Friday, September 29, 2006

My NIP confession

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.


  1. Ugh...I totally know what you mean about the whole fiddling with your bra and those darn nursing pads are so hard to discretely take off and put back on. I have to sit little Elisabeth down while I fiddle with everything. I can't imagine what I'm going to do out in public...

    Got anymore pics? I love seeing your gorgeous girls! Eloise is probably getting so big!

  2. I don't think you're a fraud at all. It sounds like what happened to you was, you looked around and realized that you were most likely surrounded by people who were not as open as you or I, and you took into account their feelings too and made a compromise.

    I think it's a fine balance. I would like to see a world where we could breastfeed freely wherever we are, but I don't feel like I need to stomp on people in the process of achieving that world. In my opinion, it would've been morally and ethically fine for you to stay right there in that booth and breastfeed, but you're right that it might have made some people uncomfortable.

    So, instead of a fraud, you are actually a very perceptive and understanding person! Plus, it's always smart to listen to your instincts whether they make sense to you or not :)

  3. I totally understand. I'm larger too, and while I could usually do the nursing part pretty discreetly in just regular clothes, I was never able to figure out how to re-hook the nursing bra, so I'd tend to walk out of places with one boob hanging to my waist-attractive, let me tell you.

  4. You are not a fraud. I totally support NIP and do it all of the time, but sometimes you have to make judgement calls! Those booths are really hard to nurse in, I always have to turn sideways and now my baby is getting too big for even doing that. As for the Pastor thing, he may have been embarrassed, but God would not have looked down on you! HE made your breasts for Nursing a baby...and I'm sure Mary had to whip it out and feed Jesus when he got hungry...even at chuch! :-)

  5. I have been the same way before- exactly how you describe it where your stress level goes up. And I, too, am no small boob nursing mom. It's the real deal. So, there are times I NIP and cover up, and other times that I don't. I think both are just fine! Nursing tops are wonderful.

    Oh, and I definitely think God is smiling down upon you every time you nurse that precious child. That is what he intended all along, and is one of the greatest things I am thankful for- the way he made mother & child to bond and nourish in such a beautiful way.

  6. I had to laugh. I totally know how you felt. I also am HUGELY endowed. It's the one thing I wish I could change.

    But there are times I NIP and times I cover up. I have 2 older boys that I wouldn't feel comfortabe whipping it out in the middle of a Little League game in front of a bunch of 8 and 9 year old boys. So I bought a nursing cover. But I have a few nursing tops that are great when I go out too.

    I just remind myself that this is the way God intended for mothers to feed their babies and it's not "dirty", it's a beautiful thing and the thing I am most greatful for.

  7. LOL I'm the same way lately. I'm all for NIP and hate when I see people going out of their way to cover up. Then when the time comes for me I'm the one trying to throw napkins on myself :)


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