I remember my few months old baby crying his heart out on our way home, on public transport. I was lost for words and confused about what to do; because I was very conscious of those around me.
I was definitely concerned for my son’s well-being, but I vaguely remember showing more concern for the other passengers on the bus. I remember looking around anxiously, probably wondering about what they thought of me with my crying baby. My look was one of apology for their inconvenience; even guilt for the ear-piercing interruption of their quiet ride.
Babies cry: FACT! We were all babies once, and even as adults we cry for a range of reasons. I now know there is no shame in being seen with a crying baby.
However, this obvious knowledge eluded me at the time; I know I didn’t cause my baby to cry, BUT I also now know that I might have been able to stop him crying.
I tried everything but the most guaranteed method to stop his tears – breastfeeding. This could have primarily met my child where he was, and indeed maintained the quiet on the bus.
But I didn’t know!
I know, ‘silly’, isn’t it.
I didn’t know that I could breastfeed my child ANYWHERE; I did not know that I have the legal right, and indeed the freedom to breastfeed ANYWHERE. And as such, I wasn’t empowered to meet my child’s needs everywhere.
Now I know, and I do.
Breastfeeding affords me the opportunity to be a walking, always present, and available ‘eat all you can’ buffer, and much more, for my baby and now toddler.
I have since breastfed on buses, trains, at service stops, in common areas, in hospital waiting rooms, at parks, at work, on the loo, whilst walking, in a baby carrier, by the side of the road at night, during conferences etc.
Breastfeeding outside the comfort of the home can be daunting, but it is definitely doable; after all it’s legal and normal. I found it scary before I knew it was okay to do so; even then, it took me a while to develop my confidence to breastfeeding in public.
~ What do you think about breastfeeding anywhere? ~
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