Written by Samantha Grayson
This post is part of the Positive Nurse In Public Stories Series I started a while back. Negative Nursing in Public stories get so much attention, they even scare some mothers out of it. So I found it was important to share the great stories too.
Before I had my son I suffered badly from social phobia. The idea of getting my breasts out in public terrified me. However, i had always been determined that if i had a child I would breastfeed. After my son was born breastfeeding got off to a bad start and my son lost a lot of weight. Luckily a local breastfeeding advisor arrived on my doorstep 15 minutes after my health visitor called her and from then on I had no problems.
Because of my determination to breastfeed and because I was proud that I had overcome early difficulties I was not going to let other people’s opinions stop me breastfeeding in public. The first time I fed in public I sat alone on a bench and realised that there was a lot of people walking past. I have always been as discreet as I can when I breastfeed, and the majority of people walked past without even noticing me. The few that did notice simply smiled and walked past.
I found it to be a positive experience and I did not think twice about breastfeeding in public again.
The breastfeeding advisor that had helped me in the early days had mentioned something about extended breastfeeding. I researched it and it seemed natural. As my son got older I started to feel more conscious about breastfeeding an older child again.
I went to the dentist with my son when he was 18 months and started to breastfeed him in the waiting room. There was only one other woman in there. I noticed she was watching me and I thought that my first negative comment might be about to occur. I was all ready to defend myself, when she suddenly said, ‘Oh it is so lovely to see someone breastfeeding an older child in public. I breastfed all 3 of my children until they were 3, but I never dared to feed them in public.’
We had a really positive conversation and it was a joy to meet her. She was just the person I needed to meet to give me that little extra boost. My son is now 3 years old and I still breastfeed, occasionally public. So far nobody has given me a negative reaction.
Samantha Grayson is a single mother to a three year old boy. She is a vegan, a minimalist and practises natural parenting and extended breastfeeding. Her blog can be found at I Hear My Voice.