Let me start by saying that breast feeding isn’t for everyone, and that’s fine. I am not passing judgment on anyone who chooses to use formula…it is your decision and I totally understand why you might choose formula. Choosing to breast feed is a huge commitment and among other things it can be exhausting and time consuming.
I am, however, a big fan of breast feeding. It’s free (except for the extra calories I have to eat). It is always the right temperature, there is always the right amount, and its always already mixed up. I never have to plan ahead for how much formula to take on vacation or even on a day trip out. And let’s not forget that it automatically has exactly what Drew needs nutritionally.
I breast fed Max for 15 months, and I plan to breast feed Drew for at least that long. For the most part, it has been a fantastic experience, but it has one major downside for me. I feel like because I have chosen to nurse my children that I am shunned a little. And that is a terrible feeling.
I remember with Max that although I loved all the wonderful things about nursing him, I hated that every time I fed him I felt as though I had to excuse myself from the rest of the world. It was even suggested to me a few different times that I go in another room. It shouldn’t be that way!! If someone feels uncomfortable with me feeding my children in the same room as them, then maybe they should excuse themselves, not me!
I swore up and down that with Drew, it would be different. I wouldn’t feed him in the car when he needed to eat while we were out for dinner. I wouldn’t go to the dressing room at Walmart or Target if we were shopping. I definitely wouldn’t go to a public restroom and sit on the toilet to feed him (yes, I actually did that a few times with Max). When he got here, I started off great. I fed him while walking around in Target and wearing him in a sling, and in various restaurants. But then we moved. And I gave up. I love this small town of ours, but because I know so many people and its not nearly as acceptable to nurse in public, I stopped. I felt exposed. I packed a bottle when we were going out to eat, fed Drew in the car, and fed him in a dressing room once.
But I am done with that. While I believe in modesty and discretion, I don’t believe that I should have to hide away to feed my baby.
Maybe since I posted about it on here, I will actually stick to it 🙂
Thank you, Rachel Minick and Stephanie Mayberry for making me feel a little better about this yesterday! Maybe I’m not alone 🙂
The photo below is of me feeding Drew in Target in a sling for the first time…it was such a great feeling and felt so freeing that I took a picture!