Breastfeeding in public!

Jenny - posted on 02/09/2010 ( 120 moms have responded )

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I hear lots of moms talk about all the rude comments they get while breastfeeding in public. I am from Iowa and have breastfed in every restaraunt, park, zoo, pool, mall, shopping center around and have never had a bad comment (maybe one stare). I'm curious to know where you moms are from who feel breastfeeding is not social accepted where you live. And is it just in the US or do you moms from other countries face this as well???

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Francesca - posted on 02/12/2010

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Rebecca



If I were you, I would make formal complaints. First to the public health department regarding your doctor's office being unfriendly and then to the head office of Walmart. Here in Ontario, public places are being pushed to be bare breast friendly for breastfeeding. If they do not offer you an apology and a promise not to every make you feel that way again, go to the news. Seriously.



I don't know if you remember but a year and a half ago a women was asked to leave the H&M store or go in the dressing room. Well, after the news reported on it, a bunch of women wanted to paraded around breastfeeding their babies (aka a nurse-in). It got the message across.



And if you can find out contact information for Allison Loblaw (also from London Ontario) she had the same problem as you but in a La Senza. If you check out the link below it touches on both stories.



http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/st...



And Abby



Not all babys take to bottles. Mine still wont. And either way, thats what breasts were made for. Why is it okay to see overly fat men shirtless with bigger and hairy boobs on display but it is indecent to do what is so natural? (Even when some women use a cover) "Flashing private parts" What? It is not sexual. If we keep perpetuating this overly puritan society, what will be next? Covering our faces? If people don't want to see it, they can look the other way. Besides, my baby loves the boob and its far easier too. I don't have to pump, prep, sterilize, try to find a place to warm the milk. Its fast food. If you so choose to go through with bottles in public, by all means. You have to do what you think is best. My SIL did so for about 2 months. But dear Abby, never make another mother feel like she is being indecent for doing so. Us moms need to stick together. Good luck, having a baby is a real trip!

Kim - posted on 02/12/2010

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Oh sweet Abby! I felt the same way prior to having my oldest child (11 yrs ago). I had pumped and had a bottle ready for my first outing with my sweet little angel. Sure enough the time had come when he was starting to get hungry. I got the expressed milk in the bottle for him and began to feed. I expected that every thing would work perfectly....As I put the nipple of the bottle into his mouth he began to suck...then much to my shock he began to gag and spit up because the milk was too cold. I began to panic because I knew he was hungry. With a crying baby I searched for a way to warm the bottle, with no success. So I reached for his blanket and decided to try public nursing for the first time. His crying stopped immediately as he took big gulps of milk! It was at that moment that I decided that if the baby is with me...no matter where we are...we will nurse. Just some thing to consider!

[deleted account]

I live in Hawaii and have never received a rude comment, never used a cover (not hard to hide this tiny chest), and still nurse my 22 month old in public... though it isn't often and not very many places.

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Tanya - posted on 02/20/2010

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Kim if i were you i would call delta. They need to get better people as staff not to mention you might get free miles just for complaining. People can eat on a plane so your baby should be able to as well.

[deleted account]

I had issues with others when I was breastfeeding my oldest child (8 yrs. ago), but I live in Florida and I chalked it up to old people just being their "charming" selves. My other 3 children, I never had a direct problem with people complaining about me breastfeeding in public. I've noticed thou, La Leche League has made strides with getting companies to write in public breastfeeding "rules". Publix, Target, Simon Malls and the store I work in, Gymboree, are NOT allowed to ask breastfeeding customers to leave.

Emmylou - posted on 02/16/2010

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i am from australia and i have never had bad comments only stares.....i know my mother years ago got asked to go elsewhere when she was in a cafe which i thought was unbeleivable but i prefer to keep semi covered up i have never really gotten used to showing my boobs in public even if it is a natural thing...as far as if it were a male giving the bad remarks i would put that down to jealousy lol

Brenna - posted on 02/16/2010

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I live in Hawaii. With my first child I felt uncomfortable nursing in public and would do it in the car before going in anywhere. With my second I didn't care at all! I haven't gotten looks or comments that I notice, but when I'm nursing I am focused on my son, not the people around me. I figure if someone is uncomfortable they don't have to look!

