Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Keep Calm and Nurse On

Written after The Big Latch On, Saturday, August 3:

I came home from a fantabulous day of celebrating breastfeeding to learn of two NIP incidents today, and I have so many notifications I can't even keep up with the progress of the stories. So I'm going to share some crummy news later. Maybe much later, because I'm almost too tired to keep my eyes open. I know these mamas are not unsupported, that there are already others responding, so I'm not leaving anyone hanging.
Before I do share the latest in the world of NIP discrimination, I want to share three happy things:

  • This morning I attended my first Big Latch On with many other moms who came together just to nurse their babies for one minute all at the same time, to celebrate breastfeeding. And this is happening across the globe for 24 hours! So that's pretty freakin' awesome.
  • A mom working at MamaCents pumped under a cover on the side of a pretty busy room like it was no big deal. I was enthralled by her. She was so nonchalant and pragmatic about it - a role model, in my eyes. We talked later & she said it actually had made her anxious. So, so, so brave. And freakin' awesome.
  • This afternoon I talked to an employee at Office Max wearing my Keep Austin Breastfeeding T-shirt and nursing my very distractible 13-month-old Bellybean. I swear to you, this young man did not bat an eye. He had to have realized I was breastfeeding, but I did not see it even register, he was so unfazed. Freakin'. Awesome.

When I started this page I was quick to share every NIP incident that came up in my News Feed. Then one day I realized that there was so much negativity on my page - and that the negativity does not reflect real life. Most babies are nursed without incident.

So sometimes I'm following an incident and commenting on a business' page, but it's that positive outcome that I want to get to share here, if/when it happens. Of course I'll always do my best to support mamas who need it, and to rally the troops as necessary.

I want to be sure to communicate here that while harassment and discrimination happen much too often, it is not the norm. I nursed for a combined total of six years before anyone ever said anything unsupportive to me when I was nursing in public.

So nurse on, mamas. Even when you're anxious, look nonchalant. Be pragmatic. And be brave. Because every time you nurse in public, you make incremental changes in our society that are going to add up to a new societal norm by the time our children are grown and have their own babies who need to be nurtured. Thanks to you.


  1. I'm glad to hear that there are more happy stories coming up on the radar. Pretty cool about the Office Depot guy.

    1. The negative incidents get a lot of attention (& they should), but it's far more frequently a non-issue for people. Yes, there are rude people and internet trolls out there, but mostly, people are good and decent and more mature than an adolescent boy. :)

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