To Cover Or Not To Cover

I feel like I should have a parental disclaimer hanging over my head when I’m outside my house:

“Warning! This woman is LACTATING. At any time, she could pull up her shirt, unhook her bra, and start feeding a small child with her boobs. Parental discretion is advised.”

So, what do you do when you’re out and about and the kid wants to eat? In a perfect world, most establishments would be like the Macys in my area and have couches/comfy chairs in a sitting room adjacent to the women’s restroom. But the world isn’t perfect. If I have the ERGO and a sweater with me, the Monkey and I are set: We just stand near a deserted area, get everything set up, put on the sweater and hood, and continue with our business.

Places I have nursed the Monkey in the ERGO:
  • In line at a baseball game;
  • At a farmers market;
  • Marathon shopping at Target;
  • At a restaurant during lunch.

I also nurse in the car a lot. Preferably in a parking garage, since our backseat windows are tinted and the darkness provides another layer of modesty. Our local Target has seen a LOT of action.

But sometimes, its just not possible/convenient/whatever to remove myself from a situation to breastfeed. And here’s where modesty comes in: Do you cover up with an after-market product, a sweater, or just let it all hang out?

I don’t own one, but I LOVE the name of this company: Udder Covers. ( Its essentially a big apron without the strings at your hips. It also has some boning in the neck area so you can peep down at your nursing kid, which is important.

A long time ago, I did test runs with blankets (blanket + shoelaces) to see if the Monkey would be amenable to such a product: He spent 20 minutes yanking and flailing at the fabric that dared to touch his little head and impede his view. He had milk spraying all over his face, inside the blanket, and pooling into a big wet spot on my shirt. After all that, he found the end of the fabric, got hold of it, and opened the blanket up so his face was uncovered. I considered it an epic failure, kept my $32, and decided to go uncovered. (Hence the parental advisory.)

That doesn’t mean I’m all flagrant about it though. I TRY to be discreet — hence my fondness for parking garages and back seats. If I’m out of the car, I’ll usually lay a blanket along the shoulder and arm on the side that I’ll be breastfeeding from, it covers side-boob. If I’m wearing a V-neck shirt, I just pull that boob out and feed the boy. Otherwise, I’ll pull up my shirt on that one side. If the Hubbs is with us, he’ll throw a block — usually by sitting/standing in front of me or something like that.

I have to say though — I haven’t had any bad experiences. I think most people are understanding these days. I probably get more looks from people in restaurants because I give the boy a bottle of formula with his solid food.

But that’s a whole different topic.


One comment on “To Cover Or Not To Cover

  1. Erin says:

    Mmmm boobs. Hey I've been meaning to tell you that a friend of mine is becoming a doula and she started her own web site. Breastfeeding is near and dear to her heart, she's blogged about it a couple of times, if you care to take a look.

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