessible 24/7. Anywho that’s how I became an “its just a BOOB” go-anywhere breastfeeding mama. I gotta feed him ya know? Don’t get me wrong, I cover up the girls though! Layering is my saving grace. Mostly received support with the exception of a few ‘does she think this is Africa, why is she doing that in public’ stares in Costco and humorously a rant from a Korean woman (we’re living abroad now) in a furniture store. I’ll never know what she said because it wasn’t in English but she seemed very concerned and kept gesturing at my chest. Here I thought other countries were more supportive??? LOL I was embarrassed but no way did I stop feeding my son. I walked/nursed outta there though. She was terrifying but now I laugh when I think back on it :D

  15. I love it! Gah it was so easy when I could just feed Allie anywhere. And I love that I live in a city where no one gives a crap. It’s totally possible to be modest and feed your kid. But on the flip? I have totally seen a mom just whip out the boob and feed the kid walking with her boob out on a hot day at the outlets. Whatever works…

    1. I don’t think most people here care either. Or if they do, they’re smart enough to keep their mouths shut about it! :)

      And yes, whatever works. Baby’s gotta eat.

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