The other day, at the grocery store, the baby was crying. And hungry. And fussy. So what did I do? I breastfed her. You know, the way humans and most mammals can do.
I didn't have my usual "blanket scarf" which is big enough to nurse under/wear as a poncho/turn into a tee pee for the kids/maybe use as a possible car cover if need be, so I had to use a regular ol' scarf shaped scarf to nurse under. As I walked out of the store the wind blew my skimpy regular sized scarf right off my shoulder, exposing the baby's head along with my boob. As I scrambled to get the scarf back on me while also holding another child's hand AND pushing a shopping cart, an older gentleman walked past me shooting me a look of death and even did that "tsk tsk" noise. TO MY FACE. Did I respond? No, of course I didn't, because a) I sorta had my hands full, and b) I have a blog where I can call people out like that, and so here we are. If I DID respond in the moment? I probably would have said something along the lines of "Guest what dude? I don't want you to see my boob EITHER."
Now, let me dispel a little myth out there: not all women who breastfeed in public are even comfortable with exposing their breasts while doing so. Similarly, there is nothing, and I repeat NO THING sexual about breastfeeding. No one is getting their kicks out of whipping a boob out in public to nurse. Nope. Not even close. No mom is like "Yay, I get to flash my boobs around while feeding the baby now, whoopie!". No.
The thing is, I don't have a nanny or baby sitter and I don't give the baby a bottle just yet, so I'm pretty much it when it comes to food. I'm not about to whip out a jar of baby food, a bib and a spoon and balance her on my knee while I spoon feed her in a grocery store checkout line (ed note: HAHA). I also don't have the time luxury to plan out all of our daily outings around her (somewhat random) feeding schedule. So a lot of times I find myself in public, with a hungry baby, and I have to feed her. So that whole "Do you have to do that here?" thing? YES. Yes I do. Sustaining life is kinda a priority when it comes to babies. Sort of a big deal.
I almost always try to feed her under a cover. Not because I am ashamed to breastfeed in public, I just don't like having to expose my breast to strangers. Why? Maybe it's because I know people can be judgmental and I just don't want to deal with that, maybe it's because people tend to stare less long if I'm feeding her under a cover, and maybe I just plain and simple don't want strangers seeing my boobs.
But let's get this one thing straight, if YOU, nosy stranger, don't want to see my breasts, imagine how little I want YOU, nosy stranger, to see them. I can't very well turn off her hunger with a snap of my fingers, but guess what you can do? Look away. Just roll those eyeballs up and away from the general direction of my breasts and my baby's head and we are all good. Rant over. xoxo