I am really sad to say, that my only negative nursing in public experiences have come in my home State of Wisconsin. The first happened almost a year ago, and you can read about it here and the second happened this past Saturday at the Beaver Dam Country Club (which, is not as toney as it sounds.) It’s funny. Their motto is “Where Strangers Feel Like Family.” Let me know your thoughts on that one at the end.
Dear Husband’s (DH’s) cousin was married this weekend to a lovely girl he met at Madison. The ceremony was beautiful, held at the Wisconsin State Capital Building. We got there in the nick of time and as a result were seated in the Gallery section, which offered a great aerial view of the wedding plus we were in comfy theatre style chairs which made for easy nursing. After the wedding we headed to the Great Dane for a quick microbrew and then headed up the road to the country club.
There was lots of milling about during cocktail hour and The Dragonfly wanted Mama milk so I obliged while at the tables around the bar. (Wisconsin is smoke-free which I find great, so there was not pesky smoke to bother us.) While we nursed, I chatted with family members and all was good. After cocktail hour, Steve’s Uncle had us all come outside. He is an amateur naturalist and cultivated over 1000 Monarch Butterflies for a butterfly release. It. Was. Gorgeous. It was as we were coming back into the club when it happened.
This schmuck, whom I later found out was the husband of this really nice bridesmaid I met, and he cronies said just loud enough for me to hear as I walked past “There goes the Breastfeeding Queen” in this snide tone of voice. Of course, anger flared up in me but I decided to turn the other cheek rather than confront a drunk idiot. DH noticed my dour mood and asked what was up. Of course, I told him and he was ready to throwdown. DH is not what I’d call a lactivist by any means, but you do not mess with his family. I tried to put it out of my mind, but it’s hard when you are criticized by someone you don’t know over something as innocuous as feeding a child. And, no, I don’t believe that a breastfeeding mother should have to hide away because she is doing something “private.” Peeing is private. Eating is not. And to be honest, more breast is seen in Abercromie and Fitch ads or on the beach or at the mall than what I was showing in breastfeeding.
The Dragonfly only nursed three more times while we were there and DH decided to stay at my side for those nursings. He later told me that the bartender was not too appreciatve of my breastfeeding in the bar area as he kept of shooting me dirty looks. Sorry dude. I wasn’t going to nurse in the dining area because we were thisclose while eating. Seriously, my FIL was 4 inches from my left and my SIL was 4 inches from my right and the chair behind me was… yep, 4 inches behind me. The Dragonfly is now about 28 inches long… kind of tight. Now granted the actions of the bar keep are not indicative of the club but still…
I love my home state and I know that the actions of a few do not a reputation make but I really feel for moms who maybe aren’t as confident in their nursing. What would she have done when faced with such scorn? Formula feeding moms want to know why breastfeeding moms have to be all up in arms about breastfeeding in public and this is why. No one thinks twice about a mom bottlefeeding and the same should be said for breastfeeding.