Breastfeeding in a Park

Scrolling through my tablet to choose my May 6 ‘smile’ picture for Britmums’ ‘#snaphappybritmums a photo a day on Instagram’, I stumbled upon some pictures I took a while ago. These are rare pictures for me; I don’t really do selfies. The ‘smile’ picture I chose really made me smile; on my face and in my heart. 🙂

It took me back to the first time I allowed my son to roam around in a park. I got him out of the buggy and let him ‘go’. He went alright … slowly at first, taking in the expanse before him … then fast, faster, and even more.

As expected, he needed a breastfeeding break after a while. There were a few people around and I wasn’t sure what to do.

After some hesitation, I decided to sit on one end of the bench nearest to us. I put Precious Sparkle on my knees and we discreetly (thanks to my Frugi breastfeeding dress and Primark comfy overall) latched. I hoped the woman on the other end of the bench didn’t mind but I refused to worry about it. I must say I was relieved to find out she was also a mum; her children ran to her soon after we sat down.

Precious Sparkle fed to his heart’s content; moving his hands here and there … patting my chest, touching my nose, occasionally tugging at my dress etc. He even shuffled a few times on my knees; his legs seemed to have a mind of their own. I had to keep him close and hold on to the top of my dress some of the time, to avoid unwanted exposure.

We blissfully gazed at each other a few times, sending vibes of sweetness and love beyond words to our hearts; oblivious to the world around us. Noticing some passersby and the pigeons around reminded me about where we were; and after a while Precious Sparkle was ready to play again.

Why Smile?

I smiled then and I’m smiling in my heart now for many reasons. We’ve now been breastfeeding for over 14 months and I sometimes pinch myself. Even as I write now, emotions swell through my being … ‘WE MADE IT’, I feel like shouting from the rooftop; ‘WE ARE ACTUALLY MAKING IT, ALRIGHT’! If you know my breastfeeding journey, you’ll understand; and one day soon, I’ll write about it. I of course have so many people to thank for helping us MAKE IT this far.

I smile because if you told me over a year ago that we’ll still be going strong in our breastfeeding relationship, I wouldn’t have believed you. I smile because I refused to give up trying despite family, friends, and medical professionals telling me it’s okay to stop in those early months of Precious Sparkle’s life. I smile because I chose not to moderate my breastfeeding expectations despite all the reasons to. I smile because I chose to continue pressing towards my breastfeeding goal though it didn’t seem achievable for many months. I smile because of answered prayers. I smile because I feel privileged to still be breastfeeding. I smile because WE MADE IT.

Nip-ping

I’ve come a long way when it comes to nursing in public (NIP); I am more confident about it being okay. I don’t have to apologise to anyone about meeting my child’s needs, I don’t have to let my baby cry whilst trying to find a secluded (and usually uncomfortable place) to fill his tummy. If my child is hungry, I can feed him with the food I’ve got … my mummy’s milk is available on demand and that’s fantastic. Breastfeeding in a park is as normal as eating in a park; because it is eating in a park.

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What do you think about breastfeeding in public?
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Linked to: #BreastfeedingandI
Adventures of a Novice Mum
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aNoviceMum

Founder | Writer I Editor I Manager
First-time Mum / Freelance Writer / Thinker / Educator / Business graduate / Improving Photographer / so much more. \\ Recording my mu-m-sings from the South East of England | Sharing lessons from my life's journey to encourage and inspire | Filled with gratitude for my faith, family, and friends.

18 thoughts on “Breastfeeding in a Park

  1. I fed both my girls where and when they needed to be fed. I don’t think I really thought of it as NIP I just thought they were hungry and that was how I fed them. With my older daughter we did have to stop at around the 8 month mark. She just got so nosy that the smallest thing would cause her to pop off and gaze around leaving me exposed! I used the John Lewis feeding room more frequently between 6-12 months than I did 0-6! This was o.k. though as by this age she was much more able to wait until there was somewhere quiet to feed her. With no.2 we were living in the middle of nowhere so I did a lot of feeding on rocks at the beach while my older daughter was playing.

