I loved nursing our daughter. Which was funny because of how it started out. I’d gone in to it knowing that breastfeeding is natural but definitely not automatic for mother or baby so I wasn’t too surprised that things were hard to start with. I honestly believe the only reason we made it through the first three months was because I was so stubborn about it. Once we got the hang of it though I loved it. I nursed her at high school football games, at plant nurseries, in national parks, at restaurants, and even walking the aisles of a home improvement store.
At church we started by timing it so we’d arrive to the meetings early and I’d take advantage of a completely empty mother’s lounge and nurse her there before being able to slide into the meeting just as it started. But then her schedule changed ever so slightly and she wanted to eat in the middle of the meetings. I remember the first time I latched her on while I sat in the meeting and Brett scooted a little closer to me to put his arm around my shoulder and supportively shield me so I wouldn’t have to leave to feed our baby.
I was very proud back then that I managed to feed our baby in so many places with most people just assuming I was cuddling her while she slept. I was perfectly fine with people knowing that she was breastfed but wanted to hide the fact that it was happening right then. I was thankful she wasn’t a loud or fussy eater so it really did look like she was just sleeping. And often she was sleeping while she ate.
This time around my breastfeeding adventures are a little different. I’ve got a loud eater who eats with great gusto and enjoyment by the sound of it. The other one is a very quiet eater once she gets started. And I’ve decided I don’t care if people know they are eating. If a baby was a loud bottle drinker nobody would say anything about it, so why should this be any different. I make sure the source of their food is covered so you won’t actually see them eating, but I have no problem if you hear them eat or even see that they aren’t sleeping in my arms.
So I nurse right in the middle of the meetings. At three months in to our nursing journey this time around I’ve used the mother’s lounge at church a grand total of twice for nursing. I feed two babies, often twice each, right in the middle of our church meetings every week. If I insisted on using the mother’s lounge it would mean myself and three children (because the toddler can’t sit through sacrament meeting alone while Brett plays the organ every other month) would be camped there the whole meeting.
I’m sure as time goes on I’ll make another big list of places where I’ve nursed these two, a mall parking lot, a Carter’s store, and the park are already on this list. But it’s kind of hard to get out with all three kids right now so church has been our main excursion.
I know what works for me does not work for everyone. Everyone has their own comfort levels when it comes to feeding their own children. And people have comfort levels with how other people feed their children as well, which is why we sit on the sides during meetings so I can use the wall to help shield me. But I refuse to hide out for the length of this current breastfeeding journey, which I hope will last a very long time.
It’s nice knowing I have historical precedence on my side on this one. Check out an image of two women breastfeeding in the middle of an LDS sacrament meeting and one of a woman openly nursing her child while crossing the plains.