[deleted account]

I'm from Edmonton Ab Canada and yes I've gotten more rude looks and nasty comments than positive ones, it's either because I'm breastfeeding in public or because I'm so young (I'm 20 but I look very very young) I've even had one old lady march up to me when I was feeding my son in the foodcourt of a mall and tell me that theirs a bathroom and I shouldn't be so disgusting to do this in public. (I always cover my son and my breast with a blanket so noone can actually see anything) I promptly told her where to go and if she's so happy with my son eating in a toilet she should do it first!

Elizabeth - posted on 02/16/2010

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I am from Texas, and although we have the rep of being polite in the south, apparently that doesn't apply to breastfeeding moms!! I have met with a lot of harsh looks and comments (with both daughters and about to have another)!!! I have found that almost all have been older ladies from the "bottle feeding" era. I am so glad to hear that you have such a supportive atmosphere!! That is fantastic.

For me I have had to layer up like I am from the middle east to still receive quite a bit of heat! When it comes down to it, every mom has to stand on principle at some point for the sake of her kiddos!!

Mae - posted on 02/16/2010

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I'm from a very small town in Missouri, and while I have gotten a few looks of surprise I've never gotten any negative comments. Usually I've gotten lots of supportive comments. I nursed my kids at the grocery store, restaurants, while out taking a walk, at home, at a friends house, church, while at a parade (hey my daughter got hungry while we were watching the parade LOL), just about everywhere. I think there were more "oops I"m sorry I didn't know you were nursing" comments than anything. People felt like they had intruded on ME while I was nursing my kids. Not that I was bothering them. And where I'm from nursing is actually really rare, especially if you are a young mom like me.



I have a couple family members who were always uncomfortable with me breast feeding around them. They never said anything, they just didn't come around too much while I was breast feeding. Which was there choice. They never said anything bad though.



LOL BUT should I have ever GOTTEN a rude comment...you best believe whoever said it would have gotten an earful! I had all kinds of breat feeding educated comebacks ready to use! And several funny ones too. Haha.



Anyone ever tried nursing twins in public? LOL THAT is a trick!! I got really good at it! LOL

Christina - posted on 02/16/2010

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I live in Tucson, Arizona & am still nursing my 16 month old. I nursed her in public til she was a year and have never had an issue before.

Kristen - posted on 02/16/2010

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Basically, I've just had middle-aged and old men stare. No comments that I've heard. However, people do seem to avoid you while you're breastfeeding. They don't realize you can talk while nursing, lol. Kind of weird, I know. I'm from Ohio and am in Germany now. Both places I have bf. I try to cover with a blanket though 'cuz I don't like anyone seeing anything and I just peek in at my little one:) She only bf now for about 5 seconds at a time anyhow, lol. She's almost 15 months old and tries to take the blanket off.

Brianna - posted on 02/15/2010

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I live in VA and I only have one friend that breastfed her babies from this area. It does not seem to be a very popular thing to do in this area. But I must say that I have always nursed my kids in public and have never gotten dirty looks or rude stares. I am very discreet about it though- no exposure. It saddens me though that more mothers don't make that sacrifice to give their babies the very best thing for them.

[deleted account]

Thanks Rachel! Udder Cover! I don't think any Australian mums ever felt the need for anything like that, but it's a great name!

Jenna - posted on 02/15/2010

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i live in Florida and i have a breastfeeding cover but my 6 month old does not like to be covered because then he cant see what is going on. I have had a few rude comments and some stares but i dont care i am doing what is best for my son.

Heather - posted on 02/15/2010

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from Seattle, WA my goverment just past a law for brestfeeding mothers, so we can do it when and where ever we want.

Jessica - posted on 02/15/2010

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Wisconsin and I use a cover. In my circle it's not wodely accepted but I don't care. My family and friends don't or didn't breastfeed and most of them think I'm strange for still doing it (my baby is 6 months) Some of the people around me think it's only something to do during the first month and then get the kid on the bottle so mommy can have her freedom! My own mother makes comments to me about still breastfeeding. I'm proud to have made it 6 months and hope to do it for 6 more! I don't get upset when I see a baby being bottle fed in public! I feel like "to each her own" and what is right for me and my family might not be right for others, but it's my business and no one should judge.

breastfeeding in public was very hard for me at first because I'm very shy, but since my daughter refuses to eat any other way, I had to get over my problem and do what was best for her.

Go for it ladies!!!!!!

Esther - posted on 02/15/2010

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I'm from New Zealand and it is widely accepted to breastfeed in public here. I don't use a cover but then I have learnt how to not expose myself in such a way that it would cause embarrassment to others or myself.



