My Milkshake Brings All the Boys to the Yard

So nursing. I'm doing it right now (not RIGHT NOW right now, but at this point in my life). And my schedule is so hectic, I don't get a lot of chances to pump extras for when I'm out and about.

Which means, when I'm out and about, on occasion, one of the girls has to make an appearance (usually the left one, if you must know, as per #3's preference).

This being the case, you'd think I'd have strong opinions on the whole nursing debate. And you'd think you could guess where I fall on the issue. Well, jokes on you. Because, actually, I am both pro-nursing in public and anti-nursing in public.

I've just blown your mind, haven't I? Let me explain.

The pro-nursing argument goes like this: breastfeeding a baby is a beautiful and natural thing. It's not something we should be ashamed of and when you have women walking around with crazy cleavage and THAT'S perfectly acceptable, then why is a nursing baby so taboo?

And I agree. I don't think of my breasts as sexual objects anymore. They're just self-sustaining bottles. And trying to nurse in public is a PAIN! Finding a comfortable place to do it, getting yourself all covered up, getting the boob out and where it's supposed to be (baby's mouth), all while handling a fussy and hungry baby who would also like to look around while she eats so let's pull down that blanket, thankyouverymuch. It's kind of a nightmare. And the popular "solutions" (ie those covers you put around your neck) don't work all that great if you've got a kid that doesn't want to be in the dark. So would I love to live in a society where plush rocking chairs are positioned every 50 feet like handicap ramps and no one bats an eye when I settle in one and pull my shirt down? Oh the luxury! It would be glorious!


The anti-nursing argument goes like this: Boobs is sexy. People like to stare at them. If women start pulling boobs out willy-nilly, it won't matter that a baby's attached to one end - it will cause MAYHAM. I'm talking car crashes; people walking into poles; modest grandmothers shrieking in horror; five year old boys demanding the "birds and bees talk" right then and there.

And I agree. I'm sorry, but even though *I* don't think of my breasts as sexual objects, a wide swath of society still does. So I know that without the cover-up, if I pull down my shirt in public, I will get an audience. And I don't know what everyone would be thinking as they walked by and glanced over, but I'm willing to bet at least 50 percent of those thoughts would make me gag in disgust. And another 30 percent of those walking by would gag in disgust when they saw me. Because as much as I don't mind pulling my boob out to feed my child, I don't want to see YOU do it.

What a hypocrite, right?

The thing about being human is we, as a species, are unique in that we can hold two contradictory beliefs without our brains exploding.

What's funny is when pro-nursing moms talk to me, a nursing mom, about the issue they make the grand assumption that I agree with them. And that I'm just as angry about the stigma as they are. And that WOMEN SHOULD WALK BARE-BREASTED ACROSS THE PLAINS IN PROTEST OF THIS GREAT INJUSTICE!

But those who know my discomfort with seeing other women breastfeed assume I'm with THEM. And that I agree breasts are for recreation only and yes, I know they do produce milk and provide life's essence for the newborn child but mostly they're for fun so let's just keep them put away unless we're all having fun, okay? Because if we start pulling them out then we'll have to talk to our children about their bodies and have uncomfortable conversations and heaven forbid a teenage boy comes across a nursing mother and loses his sh*t right then and there.

But as this post has revealed, I'm with both and I'm with neither. That whole contradictory beliefs thing. What a mess.

So my solution is: there really isn't a solution. Not at this current time in this current society. So let's all be a little less hysterical about it, okay?

If you happen upon a mother who is nursing without the cover, *gasp*, respect her enough to avert your eyes and honor her decision. She is rare and not a harbinger of things to come (namely, people walking around naked because once women breastfeed without covers, that's the next logical step, right?)

And if you're a business that sees a lot of women with children coming through (looking at you, Walmart), maybe create a nursing room? A comfortable, quite space with a few chairs (and maybe some soft music and mood lighting) where a mom who is out running errands can have a quiet moment to nurse in peace. Oh man, would you get a whole lot more business, I tell ya what.

