Saturday, August 3, 2013

Got my guard up...feeding my baby

breastfeedingcafecarnivalWelcome to The Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival!

This post was written as part of the Breastfeeding Cafe's Carnival. For more info on the Breastfeeding Cafe, go to For more info on the Carnival or if you want to participate, contact Claire at clindstrom2 {at} gmail {dot} com. Today's post is about your most unlikely support. Please read the other blogs in today's carnival listed below and check back for more posts July 22nd through August 4th!

 Saturday, August 3rd - Your most unlikely support: was there someone in your life that you expected to give you grief about nursing, but instead was your biggest fan?

When my first daughter was 10 weeks old, I was on a crowded plane with her and she was hungry (more about that trip here). Of course, I began to feed (breastfeed) her. I had an aisle seat and was sitting next to a stranger who was a young adult man. I was relieved when I was able to get her to latch on successfully without elbowing the guy or causing a scene. However, nursing in a tiny airplane seat was a bit awkward and my elbow and knee were sticking out into the aisle. As the older male flight attendant came down the aisle to give us a drink and a cookie (the good old days when Frontier airlines gave out warm chocolate chip cookies...), I was thinking of a few come-backs in case he gave me grief about nursing my baby. Instead, he smiled warmly at me, handed me my drink, and gave me not one, but two of the warm cookies with the comment, "Here's one for you and one for the baby...but you might have to eat hers for her." It was a simple gesture, but as a new unsure mom, it felt like a pat on the back and helped me to calm down and enjoy the rest of the flight without stressing out about feeding my baby.

Flash forward to when my second daughter was 6 months old (this was just a few weeks ago), and we were at a Target Portrait Studio trying to get a couple quick snapshots taken. My poor baby was hungry and tired and NOT cooperative. They offered to let another family go ahead of us so I could work on calming the baby and we could try again. Sitting in the waiting chairs, I began to nurse her. The other photographer, an older male, approached me and I wondered if he was going to ask me to go somewhere else to nurse. Nope!! He came over and said, "I'm so glad to see you nursing in here. We have a daughter about that age and I totally get it- when they need to eat, they need to eat! Did you hear about that mom who got grief at the swimming pool for feeding her baby? That's ridiculous!..." and continued for a bit to discuss the importance of nursing in public. I appreciated his support, my child calmed down, and we got a cute picture a few minutes later:

These two brief encounters were no big deal, but I really appreciated both of these guys for their support instead of criticism. Braced for a fight, I've been very pleased that people have been supportive of my nursing in public!

More importantly, and a more accurate answer to this question, I appreciate the support from my mother-in-law. I shouldn't have expected anything less than support from her, because she has always been very kind and loving to me even when my decisions are different from her own (and being different, perhaps make her a bit my out-of-hospital birth). I was a little concerned that since she hadn't nursed any of her children, she might not understand my desire to exclusively breastfeed and would push supplementing with formula or something. Not only did she not make any discouraging comments or try to sway me, she was a vocal advocate of my breastfeeding, always commenting on a new study she'd heard about the benefits, taking into consideration my need to feed my baby when she was hungry, making it clear that I was welcome to nurse in her house whenever and wherever I needed to, and telling me what a good mom I was. What a wonderful gift she gave me with her support!

So, next time you see a nursing mother, remember that being a parent can sometimes be hard, and she might need a boost. You might be the one who can make her day!

Here are more post by the Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival participants! Check back because more will be added throughout the day.

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