I have been nursing for a little over two weeks now on a very constant basis, and I'm a fairly private person so I wasn't sure how I was going to feed our son (in the car or use a cover) if he needed to eat when we were out in public. I am giving my opinions and input in this post, and some research as well.
Do you think it's needed for all nursing mothers to use a cover while in public?
While this is my first time nursing as a mother, it's not a new topic to me. I think that it's a personal choice for the mother, on if she wants to use a cover or not. It should not be forced upon a mother to feel like she has to go to the bathroom like you see in the news sometimes to feed her child.
The way I see it is, if the mother is not using a cover then just don't look at her if you have an issue with nursing. There are people who say "just pump a bottle", and my reply to that is "No, I only give our son a pumped bottle after 10 - 11pm", he's solely nursed during the day.
Babies feed on demand:
I get so annoyed when I read about moms being told that they need to leave a public place where they themselves are either shopping or dining, all because they are nursing their baby / child. NO, I do not agree with that in the least. It's wrong that people sexualize breastfeeding, when all it is, is feeding your child the natural way that God intended you to feed.
Nursing moms do have rights in certain states:
Thankfully, the state we live in is all for nursing mothers and no public store or place can ask a mother to leave for nursing their baby. Our rights are protected as they should be in all 50 states, in my opinion! I do use a nursing cover, but it's kind of difficult to position him to nurse with a cover on, but I am not someone that wants to nurse without the cover on, so I deal with it.
The first time I fed him in public, we were at our kids' school and during a break time where the kids were all inside eating lunch, we sat on the bench and he ate. He was 3 days old at the time. There have been a few times when I chose to sit in the car with the air on or window cracked to feed him so I didn't need to use a cover.
Why some moms may not use a cover:
Some babies hate having anything over them, including a blanket, nursing cover, etc so it's not practical for a mother of a baby who is like that to use a cover if she can help it. Nursing gives a strong bond between the mother and baby, and while using a cover, it's hard to be able to look at baby in the eyes. I prefer to use a cover when out and about though and likely will remain that way to respect my and my husband's wishes when it comes to nursing while out.
Teach your kids that a mom feeding her child is normal:
There's nothing shameful about breastfeeding, and if you're one of *those moms* that are all concerned about your child or teenager seeing a mother nursing her baby, then either 1. teach them that nursing is a natural way to feed a baby or 2. distract the child and walk the other way to do something else if it's that important to you.
When and where babies eat and where they don't / shouldn't:
In general, if people think that a nursing mother should feed her baby in the bathroom, then they have issues. Would you want to eat in the bathroom? Very likely not, so why would you think that a loving mother would want her baby to eat in one? Not all moms have the time to find a spot to nurse, so they walk and feed baby. I agree that nursing covers are the way to go, for myself anyway and just because I'd prefer people not to see me, because nursing is to simply do 1 thing - feed your baby, nothing else. Some malls have nursing mothers lounges which is great for moms who would like the privacy.
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