Carnival of Nursing in Public – And we eat…

Welcome to the July 2010 Carnival of Nursing in Public

This post was written for inclusion in the Carnival of Nursing in Public hosted by Dionna and Paige at All week, July 5-9, we will be featuring articles and posts about nursing in public (“NIP”). See the bottom of this post for more information.

For my 36th birthday, we stopped for an overnight stay in Las Vegas on our way back from the International Babywearing Conference we had attended that week in Idaho. It was one of the best birthdays I’ve had. The kids, my husband and I all had such a great time! We stayed at a nice hotel, played in the pool, walked around the strip, ate delicious meals and toasted to my birthday. That night we went to one of my favorite restaurants – Cheesecake Factory. We walked over there and it was about a 40 minute walk. We were obviously tired looking (that’s a long walk with three small kids and walking through the busy crowded strip!) that the hostess looked at me and said, “There’s a 45 minute wait, but I can tell you and the kids need to sit down and eat NOW, so I’ll get you a table right away.” I could’ve hugged her! And sure enough soon we were sitting down in a comfy booth and looking through the yummy sounding offerings to see what we were going to order.

My son, who had been sleeping on me in a baby carrier, woke up partly through the dinner. And as always, he woke up hungry. Here we were in a super busy Las Vegas restaurant with people from all over the world and many eyes on us (that tends to happen with three small kids in a restaurant). Though my son is no longer a small baby, even at 16 months, he still gets a lot of his nutrition and also comfort from breastmilk. And as he’s never had a bottle nor do I pump, he drinks it straight from the source – breastfeeding. So, here I was with my toddler at this restaurant and he wants to nurse. What’s a breastfeeding mama to do? Well, feed him ofcourse! So, as he was still in the baby carrier, I simply pulled down my top and nursed him. Looking at the picture, I’m sure nobody had any idea that he was nursing. Well, except for the young couple next to us, who had been looking at how cute he was and then when realizing he was nursing, quickly looked away uncomfortably. That doesn’t bother me, but it did make me think about some people’s views of public nursing.

I thought about the mothers who feel they must go to a restroom to feed their children or those that feel that’s where babies in public should breastfeed. How inconvenient that would be for me and gross too, since I tend to not love hanging out at public restrooms. And I also thought about how incredibly selfish of others to expect mothers to do that. I wonder how they would feel about taking their plates of chicken and rice and sitting down in the public restroom to eat? Whatever the reasons that causes such feelings about something so natural and really something that is just not a big deal, I really don’t let it stop me from comfortably and freely nursing my toddler in public. Even in crowded restaurants. So, I continued to nurse my son and then later took him out of the baby carrier so he could enjoy some of my meal too. Bon appétit! And happy nursing!

Art by Erika Hastings at

Welcome to the Carnival of Nursing in Public

Please join us all week, July 5-9, as we celebrate and support breastfeeding mothers. And visit any time to connect with other breastfeeding supporters, learn more about your legal right to nurse in public, and read (and contribute!) articles about breastfeeding and N.I.P.

Do you support breastfeeding in public? Grab this badge for your blog or website to show your support and encourage others to educate themselves about the benefits of breastfeeding and the rights of breastfeeding mothers and children.

This post is just one of many being featured as part of the Carnival of Nursing in Public. Please visit our other writers each day of the Carnival. Click on the links below to see each day’s posts – new articles will be posted on the following days:
July 5 – Making Breastfeeding the Norm: Creating a Culture of Breastfeeding in a Hyper-Sexualized World
July 6 – Supporting Breastfeeding Mothers: the New, the Experienced, and the Mothers of More Than One Nursing Child
July 7 – Creating a Supportive Network: Your Stories and Celebrations of N.I.P.
July 8 – Breastfeeding: International and Religious Perspectives
July 9 – Your Legal Right to Nurse in Public, and How to Respond to Anyone Who Questions It

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