And if you're a breastfeeding mother who is mad you have to cover-up, when taking care of an infant is hard enough already, take a deep, cleansing breath and realize that those anti-public nursing party-poopers DO have a point. Boobs are super exciting.  People will stare at them and be pervy no matter how much you lecture the world at large not to.

Meanwhile, I will keep fighting my own personal battles - trying to get #3 to feed on the right side a little more often. Mommies getting a little lopsided.


  1. LOL I'm so glad someone else feels the same way as me. I'm still nursing and hope to have the little miss weaned by May.(She's one) But I don't have any strong feelings either way on this issue. There are times I have to nurse in public and I really try hard to be modest and cover up. I'm not a big fan of seeing other women's breasts especially since I have my own. But at the same time you gotta do what you gotta do. So I guess I'm in the same boat. I'm for public breast feeding but then again I really don't want to see a big old boob with or without a baby attached either. And by the way you're doing great!!

  2. The fact is boobs are facinating and our society will never see them as simply utilitarian. So for those who want to whip it out in public, go right ahead. But don't get indignant when people are uncomfortable. It's hard to unlearn your culture.

    I think the double-standard is awesome. I had an acquaintance who though I was having a "boob job" and that was totally fine. But when I explained that I was going to have a double-mastectomy and then reconstruction, I was a crazy, radical, nut job. Boobs are just boobs. They feed kids. They get cancer. They look good in lace. Whatever.

  3. So true.... so very very true.... I nursed as well, and thankfully my babies were hungry enough that they didn't mind the "dark" when it was necessary. And I used a light colored blankie so it wouldn't be all that dark. And I sat in the car A LOT. Ah, the memories.

  4. I nursed seven kiddos (one at s time, mind you) for the better part of two decades. My only contribution to this topic is simply that I belIeve the insurance companies should cover 100% for the girls to get a "lift" when all Is said and done. That's all.

  5. Our species can hold two contradictory beliefs without our brains exploding! Love that. I feel the same way... I don't really know what to do with my eyes when a woman doesn't cover up, but I think she should nurse however the heck she wants to so I just deal with it -- and also applaud her for doing what needs to be done without caring what others think. Meanwhile, when I nursed, I stuck to a schedule so I rarely had to nurse in public. I'm excited for your blog! Keep 'em comin'!

  6. I belIeve the insurance companies should cover 100% for the girls to get a "lift" when all Is said and done. TOTALLY AGREE!

    Our species can hold two contradictory beliefs without our brains exploding! WONDERFUL!

    Loved it. I'll be back.

  7. I nursed 4 babies and always wanted someone to invent the "Tent Hat"...something you could keep in the diaper bag, bring out and put on your head that opened up like an umbrella into a tent that went to your waist. Baby would be better about being covered up since you were in there too! But then they would have to attach a leash or two (or 3 in my case with baby #4) so that your other kidlets didn't run off as soon as you couldn't see them. Maybe an eye hole or slit so you could see the crowd gathering. Yep, I should have been an inventor!

  8. AMEN!! I love it, Crystal! Keep 'em coming!

  9. Nordstrom's was the best back in the nursing years. I could go to the mall and always count on a visit to the Mother's Lounge there. Sorry, but I just don't see WalMart ponying up for that kind of luxury. I wish they would, but they're too price-conscious.

  10. This is so great. I nursed four kids, too, all with different styles of their own. The one who took FOREVER, looking around and who would NOT be covered. The one who fell asleep every thirty seconds so I sprayed everywhere and then who decided biting was funny. Super-efficient speed-boy who about sucked me inside out. And one perfect little miss.
    I remember nursing in the car, in bathroom stalls (which is so fun with the toddlers-"Peek-a-boo!"), in changing rooms, in the back corner of a photography studio, in the mall with my mom and sister forming a "human wall" around me, and my favorite, the movie theater. And the leaking! Oh, the leaking...
    I loved nursing. Nursing rooms should be everywhere. Crystal, you make me laugh.


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