I was reminded of this by a very disrespectful photo that I saw on facebook earlier this week. It said something to the effect of “A mother who covers her child is sending the message that she is ashamed of that child.” And then it encouraged you to breastfeed in public.
My problem is this: This statement only serves to fuel the mommy wars.
Should a mother be forced to cover while feeding her baby in public? Absolutely not!
Should a mother be made to feel like she is doing it wrong if she chooses to cover? Absolutely not!
My feeling is, and has always been – that whatever makes a mother feel more comfortable feeding her baby in public and whatever enables her to continue feeding her baby longer is a good tool for THAT mother to have. It may not be how you would choose to do it and it may not be the right tool for you – but if it is the right tool for her, then let her use the tools that enable her to continue doing what she is doing.
For me personally, I used to cover up when I first started breastfeeding in public. Not because I wanted to hide the breastfeeding – everyone knew what I was doing. But because I wanted to hide my exposed skin (which was not on my breast – it was on my belly!). I stopped covering because it became far to cumbersome for me. And instead I invested in nursing tops to help me keep my belly covered while feeding my baby.
Let’s support each mom in using the tools that enable her to breastfeed longer.
We don’t want to fuel the mommy wars – instead let’s just support each other and respect the tools that we each use to meet our own goals.
Do you cover when you feed your baby? Did you in the beginning? Did it change over time? Please leave a comment and share your nursing in public experiences. What tools helped you to meet your goals?