Babies don't have a lot of patience. When those little bundles of joy are hungry, you have to feed them. Immediately. And that means moms are used to feeding their babies in all kinds of places. All sorts of awkward, inconvenient places. So if you're a new parent and feeling just a teensy bit nervous about having to nurse your baby in public, don't. Read these stories and you'll know other moms have paved the way before you.
Plane, trains and automobiles
Many of you moms out there have breastfed in a moving car. Yup, while the baby was buckled in the car seat. That sounds like it takes some serious flexibility! Mom Megan J. has pulled this off. She says, "I nursed leaning up and over my car-seated baby while in back of a cab, traversing the stop and go, the turns and hills of San Francisco. When we stopped, I puked in a garbage can due to the car sickness it caused." Anna D. also somehow accomplished this. "Overnight trip on the PA turnpike. Screaming baby strapped in car seat, so I climbed in the back, sat on a cooler, while I leaned my breast over into her face," she says.
But it's not just cars. Lots of you have breastfed on airplanes. Talk about close quarters to other passengers. Ursula R. says, "How about on an airplane in business class next to a guy in a suit. He was mortified and did his best to keep his head twisted looking out the window the entire flight."
And subways too. Nancy H. remembers it well. "Right on the NYC subway on the F Train. It was my third kid, he was hungry and I was covered with a Hooter Hider. Even the older gentleman on the train were nice about it and I got nods and smiles."
Babies get hungry in houses of worship too. Many moms have breastfed during church, even one during a funeral service. And Amy W.'s baby didn't care what was going on around him. She says, "I nursed during my son's baptism ceremony. He was the one being baptized. I mean not during the actual baptism part, during the let's all sit and listen to the priest part. I think the statue of the Virgin Mary was OK with it, but the priest tried unsuccessfully not to appear horrified."
Sure, you can walk and talk at the same time, but can you walk and breastfeed? Lots of moms figure out how to do it. Jodi P. has breastfed her son while walking down a New York City street. "I didn't even use one of those slings. I would just stick him under my shirt and he would do the rest. He was a hungry baby and was so colicky. My arms got super-toned!"
Jaffe B. nursed while doing a 10K walk. "My baby was 5 months old. I held her in the football position while walking — totally classy! I would also breastfeed my son in the Ergo while shopping at the supermarket and pushing my daughter in the cart.”
Leigh Ann T. learned how to get things done while nursing. "When my youngest was born, my twins were not even 2. I remember one day sitting in front of the twins in their high chairs at lunch, simultaneously nursing the baby with my right arm around her and cutting up oranges with my left hand."
Anna D. also pulled off this juggling act. She says, "I remember standing at the counter nursing my second while I managed to use a can opener to open a can of pineapple for the oldest."
And mom Kimberly W. says it's a big difference between the first baby and the second time around. "The first baby was nursed in the nursery with quiet music playing and all kinds of serenity. The second child I nursed while unloading groceries from my car. Momma's gotta do what a momma's gotta do."
Anywhere will do
If fact, moms are pretty resourceful and will figure out how to breastfeed their hungry baby anywhere, anytime. Jennifer S. says, "I nursed my daughter Abby in the hallway right outside of the Sistine Chapel. And then a couple days later, just around the corner from the Statue of David in Florence."
Sarah M. says, "I sat on a pallet of lawn fertilizer bags in the garden section of Home Depot to nurse just the other day. If Baby's hungry, Baby gets fed!"
Risa S. nursed in a public bathroom in a park. "It was an outside bathroom and very hot! I wasn't in a stall. I was walking around and little kids kept walking in and staring."
Drew D. found out that Magic Kingdom at Disney World is truly magical indeed. She says, "We took our 2-year-old and 5-month-old to Disney, and I don't believe there is a square foot of the Magic Kingdom where I didn't nurse her. I highly recommend nursing mothers at Disney World take a break on It's a Small World, which is a lovely, smooth and long enough ride to get a full feeding in. The music may drive you crazy, but mine seemed to like it! Also, the People Mover was a great nursing break as well!"
Catherine H. says, "On the table at the OB during my six-week postpartum exam. And I mean during the exam."
And Gail S. has nursed among the animals. She says, "My baby Andrew was a couple months old and we decided to take the boys to the Philadelphia Zoo. I stopped in a somewhat secluded area to nurse, and about one boob in, I hear over the PA system, "Coming up at 2, there will be a milking demonstration," to which I replied "Hey, there's one over here too!"
Now that's the spirit.