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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Breastfeeding a Rabid Badger

Or why I don't nurse in public.

I read an article recently about one woman's struggle with breastfeeding, and it really resonated with me, particularly the feeling of being trapped in the house because you're not comfortable nursing in public.

It's not modesty, though if I decided to give it a shot, I might find myself too shy to do it anyway.

No, the problem is my son. His breastfeeding routine looks nothing like those nursing videos, commercials, or bf'ing moms sitting serenely on a park bench, wind in their hair, as their angelic baby snacks away.

It looks more like a wild animal attacking its prey.

First, we try latching on.

"Yay, eating!! Where's the boob? Where's the boob? Oh, I see it! Now, nipple. Maybe if I just fling my head in the direction of the boob with my mouth open, I'll land on it. Not it. Not it. Not it. Yay, nipple. "

Then suddenly he's a boob connoisseur. He tries to latch and then shakes it off several times, before he's finally convinced these are the only boobs in town, and settles down to eat.


After a few minutes of peaceful eating (which seems to involve a lot of sticking his fingers in his eyes and me reminding him that breast milk is not finger food, so he should keep his little paws out of the mix) he decides the milk isn't flowing fast enough, which he needs to remedy by clawing at the boob, yanking on the nipple, and generally abusing me. Ouch.

Then we eventually switch boobs, and repeat the whole ordeal all over again, to the tune of 35-40 minute feeds, every 2 hours.

This is not a dance I wish to engage in in public. I don't need an audience for the show. Even with a cover, it would be hard to be discrete with a flailing badger under there.

So we keep our outings short.

And I envy those women who can nurse happily in public.

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