San Diego, CA -- October 24, 2013/(http://www.myprgenie.com) -- Breastfeeding in public is a very hot topic these days. However, it seems that many are overlooking the long list of critically important health benefits for mom and baby that outweigh the arguments, and instead are concentrating more on whether or not nursing mothers have the "right" to nurse in public. In fact, it even has its own acronym, NIP: Nursing In Public. Breastfeeding advocate, San Diego Bebe Eco-Nursing Pillow inventor and mom of twins, Sandy Clark, weighs in on the topic.
"I needed complete discretion while nursing. It was this private time between me and my babies. Nurturing them during breastfeeding, I felt, was like this intimate, quiet gift that I was opening and relishing during this very special, short-lived moment in time. And covering up around others was what enabled me to nurse anytime -- anywhere - until they self-weened at 28 months," shares Clark.
NIP or not, the end result is that mothers who nurse are giving their babies the absolute best and purest form of nutrition on planet Earth. It's often not easy, given our busy lives, work schedules and juggling other children to get into a constant nursing routine. Sandy says, "I'm the first to admit, it's not easy! I remember being completely exhausted, post-partum hormonal, and feeling like a 24-hour-a-day milk-producing cow during that first month of nursing my twins every two hours 'round the clock. I was up to my eyeballs in spit-up and dirty diapers (over 600 a month). My sweet mother would come over for a visit, observe my frustration, and gently say, 'Oh honey, enjoy every moment of this. It will be over before you know it.' My twins are now heading off to college, and you know, my mom was absolutely right. It was INDEED a very fleeting moment in time. And I'd give my right arm to do it all over again."
Is breastfeeding worth all the time and effort coupled with the latest societal pressures? ABSOLUTELY. Let's spend less time using up valuable energy on soapboxes protesting our rights to openly breastfeed in public, and more time gracefully nurturing and bonding with our infants, covered up or not. Let's focus on this amazing chapter we've been blessed with and enjoy every moment for what it's worth and what it's really all about . . . feeding our babies breastmilk.
Five Tips for Nursing in Public:
1. Latch before you launch: Make sure mom and baby are both comfortable with nursing by practicing at home first. Don't head out the day after delivery to brave the public eye before doing your homework and having a routine with your baby. Once you're confident in your nursing skills, then head out. Just think, by breastfeeding your baby in public, covered up or not, you'll be contributing to normalizing breastfeeding for all new mothers everywhere.
2. Learn where is legal: Whether or not breastfeeding in public is legal really depends on where you live. In the US, 45 states have laws that allow breastfeeding in any public location. 28 states exempt breastfeeding from public indecency laws. Check out the list of corresponding statutes at the National Conference of State Legislature website.
3. Go public with pride: Focus on your baby and don't mind the onlookers. Be confident and proud of the most important decision a mother can make by offering the purest and best nutrition possible for her baby. Do it with conviction and SMILE.
4. Pick your battles wisely: Spend less time on your soapbox and more time and focus on feeding your baby.
5. Do it with style: The book "The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding" was published over 50 years ago but the art is as relevant today as it was then. Breastfeed gracefully. It will go much further in promoting tolerance and normalization.
[Sandy Clark has been an advocate for the womanly art of breastfeeding since 1994. She's the owner of DoubleBlessings.com and designer of the patented San Diego Bebe(R) Eco-Nursing Pillow line which includes a built-in Privacy Cover(TM). She offers two models, one for nursing a single baby and a larger version for nursing twins simultaneously. Her full line of products can be found at www.doubleblessings.com or by calling 1-800-584-8946.]