There is a ton of debate on breastfeeding in public, from men and women alike. The main problem? People just don’t want to see it! I can’t count the number of times I’ve read or heard someone saying “Why is it so difficult to cover up?” I’ve heard it from guys, from women who haven’t yet had children, and even from moms who breastfed every one of their children.
Seriously…what’s so hard about covering up?
- It’s a pain: I mean, really, do I need any other reason than that?
- It’s likely that I’ve forgotten my cover. Seriously. Do you have any idea how many things we have to remember to take with us on an outing? Diapers, wipes, blankets, multiple pairs of clothing, a stroller, a change of shirt for ME because the baby is likely to spit up or poop all over me…and the list goes on. Add to that “new mom brain” (it’s a THING, people!), and it’s likely that 50% of your uncovered breastfeeders simply forgot it. I finally kept one cover in the car and one at home. Leaving it in the Diaper Bag
just meant leaving it at someones house, or pulling in out at home when I couldn’t find the “home” one. 😉
- Some babies don’t like it! I know you’ve all heard the “would YOU like to eat with a blanket over your head?” question, and reality dictates that tons of babies just really can’t handle a blanket over their face while drinking. Little ones are tough to please, and having them thrash about while eating just causes a scene that nobody really wants to see. I can’t tell you the number of times we were at Bible Study and Little A would rip off the cover before he latched on – hello flying boob!! -_-
- They are awkward. Covers take a minute to place, then you have to get the baby in position underneath for her to latch and get comfy. This whole process is stressful; we are trying our darndest to be inconspicuous, but we end up making it a much bigger scene!
- Covering up hinders the actual success of breastfeeding that little cutie. One of the most wonderful things about feeding our kiddos is getting to lock eyes with them during the process. This isn’t just a cool warm-and-fuzzy feeling thing though; it’s actually essential for mamas to engage in the feeding process in order for the liquid gold to flow easily.That warm and fuzzy feeling is thanks to good ol’ oxytocin – the love hormone. Oxytocin is both a byproduct and assistant during breastfeeding. So, when mamas breastfeed in public, using a cover would really hinder the ability to feed our babies adequately.
So, bottom line – covering up while breastfeeding is a serious pain, it hinders the ability to sufficiently feed our kiddos, and it draws more attention than just simply feeding them.
I personally do not whip out my boob whenever the need arises to feed my kid. Honestly, I haven’t met any mothers who do! The opinion perpetuated by media (or perhaps just a byproduct of us breastfeeding bloggers tooting our horns) is that many of us love to just open up our shirts and let the whole world see us latch a baby on.
NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH
I literally do everything in my power to be as discreet as possible. And let me tell you, using a cover is the loudest thing I can possibly do when breastfeeding. It immediately signals to everyone that I’m about to get naked. (haha ok maybe only one boob, but still…) The best way I’ve found to nurse discreetly is to wear a light spaghetti strap tank top under whatever shirt I’m wearing. Layers are “in” now, anyway, right?! Lift the top shirt just enough to pull down the bra and bam! I am breastfeeding a baby with no one the wiser. It literally looks like I’m just cradling my baby boy. The only time it becomes an issue is if Little A is unlatching all wild and crazy lol. In that case…get over it people – even a cover wouldn’t have stopped that nip slip. 😉
No post should go without all options available, so here are some of the other styles of covers us mamas can use! Some of them are quite easy to put together and use, if your little one can deal with it. 😉 I love the ones that have an extended neckline. They were certainly easier to use when I did. 🙂
Do you use a cover? How have your experiences been? Good and bad, share them with me below, I love hearing your stories!! 🙂