Playing “Peek-a-Boob” at the Poshest Spot in Town

I’m doing a lot of things differently with my second child than I did with my first. One of those things is breastfeeding in public. I have pretty much decided that I am DONE nursing a baby while balancing on a restaurant toilet seat. So I have bravely nursed Sophia in a variety of public places, being careful not to show my goods to the world. However, now that she is a tall, chubby, and very grabby seven-month-old, nursing in public has become far more complicated.

Today I had to nurse Sophia at a very public, very posh spot. A spot I probably am not even classy enough to frequent, but hey, I can dream.

This particular location was outside the Panera Bread at an upscale outdoor mall here in our area. I can’t afford to shop in most of the stores and their target demographic probably thinks I’m “quaint,” but I like it there because it’s a beautiful space and perfect for a stroll with the kids. They also have a fabulous, ginormous bookstore with a train table that Joshua loves. But I digress.

Yesterday I met a friend and her son there so the boys could play and we could catch up. We stopped at the Panera on the way out to bribe Joshua with a cookie so my friend and I could get in some more “mom talk.” I was trying to hold Sophia off, but she was tired and hungry and I had to give in and nurse her – right there on a metal patio chair at the outdoor seating at Panera, which just happens to be at the very front of this mall. I was sitting about ten feet from the edge of the parking lot, and about three feet from the road everyone drives in on when they’re circling for a space. AND I brought the WORST blanket one can use for nursing – it’s all satin on one side and therefore very slippery and hard to keep on myself even when Baby So’s not pulling at it. Add to this that she was super fussy and kicking and crying, and we have a possible peek-a-boob situation. If my friend hadn’t been there, I might’ve been in big trouble! Sophie was so upset that my friend had to help me get situated so I wouldn’t flash all the Beemers & Mercedes that were slowly cruising by in search of that one elite parking spot that would show us riff-raff who was boss. She also had to hold the blanket on for me a couple of different times when it got slippy-slidey.

The point is, it took me and a friend (a very close friend, obviously) to protect the innocent eyes of mall patrons and get my daughter fed. But, we did it! And I didn’t even have to sequester myself on the Panera potty. Yes! Score one for Mommy!

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8 Replies to “Playing “Peek-a-Boob” at the Poshest Spot in Town”

  1. Good for you Jenny. I was so nervous to breastfeed in public, but got over it the very first time I took Bronwen out to lunch. She was only 3 weeks old and We were eating lunch with my dad and my stepmother and she was hungry. I was kind of stressed out about the whole thing, but my step mother told me to just go for it. And the baby was so mad, I couldn’t wait. After the first few times, I was kind of desensitized and I have a feeling I have flash quite a few people at this point. Oops! But the kids have to eat!

  2. I’m proud of you, Jenny! I have always held to the belief that since I would not eat in the bathroom, I wouldn’t ask my daughter to do it. I too have fed Brooklynn at the very same locale, many other restaurants and even at the Newport Acquarium. I love my nursing cover which helps prevent flashing and it has helped me be a confident yet modest public breastfeeding mother. I think every breastfeeding mom should have one and I think no one should have to feel like they must feed their child while sitting on a toilet.

  3. way to go, lady! the more moms willing to do what you’re doing, the more normalized it will become. and what’s more “normal” than feeding your kid? i am appalled at people who find public breastfeeding appalling. so there. power to the breastfeeding people.

    love the new site, by the way.

  4. A word from an older generation…I needed to nurse my son during some Christmas shopping in 1977, and settled in a confortable chair in a popular restaurant’s ladies restroom/lounge. I used a blanket to cover myself, but wondered how many “looks” from other patrons I would have to endure. I counted at least ten when “she” came…A white haired lady of about 75…just the age that disapproved of breastfeeding in favor of “modern” and more civilized, scientific” bottlefeeding. I thought…”Oh, oh…Here it comes!” She stopped in front of me, pointed at the blanket over my shoulder and lap and sternly asked, “Are you nursing a baby under there?!” I smiled nervously and said, “Yes, Ma’m.” She broke out into a smile and laughed, and advised, “Honey, I am proud of you…Keep it up, and don’t let my generation or any others discourage you!”

    The same to you, Jenny, and all your generation….

  5. Congrats on saving the show for your hubby. I am not brave enough to do public breast feeding so I find my self sitting in the bathroom stalls and forcing old ladies to hold their bladders for very long periods of time.

  6. Okay, I so know where you’re talking about, and yeah, I can imagine the humiliation factor. But I am not gonna lie, I peeked at the ad for the nursing “cover-upper” thingy (can you tell I’m NOT a mom…) and they’re super cute. I want one just cuz. Do they really work??

  7. First, congratulations on nursing and on overcoming your fears so you could do what you have decided is best for you and your baby.

    Although this probably felt dicey to you, and so, gain, kudos, it doesn’t seem that bad! In fact, I would say that the ritzier the area, the more people who are breastfeeding and/or comfortable with it, statistically speaking.

    I read an article in the NYT once where a woman went to one of the most expensive restaurants NY and they had zero issue with her bfeeding–they were more concerned about the baby crying. They mentioned a celebrity had been in there bfeeding recently.

    So, one more time–good job, mama!

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