Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Can you see my boobies?

Breastfeeding in public! Kinda scary right? but what's a new mom to do when she's got errands to run, her breast pump has yet to arrive and baby is wailing in the Walmart parking lot? There's only one thing she can do: whip out that boob and pray no one sees her in all her leaky engorged G-cup glory.
This was my first experience with breastfeeding in public. Ginny had slept peacefully in her sling the whole time we were in Walmart but as soon as we got back to the car, she turned on the sirens: get me OUT of this stupid uncomfortable car seat and FEED ME!!!!! Fortunately I had just bought a cover. No problem right?
Wrong! I struggled to squeeze myself into the backseat beside her car seat, struggled some more to cover her and myself with my new polka dotted cover. Okay, we're covered, done? Nope! how am I supposed to get her on my boob? I can't see! Ginny screamed, I wanted to cry, my mom asked a dozen questions I couldn't hear in my frantic attempts to get my wailing baby to latch on to ease the ache in her belly and my boobs. Five minutes later, we gave up. Ginny was getting angrier with me by the second and my stress level was sky rocketing. I needed to get this baby home now. More like 30 minutes ago before Ginny had ever dreamed of being hungry. My mom took over driving and I did my best to comfort my baby. Clearly we were going to need more practice at this!
Take two: back at Walmart (something about that place makes Ginny hungry!) Ginny started squirming in the sling and sucking on my husband's shirt. Time to go! Stephen handed her off to me and we made it to the car before she got too fussy. I wasn't quite ready to nurse in the middle of Walmart haha! Once in the car, I reclined the passenger seat, I pulled out my polka dot apron, kicked my feet up on the dashboard and nursed my baby girl. It was hot and I didn't feel exactly fashionable but you can't argue with success!
Blogging, nursing mama on the porch!
When we got home I decided to try nursing using an infinity scarf as a cover on my front porch. 1st try: after a momentary slip, Ginny nursed happily and we were both comfortable under the soft light weight scarf. We tried again a while later with a little more success.This time my nursing  top pulled dangerously low over the unused breast I had left exposed. On the third try, Ginny was more awake and fussy. She was not having any silly scarf over her head! Try as I might to cover myself and guide her to latch, her arms flailed, pushing away scarf and boob. Fine, enough experimenting for now.
We did it!
It's not a perfect system yet but I think I'm on to something with this infinity scarf: a fraction of the cost of traditional nursing covers, light weight and soft, much cuter, and can be worn as part of a normal outfit, no fumbling through the diaper bag while baby who could care less about mommy's modesty cries louder and louder. All selling points for me! I'll keep you posted on my experiments.
My advice for other new mamas: whatever type of nursing cover you decide to try, give yourself plenty of practice at home before attempting to nurse in public for the first time. You'll save yourself and baby a lot of stress which is no good for either of you and probably spare yourself a little embarrassment if your first tries are as clumsy as mine have been.

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