Jogging with milk-filled boobies, and nursing in public

I tried to exercise while nursing. I really did. But my daughter and I kept this relationship going for over a year-and-a-half and frankly every attempt I made was thwarted with squirting milk and leak spots on my workout shirt. So I gave it up. Which is why I’m going after this marathon thing now.

But I’m thinking more about another milestone today, because today marks the anniversary of the surgery I had that ended the nursing relationship. And I must admit I am feeling a little blue.

I look back at how complicated developing the whole nursing routine was. My daughter was a severe preemie and couldn’t grasp my oh, so huge boobies. Her oxygen tubes kind of eliminated that for several months as well. But once that O2 came off, watch out! She was a nursing fool. And not a leisurely nurser either – she got right down to it and ate and ate – making up for lost time having her milk through feeding tubes and then pumped and served to her in teeny tiny preemie bottles.

But that was the easy part. Go figure. It was trying to keep my very hungry preemie baby fed when I ventured out of my house that was the pain in the butt. Not feeding her, but the comments from all and sundry. Family members actually scolded me for nursing her in public (aren’t we a little past that already?). One family member held a blanket up around us like a huge curtain so I wouldn’t be seen (AHHH! Scarlet letter “N”!!!!).

A woman with VERY nasty breath lectured me at a local restaurant for feeding my baby at the table. Apparently her husband was offended. Side note, it was a booth, well hidden and fairly dark. And no, I never used a blanket – talk about calling attention to yourself. And it’s not like I was doing something illicit. I was feeding my child. Besides, sorry, after all that O2 I wanted my girl to have fresh air to breath. And what kind of message am I sending her at that tender young age if I am HIDING her under a blanket. No way sister.

By the way, to what I thought was my hubby’s chagrin, but I later pleasantly found out was true PRIDE, I told that bitchy woman that her breath was far more offensive to my meal than the tiny bit of boob I was flashing. And if you don’t want to see it, don’t look. She huffed away I recall (as her husband gawked from their table). He sure didn’t LOOK offended to me.

Seriously though, I had friends who have never had children (and one who had but chose not to nurse, HER choice yes, and one that our of respect for her I didn’t question, but I never understood. I seem to recall she “wanted her body back”. Hmmm, she’s in for a rude awakening.) who all had opinions. I digress. Anyway, I had friends who at one year proclaimed it time to wean.

Didn’t know I asked them to weigh in. I mean, this is the only child I will have. I am OLD. And this relationship is very special, to her from a nutritional and hopefully bonding standpoint, and for me the same. Breast-feeding lowers risks of breast cancer. The benefits to the baby are well documented. And the relationship between mother and child cannot be described.
But hey. Many people just felt the need to comment. Family, friends, the general public (I lived in a very small place at the time). And I chose to ignore them all. This was between my daughter and me and no one else.

And by the way, for those of you who suggest that nursing women should go to the bathrooms to nurse, why don’t YOU take your greasy, dripping burger and beer and try and prop your fat ass on a toilet and eat.

You don’t eat on the pot where you crap. No way in hell my baby does either.

(Wow! I just reread this. Didn’t realize I was still quite so pissed off. Oh well.)

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7 Responses to “Jogging with milk-filled boobies, and nursing in public”

  1. goffcouture Says:

    Hear, hear!

    I was an exchange student in Ecuador when I was in college. Women there nurse in public. They just do. I remember riding a bus and a woman sitting across from me was feeding her child, her entire breast completely exposed say for the little bit her baby’s head blocked. After a couple of minutes, I looked around and realized I was the ONLY person who even seemed to notice. They were just used to it.

    I think MORE of us should nurse our babies in public, openly, unabashedly, even proudly! Our society needs to grasp that breastfeeding is not a sexual act, and that some exposure of skin during breastfeeding is not indecent, it’s natural and somewhat inevitable.

  2. sugarsprouts Says:

    I agree. COMPLETELY. ABSOLUTELY. Shit, guys can go around without shirts. Frankly I don’t see what makes ’em so taboo. But remember how up in arms everyone was over Janet Jackson showing a bit of nip at the Super Bowl half-time show? Come on. It’s just a body part. What is there to be ashamed about?

    But again, I digress. You are so right. it is a beautiful and natural thing in other country’s. We are just repressed about the stupidest things. In some places kids nurse until they are much older too, something that if looked at in parallel with animals in the wild, we do for a frighteningly short amount of time if at all. I firmly believe unless there is a medical reason (like breast surgery or something similar) let the kid wean when he or she is ready (unless they are like, twelve, then it IS kinda creepy I guess). But toddlers, bring it on.

    For nursing moms reading this who are still afraid and so hide under blankets or in bathrooms, or worse don’t go out or don’t nurse when you want to, try this. Print out small sheets with the laws that allow you to nurse. If a business owner or a patron approaches you, hand it to them. That way, if you’re comfort zone isn’t going head-to-head with someone verbally, you have still defended your rights and kept quietly and calmly feeding your child.

    And (I have to just say this) SCREW THE RIGHT WING HYPOCRITS who claim they are pro-family but freak out at a little titty showing.

    Here are some helpful links:

    And on the third link, a big BOO-HISS to VSC for allowing half-naked women in catalogs but not permitting a new Mom to breastfeed in their dressing room. BOYCOTT!

  3. Larry Says:

    Perhaps I’m the only guy left on the planet that can differentiate between “boobs” as in “hi there, boobs” versus “boobs” when a mom is breastfeeding their child. I’ve seen it happen many times and don’t get aroused.

    Once again, it appears that there are still some people (the woman in the diner) who are firmly entrenched in this country’s puritanical ethic…

    Good luck

  4. writingtherapy1127 Says:

    Great post. I am a nursing mom of an 8-week old boy in FL. It is WAY too hot here to stuff a baby under a blanket to nurse so I just nurse. This is the only country in the Western world to think a thing of it. Then again, we are also the country that puts disclaimers in front of shows that show Renaissance artwork that shows “nudity”… Works such as Michaelangelo’s “David.”

    I applaud you for doing what is natural and HEALTHY! Keep it up!

  5. sugarsprouts Says:

    Thanks for your support of this issue. I forgot another GREAT link for any nursing mom – it i fro La Leche League. I didn’t even know who they were when I had my little one, but they were kind and helpful.

    To Larry – VERY cool of you not only to be able to differentiate, but to be willing to write about it. Thank you!!

    And writingtherapy1127, congrats to you! You are a Mommy champion!

    Love to see any of you on twitter if not already there ( I am sugarsprouts and it is a great community of people!! Lots of fun.

  6. Daisy Olsen Says:

    I think that anyone that has nursed a baby in public has been subjected to this type of situation at some point. Good for you for standing up for yourself and your baby. My standard answer when someone would say to put a blanket over the baby was, and still would be, that maybe they should try eating under a blanket themselves to see how they liked it.

  7. sugarsprouts Says:

    My daughter would NEVER have gone for that anywhere. She was an aggressive eater, lookey-loo nurser.

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