It is appalling that some mothers are told to use a washroom to feed their babies! Would you have your lunch while sitting on the toilet? Ewww, I don't think so!



I have recently returned from Dubai, where it was not so accepted. Didn't stop me though! My baby needs feeding and I will feed her. If someone has a problem with it, they need to deal with it.

Shannon - posted on 02/15/2010

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I'm from Michigan and I have never had a problem breastfeeding in public but I do get my fair share of looks from people I am not shy, I do try an cover up but my daughter always fusses or pulls the cover away. I don't flaunt my breasts but you have to get it out and I find it funny that people look at me weird or quickly turn away. I have had one incident at a resteraunt when a hostess gave me a dirty look when I asked he to seat me at a table so I can feed my baby. She may have just been having a bad day though.

Kelsey - posted on 02/15/2010

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I'm from Canada, I've never had anyone say anything rude to me about breast feeding my daughter in public, but older men have stared and I had one man laugh at me when he saw me feeding her in the back of my car, I wonder if he would have laughed if I was formula feeding her with a bottle. I could have punched him in the face.

Karen - posted on 02/15/2010

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I'm from washington...and I get a ton of stares, some glares and of course people making comments about me breastfeeding in public. I even one time had someone come up to me and ask me if i would be more comfortable feeding my baby in the public restroom, to which i replied, "Lady, would you like to eat your lunch on a community toilet?" I don't really mind the stares or comments though, i find them rediculous and a little amusing, such a big fuss about a baby eating. On the plus side, we just had a law passed last month saying that it is okay for a mother to breastfeed anywhere in public, and that stores can no longer kick you out for it "because it makes them uncomfortable".
I did hear on the news a couple weeks ago, about a mother in california who was breastfeeding in a dressingroom in hollister and the clerk ripped open the curtain on her and told her they didn't approve of that type of behavior in their store and made her immediately leave.

Tanicia - posted on 02/15/2010

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I'm a new mom and haven't really been out of the house yet to breastfeed in public. I do worry that people will give me strange looks and that I'll feel uncomfortable. I think that breastfeeding is an intimate moment for me and my son so I would rather people not watch. I think i'll pump before I leave the house so that I don't have to feed in public.

Rachel - posted on 02/15/2010

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I breastfed my boy till he was 2y3mo and I would breastfed him wherever I was! I have to say though... I work at Wal-Mart and we have a very open policy on breastfeeding. We do not tell people to go to the washrooms, and if you have been told...contact head office! In my store we have a comfortable chair set up in our infants section for mothers to nurse, but they are welcome to do it wherever they are comfortable! I am appalled that any associate made a nursing mother feel degraded. I actually stood and talked with a mother once, while she nursed her daughter who kept unlatching to smile at me! I was not disgusted and she was not ashamed. I like the idea of the cards...I'd give a few of those out for sure!!
Kathy S
and Udder Cover is a drape that straps around your neck, and covers your nursing infant and well....90% of your front as well. They are made for nursing in public. I personally loved them, but my son did not. They impeded his views and would freak when I'd try and put them on.
Also, to the young lady who doesn't believe we need to nurse in public and would rather make up a bottle so she can use that instead. Just be careful. My sister tried a bottle on her daughter ONCE...after that, my niece refused her breast from then on. No more breastfeeding. Wouldn't that be horrible to lose that wonderful bond! Of course, it's your decision and hopefully everything works out wonderfully for you!
To all you ladies! Keep up the great work and I think it's wonderful!!!

Amy - posted on 02/15/2010

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I live in Western NY and nurse everywhere uncovered and have received only positive comments. If anyone told me to nurse in a toilet I would refuse and tell them it was my right to feed my 10 month old wherever I want. If they have an issue it's their problem not ours. I fed my child in the toilet once and that was one too many times for me!!!! I empathize with the ladies who have had problems. On the other hand people i know well are always offering me their unused formula and asking why I nurse past 6 months. Ohh well

Kylie - posted on 02/14/2010

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I am from Victoria in Australia and I have breastfed my 3 children and never had a rude comment. I once had someone tell me were the mothers room was in a shopping centre but not rudely only for if it would make me more comfortable.