    It’s great that you have found your confidence with breast feeding and are still taking such pleasure in it. I think I was lucky never to receive any negative feedback to feeding – I was very discrete but I also would have been insistent about my right to feed wherever it was needed if I had been challenged.
    morna recently posted…Baker Days cakes My Profile

    • Yeah; I don’t think we think NIP, we just feed when needed. I’ve used the John Lewis room a number of times, also Mothercare and Boots, and one within a shopping centre at different points. I used to be very concerned about whether a feeding room was available or not, in months past, when going out. I now just go with the flow and feed my little one when he needs feeding, as discretely as I can be. Just like I would try and get something to eat when I’m hungry, in a place where I’m comfortable.

      Love the idea of feeding on rocks and on the beach 🙂 Sounds like so much fun.

      Yeah, I’m glad I’m alright with feeding outside the house now; it makes going out that much less stresfful. I also haven’t had any negative feedback and I’m very thankful for this. I don’t think this should be an issue really. Thanks for reading and commenting.

  2. Pingback: Breastfeeding and I Linky 1 - Adventures of a Novice Mum

  3. Aww great post. Wow 14 months you are doing well. I miss breastfeeding I had to give it up before i went back to full time work it just wouldn’t have worked. What a fab linky idea.

    • Thanks Emma; I’ll miss breastfeeding when it comes to an end; despite all the toddler acrobatics. Breastfeeding and work – very hard to juggle! Thanks for dropping by; I really hope my linky takes off. 🙂

  4. I am lucky I think in that it never really bothered me, with my first baby my first ‘public’ (as in not in a cafe or restaurant) was sat on those benches outside the shopping centre with people walking up and down and Athena was 6 days old and needed a feed so we did! I think flinging myself in the deep end helped, and i’ve also thankfully never had a bad experience with someone saying anything.

    I did wonder a few times when I nursed her in public when she got bigger (around a year, as she always looked older) if people were judging me, but it didn’t stop me from doing it!

    One day, hopefully not too far away the world will be a more understanding place and nobody will even bat an eyelid!

    • That’s wonderful; feeding is a very normal part of life and feeding a baby shouldn’t require so much thinking about what other people think. We grab food to eat when we’re out and about; it shouldn’t be any different with a baby when they need to eat. It’s lovely reading about positive experiences of breastfeeding outside the house. 🙂

    • Rightly so; feeding, nourishing, nurturing, comforting is what breastfeeding is about. How interesting, I’d like to know more about how this acceptance is shown in Dubai compared to the UK. Feeding ourselves or our children should definitely not be an issue.

  5. Aww such a sweet photo and post. It’s great you are so confident feeing in public, I remember feeling really stressed and nervous the first few times. I just decided one day not to care about looking or saying anything, my baby was hungry and that’s what was important.xx
    wendy recently posted…A letter to new breastfeeding mumsMy Profile

    • Fab attitude. My confidence has increased as I’ve known what to do. It took me a while to know that it was okay to feed my child when we’re not in an enclosed space; funny, hey. I’ve definitely learnt that a hungry baby needs feeding. So lovely that you focused on your baby’s need instead of what people might think 🙂

  6. I love your picture. I think you have written a lovely post here, and the picture really compliments it. I am lucky, because I have always been quite out going I just did it. The main person who told me to hide was my mother. Can you believe that? Anyway… fast forward many years and my partner would have probably punched someone for trying to embarrass me for feeding our babies in public. xx
    Zara – Mojo Blogs recently posted…Caitlyn Jenner, welcome to womanhood.My Profile

    • Thanks for your lovely comment. It’s wonderful that you didn’t have to think about it; that’s how it should be. How many of us think about what others will think if we eat whilst we’re out and about. Our mums hey; it’s a generational thing I suppose. Some of my mum’s mothering views are different from mine too. And dads should definitely stand up to support mums in their baby / toddler feeding endeavours wherever this might happen. Thanks for joining #BreastfeedingandI

  7. Pingback: A for Breastfeeding Anywhere | 2016 #AtoZChallenge - Adventures of a Novice Mum

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