Live your life tits out

This past weekend whilst hiding with my family from a “raining cats and dog” scenario I found myself sitting in the cafe at the Boston Aquarium. It was loud, and over stimulating, the crowd of people gasping each time the sky rounded with the sounds of angels playing bowling (thunder).

To our right sat another table, a young family with one child. I would give a rough estimate that the babe was around a month or less given basic development skills and he or she was clearly hungry.

I watched as the father seemed helpless. He had no idea what to do in this foreign setting with his fragile little family. And the mother struggled holding the baby in one hand to find a nursing cover in the diaper bag. She covered the baby and it seemed to calm down though completely covered with what looked like a sheet hanging around his mothers neck. You could speratically see it’s legs and arms flailing around. I turned back to my own family and thought of all the times that I unencumbered by any accessory nurse my babies in public. How I became a one handed sandwich making professional while breast-feeding. Compose emails while breast-feeding. Phoned into conference calls while breastfeeding. Took vacations while breastfeeding. And attended many an awkward family holiday while breastfeeding. As it played out in my head it seemed a total inconvenience to have to cover myself and child any of those times.

I then turned to look and see how the nursing babe was doing,and I smiled. Because the little duffer had managed to push and kick the cover totally off and the mother was doing nothing to fix it. I felt validated in my thought process. My natural inclination had been to nurse without a cover accessory and this child had clearly not fancied his or hers. Covers be damned, these kids just want to eat without a blanket in their face. Like really think about it. Have you tried eating under a blanket? No thank you it’s awful, its why we don’t do it on a regular occurrence at the dinner table.

On several occasions while shopping and nursing a random woman would come up to me and tell me how brave I was for breast-feeding in public. Yet it had never occurred to me that bravery was necessary to feed my child in any place. That my child’s needs and my inclination to nurture them surpassed any societal norms or taboo practices. I realized that I had unbeknownst, yet proudly, lived my life tits out.

If you are worried about making somebody feel uncomfortable,you are going to go largely unnoticed. You are only trying to take care of your child which is of course you’re number one priority at this point in your relationship to this child. If you are feeling uncomfortable, then you just need to get over yourself. The reality is 97% of people are not even paying attention to you, let alone realize that you have a tit hanging out in a public place. I have found a childs head works as a great tool to cover an exposed nipple. Also you can work with the seemingly never ending options of maternity wear offered these days. You know the tank tops with the clicky straps, the bras that pop down in the front, and all of the shirts that allow a quick nip slip unbeknownst to others.

Because here is the full on reality of the situation. Babies especially teeny-weeny’s three months and under do not enjoy loud public spaces. It is stressful for their adapting nervous. And what is the most comforting thing for the babe? Why the nipple of course. So what better reason to breastfeed in public then it is the exact thing that your baby needs at that moment. What anyone else thinks is in no way applicable to a relationship between her mother and child.

Plus there are times when it can be full on advantageous. You know that ear popping sensation that drives people crazy on flights? You or I might chew some gum to alleviate those symptoms. A baby however not having the capacity to chew gum, gets the same result from nursing. I have to say that every time I have flown on a plane and started breast-feeding people have always gotten up and moved their seat. Thus giving me more room to nurse my baby and in general leg and arm room for a full flight. It’s a double win.

So live your life tits out. No better reason to let it all hang out than for your little one. Let it make you a little bolder, a little more self assured. That can be one of the many gifts that you receive on your journey in motherhood.

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