I am an adamant supporter of nursing in public (NIP). If you've been reading my blog for a while, you probably have read many comments I've made on the subject. I'm for feeding your babe any time, any where, without draping yourself in blankets or fancy marketed "hooter hiders". I firmly believe that if someone takes issue with seeing a woman NIPing, it's THEIR problem, not the nursing mamas.
So what is my confession? Well, I've turned in to a reluctant NIPer. Yesterday we stopped at a small burger/ice cream joint so I could get Iris some ice cream. She jumped right in to a booth directly across from the counter, which was also right in front of the restaurant door. As we sat there eating our ice cream, Eloise was getting a little fussy. I started to feel my stress level increase, I knew she needed to nurse, but I didn't want to do it right there. I was sitting at a booth, which are tough to BF at, six feet away from the counter where there were only high schoolers working, and facing the front door of the restaurant. As I looked around I just thought, man, I bet many of these people would be uncomfortable if I nursed Eloise here. I ended up asking Iris to go sit at a table outside with me, where I then nursed as usual.
What is my deal? I'm not totally sure, but I have some theories. First, NIPing is difficult when you're as heavy chested as I am. "Popping" my boob out is more like "hefting" my boob out, and no matter which way you look at it, I'm still wrangling a gigantic boob out of my bra and trying to non-chalantly shove it in to my babe's mouth. Actually nursing Eloise isn't a big deal, I can do that fairly discreetly, even with a monstrous chest. Then there's the matter of getting everything back together. There is simply no way to put my nursing pad on my boob, heft my boob back up and try to re-hook my bra strap. Hell, I even embarass myself when I try to do this at home. It is not easy. Usually if I'm in public, I end up just shoving my boob back in all willy-nilly and high-tail it to a private place to tidy myself up.
It's frustrating. I want to be the kind of mama who easily whips it out anywhere and doesn't have a problem, but alas, the reality of the situation is, these babies don't "whip" and in fact I put on quite a show getting ready to nurse and cleaning up from it. I don't think that many mamas think about this. Or maybe they do. Everyone talks about NIP, like they are actually refering to the nursing part of the whole process. I rarely hear anyone talk about the best way to discreetly get a boob in and out of a bra, or affix a nursing pad while you're in the middle of the food court at the mall with a baby in one arm.
A few weekends ago a similar thing happened to me. We were all at a church carnival and had gotten some food and sat our butts down across the table from a nice looking couple. The gentleman introduced himself as Pastor Steve. "Oh, no", we thought, hopefully he doesn't start asking us anything about religion. He was actually very, very nice and chatty. Eloise was getting fussy, I knew she needed to nurse, but I just couldn't bring myself to whip it out two feet away from Pastor Steve's lunch. Does the lord look down on NIPing? Who knows, but I didn't want to risk an admittedly unlikely tsk-tsking.
I am a fraud, I know. A big, fat, stinky fraud.