Taboo you say?
The debate on whether public breastfeeding should be a big deal or not has been an argument for who knows how long.
I was once on the other side of things. I would walk in malls and see a breastfeeding mother and cringe (mainly with older children). I always understood it as a natural "thing" but still thought 'Ew. I don't want to see." Until I had my baby and realized the great annoyance in having to plan to nurse in public.
To be honest, I've only not covered myself in public maybe once (I was at a park with my friend and it was just us), but I realized I still get stare downs even when I use a nursing cover!
I'm on the side of things where I fully believe society has sexualized women to the point that it is appalling to people to see a mother FEED her baby. Yes, FEED. When it is HOT out, my baby doesn't like a cover over her face, that makes us both sweat. I dare you, try having a meal outside with a blanket over your face and see how much you like it.
I don't mind nursing rooms that malls have. I welcome them. They have comfortable seating and give you the peace of whipping it out. A known fact is that as your baby gets bigger, they pull on and off to constantly look around every five seconds, they also like to play with anything in sight, SUCH AS SAID NURSING COVER. Truth is, I don't feel comfortable just whipping it out in public, but that for me is more because the stare downs I get even when I'm covered.
Recently, we were on vacation at Disney World. Now, if you've ever been to DW, you KNOW they have ONE nursing room in the WHOLE park that's located near the entrance. It was boiling outdoors and so I had to take my daughter into washroom stalls to nurse her. For people who don't know, when you are exclusively breastfeeding (you don't supplement with formula), you have to up the feedings when it's hot to keep your baby hydrated—not give water. So needless to say, I had to take my baby into a stall several times just to nurse.
Are we that sensitive to breastfeeding that my baby needs to eat in a washroom stall?? Absolutely. It is a GREAT shame that our society has gotten to the point where we can mom-shame women for this great superpower that allows them to feed their children.
For those who are thinking "Just give a bottle." Number one, not all babies take a bottle (mine refused from six weeks to five months, no matter what I did). Number two, when my child misses a feeding directly from me, I now need to pump out that feeding. Not to mention, the more efficient at nursing my baby becomes, the harder it is to pump out the amount I would need to replenish. Also, why do I now need to pack an extra item because your eyes can't deal?
If you're reading this and thinking 'I still think it's gross,' go eat all your meals while sitting on a public washroom toilet.
Mama Bear D