I was a breastfed baby, and always knew I would breastfeed. I didn't think too much beyond that, so I was surprised when my baby arrived and it was difficult! I thought that because it was natural, it would be easy. NOT TRUE. After seeing multiple IBCLC's in hospital and seeking help from several local support groups, I finally felt comfortable and confident in our nursing relationship.
My husband and I have really big babies, and at four months with our first, I remember a family member commenting that it looked funny when I nursed in public because he looked like a one year old. I remember my eyes slit, and I said "so?" and that was the moment I remember feeling like I needed to be a champion for breastfeeding in public. I have nursed my two children on airplanes, in airports, on ferries, on the beach, in restaurants, classes, the library, and now on a billboard. Most of the time, people don't even realize that baby is eating! I have had awkward conversations with some family who disagrees, but I am the mother now, so with the support of my husband we get to choose what is best for our family. We get to write our breastfeeding story, and I am thankful that the law is on my side allowing me to nurse anywhere, anytime.
My advice for new mamas is this: find friends who breastfeed. Being surrounded by other people doing the same thing normalizes it for you and your partner, empowers you to continue, and provides support when you need it.
To read more about nursing in public, click HERE.
To read about the Michigan law that protects a woman’s right to breastfeed, click HERE.