Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Nursing in Public

The New York Times had an article about a pro-breastfeeding demonstration, held in response to some on-air remarks of Barbara Walters. It's funny how my attitudes about nursing in public have changed with each child. With my oldest, I rarely nursed in public and when I did, it was covered with a blanket. My middle child would be nursed in public if necessary, but generally I tried not to do so. Now, nine years later, my baby is basically fed when and where she wants to be fed (and at 13 months she still loves to nurse). I try to be discreet, and to stay away from those who are uncomfortable seeing me, but I'm not going to be tied down, and my baby doesn't like bottles.

I work full-time and have with all three babies. I've also nursed all three for over a year. As far as I know, I was the first woman in my office to bring a pump to work with my first baby. As such I was afraid to pump except at lunchtime. I was new to my job with my second child and again was not comfortable pumping except at lunch. In the intervening nine years, several other moms, including those both higher and lower on the totem pole than I am, have pumped at work, and not just on their lunch hour. Between thier examples and the fact that smokers are given a morning and afternoon break to damage their health, I figured I could take such a break to preserve my baby's health. I moved my computer screen such that my back was to the glass wall when looking at it, and I use the lock on my door when I'm pumping. No one has complained to me, and I hope other mothers see that it can be done.

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