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Thank You for Breastfeeding in Public (with free printable)

Thank You for Breastfeeding in Public

A small baby’s angry cry filled the tiny coffee shop as the mom struggled to bring the baby to her breast. The cafe was busy and the first time mom sat at a table in the center of it all.

As soon as I saw her holding her baby beneath a nursing cover I knew I wanted to say something.  I wanted to tell her, “You are awesome!  Thank you so much for breastfeeding in public!”  Yet I was with four of my girl friends, and she was with her young husband. What would they all think?

We ended up chatting after her husband offered to take a picture of me and my friends. Their adorable baby boy was just three months old. Last year on vacation they sat in the same cafe when she was so newly pregnant that they didn’t even know it yet.

As my friends were gathering their things to leave, I knew I couldn’t walk out of that cafe without saying “Thank you” to this woman. Nervously, I walked up to her.

“Excuse me. I just want to say good luck with the breastfeeding. It is awesome that you are doing it.”

She went on to thank me and apologize. Apologize? “I wasn’t sure if I should nurse him here.”

Quickly I interrupted her and thanked her for breastfeeding in public. I told her that people aren’t going to get used to women breastfeeding if they don’t see it, and she is making it easier for the next woman who wonders if she should nurse her baby. You shouldn’t have to feed your baby in a bathroom or hide just because you aren’t using a bottle. Then I left, but her words stuck with me.

I wasn’t sure if I should.

How many times I did I have the same doubts with my babies? How many times did I allow others to direct me to a more private place to nurse? How many times did I nervously pull out my nursing cover?

I wasn’t sure if I should.

How many times did I ditch my nursing cover with confidence, but secretly waited for the disapproving looks or snide comments?

I wasn’t sure if I should.

Her small baby was just three months old. This was probably their first vacation as a family of three, and it may have been the first time she ever nursed in public. She had appeared so confident, yet inside she was nervous and uncertain. I am so glad I listened to my gut and thanked her for breastfeeding in public.

For a long time I’ve believed that nursing in public is one of the most powerful things we can do to change our hesitant culture.  From now on I will also add thanking nursing moms to that list.

BreastfeedingPlace Lip Balm3 Ways to Thank a Mom Breastfeeding in Public:

You never know what kind of impact your supportive words will make on a nursing mom.

Have you ever thanked a woman for breastfeeding in public? Has someone ever thanked you?


Rebekah Hoffer is a breastfeeding mom who has over come the struggles of excess lipase activity.  She shares frugal lifestyle tips, going green baby, and all of life in between at SimplyRebekah.com.

Comments

  1. I wish someone had told me that when I attempted to breastfeed in public with my first kiddo. I was constantly ashamed and trying to hide my boy. It’s ridiculous that we have to second guess ourselves when it comes to something so natural.

    • It is ridiculous! There were two occasions with my first son where I was told where I could “go to nurse your son.” Talk about awkward… umm… I guess I was supposed to say thanks for giving me a private room, but it was just weird.

  2. Really? Because every breastfeeding mom wants to be interrupted while breastfeeding to be given a card. The ladies who are comfortable breastfeeding in public do so to benefit their baby not to receive praise from strangers. In addition, some new breastfeeding moms could be scared away from breastfeeding in public if they receive unwanted attention while doing so. Encouragement needs to come from friends not weirdo strangers.

    I was thanked for breastfeeding my son while I was in a mall. It was very awkward and mainly, I just wanted her to leave me alone to tend my son. Keep the cards and the comments, let the mother be.

    • I’ve had a number of people come up to me and thank me before and it never made me uncomfortable at all. The most memorable was our waitress at a restaurant. She said her boss was always uncomfortable when he saw people breastfeeding in the restaurant, but she was letting me know how much she appreciated it because she thought it was great for people to see it and the more it was done the more it would normalize it. I did a lot of breastfeeding that day because I had my twin boys who were under 3 months at the time. They were eating a lot!

