No, that title isn't a spelling error. My friend Susan sent me an article about lactivists, women who are staging nurse-ins in support of public breastfeeding. Apparently, Barbara Walters has opened a huge can of worms with mothers by commenting that a woman breastfeeding near her on a plane made her uncomfortable. Kevin and I stumbled into the public feeding arena during our trip to Santa Fe. We usually try to plan our adventures so that I can feed Alex in the motel or the car before we're out in front of God and everyone. But let's face it, sometimes a kid needs to eat at a time that's not convenient for the public at large.
I'm still not well-practiced at the breastfeeding in public thing. When we're in private, Alex eats like a barracuda. There's no stopping him. He'll nuzzle up, dig in and suck until his belly is full. But in public, he's more like a wine taster -- take a few sips and look around at the world while he swirls the milk around in his mouth. My little sommelier leaves me hanging out there while he's eyeing the world or the waitress - he's such a little flirt. So needless to say, I haven't exactly gotten comfortable with the idea of baring all in public.
After several meals spent sitting virtually by himself and the dreaded blue-toilet water incident, Kevin has been encouraging me to practice so that I can feed Alex at the table if necessary. Only nine weeks into this lactation job, I don't have a strong feelings about this. I still head for the nearest bathroom stall if it's desperate. But I'm proud that my husband has an opinion about it. I guarantee it's not about him wanting me to flaunt my stuff for the world; he's trying to prevent me from having to spend thirty minutes sitting on the pot in various public restrooms across America. And be honest, wouldn't you rather see that a woman is breastfeeding and know what's going on than to hear vehement sucking and groaning noises from the stall next to you. I always feel like I need to post a sign on the door, "Nothing fishy going on in here. Just feeding my kid!"
For now, I'll just keep practicing until I'm a pro. Meanwhile, hats off to my husband - one of the few men I know that could hold his own at a La Leche meeting!