Nursing covers are not my style

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I’m all about women breastfeeding.  Liam on occasion still nurses, even with me being due any day now.  However, the nursing cover trend just doesn’t do it for me.  I know a lot of women love them because they make them feel more discreet while nursing in public.  For myself, I just feel that it draws un-needed attention to myself.  The fabrics that they are using on the covers are beautiful prints that just say look at me.  They are large pieces of fabric that when used look like you’re trying to hide an extra fifty pounds on you.  Then if you have a child that likes to move a lot,  it appears that you have some sort of alien being trying to get out of your beautiful apron.  Liam wouldn’t have let me use one of these covers for long because he is a very warm little guy.  I can understand how someone would think a cover would be useful in the early weeks, when it takes a little bit longer to get the baby latched onto the breast.  However, on top of trying to get your baby into position, your bra/shirt into position, you are trying to make sure that you have this gigantic piece of fabric around you.  Then you try to see your child’s mouth and your breast to make sure that you are obtaining a perfect latch.  It seems like the cover would get in your way.  Maybe I’m wrong though, maybe it is simpler to use for some women than that.   I just became really good at keeping my free hand close to my my baby so that if he came off quickly, I could cover myself and get him latched back on quickly.

I’m glad that women are breastfeeding and that they are doing it in public.  I think that you can be discreet while nursing, if discreet nursing is your style, without a cover.  You don’t even need a special nursing shirt.  If you are self-conscious about your body, simply layering a camisole with a t-shirt will keep you completely covered while nursing. If you don’t want to stretch out your undershirt, then  Target has some great nursing tank tops that have a built in bra that allow you to do the layering thing easily.

The nursing covers out there are getting very inventive with their naming too.  There are Hooter Hiders, Moo Moo Mamas, The Mommy Cover, Justincase with Pouch, the Slurp & Burp (which I kind of find this name gross), Hide in Chic, etc.

I discovered that there is an entire website devoted to nursing covers…  www.nursingcovers.com I guess if it keeps women breastfeeding their babes, then it is better to use them, but why do we feel the need to cover ourselves.  Women that bottle feed don’t use these covers.  Some of them may even be embarrassed because they are using a bottle for formula or breastmilk, but you don’t see them feeling the need to cover themselves or their babies while feeding.  I’ve been fortunate with my breastfeeding experience so far that I have not been harrassed by anyone.  I look forward to the day when I can come back with some quip to anyone that dares bugs me while I feed my baby.   When I did feel a need for more privacy while nursing, I would find a quiet spot, angle myself and my son in a way that I felt comfortable and get him nursing quickly.  In the early days, since he was a winter baby, I was known to nurse in my car just for the warmth factor.  As he got bigger though and I wanted to go out walking with my friends, he went into a carrier and off we went, only stopping if I needed to nurse.  I don’t believe my friends ever saw my breasts while nursing Liam.  If they did, they can comment on here and tell me that I wasn’t nearly as discreet as I thought I was.

Here are two funny cartoons I saw on Facebook the other day.  I’ve been meaning to put them on here so that I don’t forget about them.  I really want to pull out my knitting and sewing stuff and create the craft projects in one of the cartoons.

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5 thoughts on “Nursing covers are not my style

    thevfamily said:
    April 12, 2010 at 12:44 am

    I think it is important to realize that not everything in life is about you, which is why I personally cover myself with a blanket while nursing, with both a winter and a summer baby (Receiving blankets are light enough & and I have also nursed my winter baby in my car). It is not just about how I want the situation to be or how I perceive the action; others are always involved, whether I like it or not. Lots of things in the world are “natural” but that does not mean we should not respect others, ourselves, and perhaps even culture and act in a certain way. When I am around male friends, I will even ask them if it makes them uncomfortable if I nurse next to/in front them if we are in a private setting. So far, none have ever said yes, but if they did, I would work with that fact. It is not about something being taboo or not. It is just an area of respect, in which my goal is not to receive my way in the area by being shirtless or completely uncovered, just because it is natural and I can. Sex is natural, beautiful, and wonderful, and I can surely have it without much showing, but I do not go out to a park, lift up my skirt, and have a little fun with my husband. I know the link is not perfectly analogous, but it is still conducive enough.

    lahancock responded:
    April 12, 2010 at 4:41 am

    As a response to the above comment, I don’t try to make others feel uncomfortable when I nurse my child. I also ask, or rather tell them that I will more than likely be nursing in their presence because my child needs to eat frequently. I ask if they mind. Some children are easy to cover while nursing, others absolutely hate to be covered. Mine would normally be a mix. For some women, they do feel completely comfortable nursing anywhere and everywhere. I did not always feel comfortable nursing in a particular location, but as I got more proficient I knew that I was not going to disturb someone else’s comfort level.