      Anyhow, I guess I can see how some women might not like it, but I always appreciated it when people thanked me. Of course, I didn’t do it to be thanked, I did it because my kids were hungry. But still nice to hear people saying they appreciated that I wasn’t going off to hide in a closet somewhere. Everyone is different though! 🙂

      • I do applaud women inwardly when I see them boldly breastfeeding. Our bodies were made to feed our children and we should do it with confidence. But for me personally, as I was just stepping out to breastfeed in public and realizing that it was natural and okay it would have made me feel like I was being too brazen or too noticeable if someone approached me no matter what they said. Applause when undesired can be bad for shy moms (I used to be a shy mom).

        Lol, I am sorry to realize that I’ve responded to two different posts on here with a negative comment. I am soooo very supportive of breastfeeding, but I am very focused on the needs of the baby and encouraging mothers to focus on their babies needs rather than on their own objectives. Everything else is just fluff, but I understand my view isn’t the only view 😉

  3. This is a very sweet gesture for breastfeeding moms. If someone gave me a Thank You for Breastfeeding in Public card, I’d probably blush but be happy to have received one. 🙂 I love that the lip balms are 100% natural!

  4. I was given rude looks and snide comments no matter HOW I fed my first. Nursing, breastmilk in a bottle, formula in a bottle. It didn’t matter. I was never doing the “right thing” in the eyes of the public. I was so hesitant to nurse in public. I started nursing in my car in the parking lot. Then I ventured to the bathroom at the store. Then I braved the changing room in Macy’s. It took a long time to be comfortable nursing in public because of how others treated me. We had to use a nipple shield, so that made everything trickier. One day, a mama that I later learned was part of our local La Leche League started a conversation with me while I was nursing. It helped me calm down and focus on something other than what everyone else might be thinking. As she left, she handed me a card that said thank you. I felt great after that. Someone actually appreciated that I was feeding my child in public. They didn’t find it creepy or gross. I’ve since been handing out cards of my own. Mamas have been relieved and thankful. I have made a good friend as a result as well!

  5. Love this! You must have made that mama’s day!!!! <3

  6. Christy Herman says:

    My husband and I took our three boys to the mall for new shoes. They were 2, 3 and 1 month old. We took them to the play area after we were done shopping. My two oldest boys were having fun playing and my baby was starting to get hungry. I saw another mother sitting on the benches at the play area with a baby under the covers and I new what she was doing. I walked over and sat beside her and asked if she minded if we joined her. She gave me a big smile once I started feeding my baby. The place was filled with dads. I could feel the stares and it made me mad. I had a cover on too. I may not have been as comfortable nursing if this other mom was not already doing so. I would have still nursed even if no one else was but it made it more comfortable. It should not be that way. Rock on to all the mothers nursing in public. I am proud to say that I nursed all my babies in public. I often got stares while doing it even though I was covered and I just stared right back at them till they turned away.

  7. Last week I had some ladies calling disgusting while I breastfed my son in the waiting area of the ladies room. As they asked me to go somewhere private. I sat there until my son was done and left. I honestly wanted to cry.

    • Rebekah Hoffer says:

      That is ridiculous! You were even in the bathroom! I am so sorry that happened to you. Seriously, I am so so so sorry. You did the right thing by staying put. Good for you.

Trackbacks

  1. […] first post for Breastfeeding Place is the story of a time when I thanked a mother for nursing in public and the surprising response she gave me. I hope you will head over to Breastfeeding Place read my […]

  2. […] 8. It is okay if you don’t feel comfortable nursing in public right away. – When my babies were newborns, it was hard to maintain a good latch. I didn’t want to nurse in front of anyone because I wasn’t comfortable with the whole process. As time went by, latching became easier and my comfort level with nursing in public increased. In time I began to see the important of nursing in public. Plus I learned the importance of thanking moms who breastfeed in public. […]

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