Yesterday my family went to eat and play at Southpark Meadows. My three-and-a-half-year-old daughter waltzed around the empty stage and made a new friend, a(n almost) two-year-old boy. I wore my six-month-old on my chest as I sat with my husband and the boy’s dad, laughing and taking pictures while our kids did the most adorable little dance together. As the mom and pop-arazzi took their shots, up walked the little boy’s mom.
She was nursing a seven-week-old baby boy using a cover. The show stopped and the dancing fiends came over to us as we all started to chat. My daughter – who has never seen me breastfeed with a cover – soon realized there was a baby under there and started trying to peek in through the top and lift the edges so she could see the tiny baby. I swiftly grabbed her hand and reminded her about privacy, concerned that she was going to embarrass the little boy’s mom.
“I’m so sorry, she is so used to seeing me nurse that she doesn’t realize you might not want to show yourself,” I apologize.
To my surprise the nursing momma tells me, “If it’s ok with you it doesn’t bother me if she looks.”
I let go of my daughter’s hand and tell her it is OK to look. She lifts the cover, sticks her ENTIRE head in there and looks at the little baby, still latched on.
“Aaaawwwwwwwwww! CUTE baby!” She squeals.
Then… nothing. There was no talk of breasts, milk or how babies eat. She made no judgement on her new friend’s exposed breast, how her baby ate or the choices she made. Just an observation of how cute that tiny little baby was and then we all moved on with our conversation.
It struck me later how insignificant this was to my daughter because breastfeeding is so NORMAL to her. I am so thankful to this mom, whom I didn’t even know, for being open to sharing her nursing experience with my daughter so that I could witness this beautiful “nothing.”
What if we lived in a world where women could breastfeed their babies, exposed, in public, and the only whisper to be heard would be, “Awwwwwwww! What a cute baby!”
Normalize breastfeeding. It works.
You can also find this story here: http://keepaustinnip.blogspot.com/2013/09/happy-breastfeeding-in-public-story.html#links