    I really don’t know that sex with your husband is a good analogy. I don’t associate breastfeeding my child as sexual, and I don’t think that is what you are trying to say either. Nursing your child is just that, feeding them.

    And once again, the title of the post was “Nursing covers are not my style.” Not to say that they aren’t for some people. I just won’t be following that particular baby gear trend. I also did give suggestions to other new moms on how to nurse discreetly if they felt the need.

    I nursed Liam in a sling in the middle of a work party when he was six weeks old. Apparently, I did it so well, that when one of my fellow male co-workers came up to check on the baby, he had no idea what I was doing. He asked, aww, is he sleeping, I replied, no nursing. He couldn’t see anything, it did give us all a laugh, and although maybe he was uncomfortable for just a moment, I did not expose myself to him.

    At the same party, I later went into a bedroom to nurse Liam because he was a bit fussier. The party host, also a male, came in and didn’t even bat an eye that I was nursing. Once again, he couldn’t see anything, but I also wasn’t made to feel weird or dirty, just because I was nursing my son. It would be nice if more people were like that.

    thevfamily said:
    April 12, 2010 at 8:56 pm

    Maybe then I misunderstood your nursing sessions. I, by absolutely no means, expect a mom to hole herself up in a room while the rest of the world has fun and she nurses her child. I know people that do that, and I always hated seeing her slip away just because she needed to nurse. In fact, I had a family member do just that, and when I first started nursing, that is exactly what I did…..but then I considered it crazy to follow her lead, so I no longer exit but perhaps just remove myself from sitting right next to my father-in-law :O). Now, if the exit is so the baby is more comfortable, I am in complete agreement! I do not, on the other hand, think that moms should just let anything hang out at the expense of others comfort just because she wants to and it is a natural process. I think that is where the link with sex was coming from. It is natural and good and right, but there is a time and place for that especially, and folks do not make the same “natural” links with it in order to expose whatever at will. I do not correlate breastfeeding as sexual, and if you want to get into why breasts are there in the first place, it is to ultimately provide sustenance for a baby! I think that my qualm with when nursing mothers are called out, the events that make national news, women are not discretely using a sling to cover, nursing “hooter hider” or blanket. Instead, they are just nursing out for all to see, which is not always obvious as you have indicated, such as with smaller breasted women, like myself, who could ultimately hide much more effectively. But those women who then “expose” of sorts, get huffy and call it a natural experience but never once considered the complications of such or how that might intrude on others. I know other cultures walk around shirtless and nurse whenever wherever, but we are not there, we are here.

    Geeze….I think I have confused myself now :O)

    But I LOVE educated and respected debates! Thanks, Leann, for hanging with me on this one :O). I always like to contemplate such things.

    lahancock responded:
    April 12, 2010 at 9:39 pm

    Thanks for responding back. I was hoping that maybe we just had a misunderstanding and it appears that we did. I read your post in the middle of the night and felt compelled to respond immediately. Then of course I had difficulty falling back to sleep. Luckily I did, since I had to go to work. I don’t know the circumstances of all incidences where mothers nurse in public and get a manager or the authorities called on them. I am larger breasted and despite that, I believe that I nurse discreetly. I have tried to nurse in restaurants, but find it uncomfortable mainly because I lack the privacy that I desire and a booth really limits your manuverability. I have never seen a woman in public nursing in any way that would be offensive to others. That is why I personally find a nursing cover unnecessary. Plus, my biggest problem with a nursing cover is the stupid names that they give them. I do not call my breasts hooters and I really think it sucks to call a garment that I’m going to place on my body a hooter hider. Also, I really have a problem with the name Slurp and Burp. If I hear my baby slurping while nursing, I think that I have some latch issues and will probably need to type of treatment done to my breasts to remedy the abnormal nursing. Ouch. Thanks Summer for commenting back and providing a different perspective.

    thevfamily said:
    April 12, 2010 at 9:31 pm

    Yeah, slurp and burp makes me cringe. I actually love the sound of my babies gulping in the milk, but not necessarily slurping. I do, however, think Hooter Hiders is sorta catchy!

    PLEASE do not loose any sleep! You need all you can get. Baby Hancock may be here any day, so no restless nights on account of blog comments :O)

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