Breastfeeding mothers do not use breastfeeding covers for several reasons. I used to think it was necessary because I was at first scared that I will expose myself in public. I bought one and I was at first excited to use it. Then it happened. I wore it. I positioned my son and put him under the cover. He thought we were going to play hide and seek and he immediately lifted the cover. There I was flashing everyone in sight. The truth is as soon as your baby gets older and more active these covers eventually become useless.
|Back when I was still using the cover.|
Yet I continued using them because at that time my husband was not OK with me breastfeeding in public without using one. Instead of me bringing a bottle, I resorted to using the cover because I was committed into ditching formula milk gradually. Yup. I was stubborn. The next time I used it was when we were in a cab on the way to the doctor. I used the cover and feed my son because he was hungry. It was almost lunchtime, the sun was high and the aircon could not do anything. My son was sweating profusely inside the cover and he became restless. My husband saw this too. After attending countless breastfeeding seminars, my husband eventually warmed up to the idea of me feeding our son in public to the point that when he hears our son cry, he would tell me to go ahead and nurse. We eventually ditched the formula and the nursing cover too. I guess you can say I pretty much mastered the art of nursing in public. I've done it at the clinic, the mall while shopping, at the church even in public transportations like the MRT, the bus and the jeepney.
|At a breastfeeding photoshoot|
Everything all boils down to this. When a woman makes a decision to breastfeed the first thing that she needs is support -- from the family, friends, organization and the community -- because this is not an easy journey. Some had to resist the urge of supplementing with formula milk because someone made her believe that her milk is not enough. Commenting that a woman should cover up in public not only will humiliate her but you are in a way insinuating that what she is doing is wrong. It's not like we want to whip it out just to deliberately make someone feel uncomfortable. When a mother breastfeeds in public, the only thing that she is thinking of is her child. So the next time you see a woman nursing publicly, give her a smile to encourage her. When you are with your children please do not let them look away. Take 5 minutes or less to tell them that what the mother is doing is just feeding her child. Nothing out of the ordinary because God was amazing enough to actually design a woman's body like that so a baby can thrive from a mother's milk. However, if you are uncomfortable just look away. Do not talk. Do not comment. Do not say anything at all. Just leave.