Desiree - posted on 02/14/2010

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I live in Pennsylvania and have had a few stares and only one rude comment. I always give that person of interest some knowledge on the benefits of breastfeeding and that usually does the trick! :)

Jennifer - posted on 02/14/2010

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I live in Virginia and breastfeed my 19 week old everywhere and anywhere that he may need it! I've only ever heard good comments and received smiles at the sight of feeding him! I only ever received 1, shall I say "dirty" look, that was when I was feeding him in Wal-Mart and it was from a teenage cashier. I simply looked at her and said, "hey thats what they're there for, they're not just toys!"

Margot - posted on 02/14/2010

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I just moved from MD to OK and I nurse my 14mth old whenever and wherever I have to. I had one time where I was sitting on a bench in the mall, outside of the CK store and one of the little chicks in there was making snide comments. That was when my baby was only 6wks tho. I haven't had any since. And I don't cover up cause my baby doesn't like it. I just do my best to conceal my breast. Also I could care less what the world thinks about BFing.

Arrica - posted on 02/14/2010

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I live in Missouri and here we have laws that allow mothers to breast feed in any place they are normally allowed to be. Unfortunately, I believe it was a burger king, kicked out a mother for breast feeding in their restaurant here in Missouri. They apologized later after realizing their mistake. I do not breastfeed in public except for changing rooms or my car just because I'm very modest. My son hates his head being covered and I don't want everyone to see my chest. No offense to people who do, it's just not for me.

[deleted account]

I am from Texas and have not received any negative comments. Then again I make a concerted effort to keep myself covered. I am sure if I were one of those mothers that just whipped her breast out someone would probably say something.

Manda - posted on 02/14/2010

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I feed my baby when and where ever she is hungry.....and usually will put a receiving blanket or something over if i find other people get uncomfortable ....but as for comments i haven t gotten any.

Gemma - posted on 02/14/2010

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I breast fed Ella till she was 10 mts, and i found no problems with any places we visited, like you say the odd stare.....probably just to see what i was doing really.....but places in my town welcome it, and have policy's where if people have a problem with it they should leave! Its the most natural way to feed your baby. I say if mummies feel comfortable with it, then do it!! Anywhere your little bundle needs it ; )

Mandy - posted on 02/14/2010

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I'm in Scotland, we're protected under law until our children are 2 years old. Having nursed both my children in public regularly, I think I've been pretty lucky. With my daughter no one ever said a thing - maybe I look like I'll bite their head off lol. The only time I've had anything negative happen was when ,my son (who is still nursing at 13 months, though we don't do it in public anymore because he's a 1st thing and last thing nurser now) was in a restaurant. The 4 of us where enjoying our meal and my son wasn't wean yet and he woke up, so I did what came naturally, and a young woman at a table near started staring at us, then leaning forward to get her partner to look over to, which he did. I carried on feeding and eating my meal, then I noticed them call the server over and speak to him, when I saw him coming to our table, I was already to start quoting the law at him, but bless him, all he did was ask if I was ok and if I would like another drink. I felt like sticking my tongue out at the woman lol

Julienne - posted on 02/14/2010

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Amy - my daughter hated BFing with a cover. It would never work, she thought it was a game. I would have done the same thing on the plane. If you get allocated the aisle seat then that is your seat. It's not like you can change it.

Allowing a baby to feed whilst on the plane will improve the babies ear pressure equalising and settle them in an unfamiliar environment. I am sure you would have complained even more if that baby had been screaming cause it was hungry. If you are uncomfortable look away and good on that mum for feeding her child.

Amy - posted on 02/14/2010

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I have not had anyone say anything negative to me yet and im from georgia. I was on a plane ride and a woman was breastfeeding her daughter with no cover in the aisle seat. There is a thing called consideration if you do choose to breastfeed in public.

[deleted account]

I have had a few stares, but I don't let that bother me; apparently they have an issue, not me.

I once had jury duty (and I had to pump) and they told me there was a private bathroom that I could go to. I at once inform them about the law that states that we (nursing mothers) should have a private place other than the bathroom. I thought that this was crazy; I telling them about the law when I was in a court building!!

Kathleen - posted on 02/13/2010

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I live in Oregon and have never ever gotten one comment rude or otherwise. Now people do assume instantly that I bottle feed even when I have told the doctor she is breast fed then comes the shocked look.

[deleted account]

I was uncomfortable myself when I first started breastfeeding in public, but I was pleasantly surprise is how well it was received. I even ended up nursing in the woods on our hikes.

