We’re four kids deep, so this is my fourth go-round with breastfeeding. You name it, I’ve probably nursed a baby there. In the car, at the park and at various sporting events? Absolutely. On the beach in Hawaii? Oh yeah. At the Monterey Bay Aquarium? Of course. Standing in an insanely long line outside the kids’ museum one Halloween? You bet. Most recently, I nursed my 3-month old in the orthodontist’s office during a meeting about my seven-year son’s cramped upper palette. My baby woke up, instantly made it perfectly clear that she wasn’t about to wait, and that was that. The orthodontist wasn’t rattled in the slightest. He leapt up, saying, “Let me turn around, give you a minute there to get her situated,” and proceeded to speak into the corner about his four daughters and brand new grandbaby. Then he sat right back down and continued with his orthodontic recommendations, totally unfazed.
Maybe I’m just lucky, because I never seem to faze anyone. For all those combined years of breastfeeding in private, semi-public and full-on public places, I can’t think of one instance in which I was hassled. I regularly read about women being booted into bathrooms or otherwise shamed for having the audacity to feed their babies, gasp, where others are present. Never mind that the odds are good there’s plenty of non-nursing cleavage on display (seriously, Victoria’s Secret is everywhere!). The double standard is ridiculous. And how’s this for a problem-solver—don’t want to catch an accidental glimpse of boob? Don’t look!
It’s not like we do anything special. Me. Baby. My favorite light blanket tossed over her head. I like to think we’re discreet, but I definitely don’t hide. Why would I? There’s nothing shameful here, and I have the benefit of a perspective that comes from doing this a few times before. I’m keenly aware of how soon it will all be over. And if I manage to scandalize someone because I have the nerve to nurse my baby at Disneyland, well, I’m totally OK with that.