In the past 2 weeks, we headed to the Singapore Zoo twice. We were searching for family friendly places to spend quality time with the kids and the zoo just popped up naturally.
During both outings to the zoo, Meimei had to latch as we were there for more than 6 hours each visit. Well, there are nice nursing facilities at the zoo, but I can’t possibly run all the way there each time she needed to nurse, right?
So, who cares? Just NURSE IN PUBLIC!
Meimei is my 3rd child. I’ll be frank, my breasts are ‘public property’ every time I’m still breastfeeding the kids. My priority as a nursing mother is to nourish my kids. And of course, the endless stream of visitors during confinement helped thicken my skin. Those aunties and cousins who shoved their faces at my boobs to take a closer look at baby toughened me up. And not forgetting the endless stream of nurses, cleaners and visitors or random strangers who entered the wrong room at the hospital who happily yank open the curtains when I was half naked, trying to get my newborn to latch. *poof to privacy*
Anyway, back to the zoo. I was happily latching while my elder boys went off to check out the snakes at the Snake House. It was cool in the share, nice bench and most importantly, Meimei was hungry. We went ‘bare minimum’ with our zoo trip and guess what we forgot to pack? The nursing cover!
With the girl yelling ‘neh neh neh’ non-stop, demanding for a latch, I couldn’t care anymore. Sat down. Lift up. Pull down. Latch.
While I sat there latching, many tourists and locals walked past. Young children, their parents and grandparents, teenagers who were with their friends, etc. They saw, they looked, they continued with what they were doing. There was no fuss, no rude stares, no horrified looks.
It was really the best place to latch a baby.
And in my head, I was geared up. Ready to defend nursing in public (NIP). Anyone who dares tell me to cover up or go elsewhere to latch, I will tell them this:
“Please tell all the mammals in the zoo
to cover up
when they are latching,
then come back and talk to me.”
Alright alright… I know it sounds rude but hey! If I need to feed my child, I need to feed my child! Bring your own sexual fantasy elsewhere! My breasts have a function, they make milk and I feed my baby milk. That is all. I am not a sex object! This is how mammals have been designed and you don’t see a male monkey getting a hard on just by looking at a mummy monkey latch her baby monkey right? So get your head straight and keep your pants on.
Anyway, I was really happy that day. I latched her again as I sat on a mat near the waterplay area. Again, no one bothered me at all. Except a naughty monkey who came over to steal food twice.
And so… I gathered some mummies to share their views and experiences on nursing in public.
I’m so happy with the responses! There are so many ways we can nurse in public, depending on our comfort levels! Individualize your NIP experience!
The Modest Approach
Covering up according to your comfort level is most important.
The No-One-Will-Know Approach
I love this. If you don’t mention it, no one will notice!
The Proud-Mummy Approach – (MY PERSONAL FAVE)
I really applaud Mummy Fadilah and her husband! She is so happy with her hubby’s support and I guess the key formula to successful breastfeeding is good support!
The It-Is-The-Same-As-Eating-In-Public Approach
YES!!! Baby is simply ‘eating’. Nothing special. Don’t need to stare ok?
The I-Don’t-Care Approach
Love this attitude! Don’t bother with the stares! Just latch on and feed on!
The Forgot-Nursing-Cover-So-Just-Latch Approach
We always start off somewhere… right? Incidental NIP due to circumstances are the best way to start!
The Forever-Looking-Gorgeous Approach
Ah… That pervert uncle.
Good tip from Mummy Alicia on how to fend them off!
TAKE THEIR PHOTO!!!
And I’m officially jealous. Why Mummy Alicia still so pretty! I look totally ‘auntie-fied’.
The Baby-Is-My-Joey Approach
I personally can’t do wraps but I love baby wearing Meimei in her carrier and yes! It is easy to feed while on the go with aid of carrier or wraps!
Reach out to wrapping friends for help if you are keen to learn!
The Partying-Can’t-Stop-Me Approach
Who says we gotta stop partying after we have a baby?
Although it’s a ‘different’ type of partying… Life is all about fun!
The beauty of nursing is that it doesn’t stop our activities. Especially now that we have many carrier options to breastfeed: HANDS FREE STYLE!
The Less-Things-To-Bring Approach
I agree! I don’t even have a special diaper bag for Meimei. If I’m heading out alone with her, her stuff goes into my handbag! All I need is her small wetbag of diapers, wipes & spare clothes. And another small ziploc bag for her snack & water bottle. Easy peasy!
The Watch-A-Game Approach
Stylish nursing colour! Who says being a mum means ‘auntie’ clothes & ‘auntie’ looks? Mummy June is so pretty!
And again, who says nursing should stop your activities?
The Who-Says-I-Need-A-Baby-With-Me Approach
Lastly… Who says nursing in public is limited to mummies who latch?
As long as you are producing milk, you are a nursing mother! Some don’t latch due to varying reasons, it’s alright! To be honest, I find pumping a chore (stuck to the pump, must wash so many things) and salute Exclusive Pumping mothers!
Note on SQ: I’ve flown SQ with Meimei and I have to say, I’m so proud of SQ. Male crew were understanding on breastfeeding. No disapproving looks or any weird vibes from them. They even offered to send our meals at staggered timing so one of us could attend to Meimei while the other eats. Super awesome. All parents have to fly SQ with their kids!
While we encourage and want to promote breastfeeding, let’s not forget to be considerate towards others who do not breastfeed for various reasons.
I’ve met some mummies recently who shared with me on medical issues that were really serious to cause them to stop breastfeeding. It’s not easy for them emotionally to lose the opportunity to nurse their baby. Yet they have to face pressure and judgmental comments from other parents for not breastfeeding their child.
Let’s encourage, not judge. And let’s fight for our rights to nurse anywhere, anytime.
Mother of 3 & Owner of TLO.com.sg