I do think more companies need to offer breastfeeding/pumping options though. I have had to see way too many bathrooms and my car too often.

Jess - posted on 02/13/2010

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I'm from Australia and have fed my 4mth old son in public since he was born, and will continue to for as long as possible. I don't think I've had a bad comment - maybe a look here and there, but mainly just people being curious I think. I have had a few positive remarks (Mainly from older ladies actually) about how they think breastfeeding in public is great :) I think it is fairly accepted in my community, which is fantastic :)

Jaclyn - posted on 02/13/2010

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i hate this subject because people make such a big deal about it. i swear if someone came up to me and said go in the bathroom id FLIPPP! and what sucks is i am like so nervous about doing it in public because of the way people react if ridiculous. why should we have to feel like were doing something wrong.
but as for being on an airplane i would do it.. i would NOT use the bathrrom theres not even enough room for one person and its so unsanitary.

Connie - posted on 02/13/2010

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US tends to be a little more modest. If anyone makes rude comments then they're just uneducated on the benefits of breastmilk. Keep feeding that baby the "good stuff" Breastfeeding is a beautiful thing!

[deleted account]

I am in New Zealand and we get mixed receptions down here. Some people are open to it and other will either give you filthy looks, make comments and/or get up and walk away. A lot of the shopping centres have parents rooms with big couches and laz-e-boys in them for nursing but I am of the mind that if baby needs to be fed, they need to be fed! There are ways of covering up and in NZ Mummy covers are quite popular. I believe that mothers should be able to nurse in public but one doesn't need to "get it all out" to achieve that.

Sarah - posted on 02/13/2010

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I nursed both my son's , and when they are hungry, they are hungry! Neither of my kiddies took to the bottle, so I was a Strickly Breast Feeder!

Now when I see other mommys nursing in public, it makes me so happy for those babies, because society makes it seem wrong, yet it is instinctfully right... DO WHATS RIGHT! NURSE YOUR BABIES... NO MATTER WHERE IT IS

Katie - posted on 02/13/2010

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I am from KY and I also breast feed wherever, whenever. I have not had anyone say a negative comment but I'm not sure about stares. I pay no attention to folks around me when I nurse. I think with more moms choosing to nurse these days it will hopefully teach all the young girls and people around that it is a social norm an extremely important thing to feed your baby with the best nutrition possible and should be socially acceptable wherever you are!

Sacha - posted on 02/13/2010

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Kim, I would complain to Delta. I flew all the way to the UK on a Delta flight and nursed my daughter multiple times. I'm pretty sure it's not against their policy and if it is, it's illegal!

Araceli - posted on 02/13/2010

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hi im ara and im a pinay, i do breastfeed my son in public.. i dont care if other people make rude comment about it.. for me all that matter is for my baby to have his milk.. and i dont experience any rude comments about it..

Jodi - posted on 02/12/2010

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I would also like to add that while I was pregnant I took a breastfeeding class, after we all had had our babies there was a reunion...I was the only mother who didn't bring a bottle! I have no idea if it was formula in those other babies bottles or breastmilk, but I felt rather awkward being the only mom in a breastfeeding reunion to be....*gasp* breastfeeding!!!!

Jodi - posted on 02/12/2010

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I am from west-central Wisconsin, very near the MN border and I have gotten very rude looks and while no one has ever said anything to my face, I have had a few snide comments made (mostly from older men) just loud enough for me to hear as they walked by like cowards to fearful to say anything to my face. If anything, it makes me more determined to breastfeed in public, in case that one woman who is pregnant and wants to breastfeed is walking by and sees at least one mom doing it! NEwayz, for the time being (only another month and my hubby starts his new higher salary job!!!!!) I'm on WIC, my WIC leader who is also an LLLI leader always takes extra time to talk to me about breastfeeding, she serves 3 counties and has told me I am the only mother in over a year to nurse their child as long as I have (I havn't even reached a year yet!). I was told she figured 85% of mothers went to straight to formula and the rest give up breastfeeding in the first few weeks or by the time they return to work. It makes me feel proud to know I persevered, but it also makes me feel very isolated, I'm not sure I have EVER seen another mother breastfeeding in public in my town or neighboring towns...but then again, I'm not scoping every woman out! I should look into laws about breastfeeding in my state, as my daughter gets older, the looks get more incredulous and I'm positive someone will say something to be eventually! Congrats to everyone else for choosing breast!!!

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