Monday, November 14, 2005

My first experience breast feeding in public

Last night we had our first scare with McKenna...she started breathing fast again and we realized that she has kind of a phleghmy sound when she breathes. While I'm glad that there is so much information out there about SIDS, sometimes too much knowledge is a bad thing. P barely slept last night, he was so worried that she'd stop breathing.

So today, I took her in for our first outing out just us, to the pediatrician's office.

Overall it went great, although she really tested me, and I'm glad that she did. I've been scared about taking her out in public because I didn't know how I was going to handle it if she wanted to breast feed in public.

Fortunately, I live in a state that has laws protecting nursing mothers and giving us the right to breast feed in public and not relegating us to the bathroom. Don't get me wrong, I realize that not everyone wants to see me nursing her, but nursing in the bathroom!?!? How uncomfortable would THAT be to sit there for like thirty minutes in one of the stalls while I'm waiting for her to get full? It would be fine if all restrooms had couches, but they don't. The nice department stores at the mall do, but when I'm thinking about breast feeding while I'm out running errands, I'm picturing the average restroom at Target or Wal-Mart which is pretty pathetic...just enough for you to do your business and scoot.

So anyway, back to the story. P had bought me a privacy cape last week at Target for $6.99, and I really didn't know how I was going to use it, if at all. I tried it yesterday at my in-laws' house to get the hang of it, but it didn't quite work as well as I had hoped.

I realized today you must be in the presence of complete and utter strangers to make it work!

I woke her up right before we left to go to the doctor's office and by the time we got there, she was good and cranky. We sat down to wait to be called, and she starts to scream. I tried everything first...the bottle of formula I brought, her pacifier, holding her, rocking the car carrier, and she just wasn't having anything to do with it.

It was either nurse her in public or let the rest of the people in the waiting room be subjected to her screams of torture, including the girl that was painting a mural on the wall.

So, I decided to bite the bullet and do it! And I'm still alive! Albeit, I did get an EXTREMELY nasty look from this Middle Eastern guy sitting across from me...I chalked that up to a cultural thing and let it go.

So it's over, I did it and now I feel like I can go places with her and not be scared that she'll want to nurse! Yay!

Oh, and she's fine, by the said that I can stop supplementing now that she has gained three more ounces (three more ounces and she'll be back at her birth weight) and said that the fast breathing and the phleghmy breathing is probably a result of her swallowing fluids and that we shouldn't be alarmed since her lungs are totally clear. So that was a relief.

That was my day today! Total excitement. I nursed, read Beauty and the Beast to McKenna, did some laundry, took her to the pediatrician's office, and tonight I'm going to walk the dogs by myself.


Blogger Kristen said...

Congrats on such an eventful day. So glad to hear it went well.

4:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Erica, you'll be nursing her like an old pro in no time! :)

We took our 7 week old on a trip that involved 2 planes and about 8 hrs of travelling. I remember nursing him while walking from the airport onto the plane, sitting down, letting DH buckle my seatbelt (couldn't do it one handed), and still nursing through take off. I used a receiving blanket thrown over my shoulder and I bet that most people simply thought baby was sleeping. :)

5:33 PM  
Blogger Kelley said...

Well done Erica. It's nice to get little hurdles out of the way. I'm sure McKenna is a good baby too, that helps!

I was a bit nervious too in public with DD, but by the time DS came around I was pretty secure about plopping myself down on a mall bench and going for it. I levelled plenty a challenging stare I tell you! But BC is like Texas I guess. Breast-feeding in public is in our Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

8:46 PM  
Blogger Suz said...

As a member of the general population squicked out by breastfeeding, I'm glad that you had an easy time.

I honestly don't believe most poeple mind public breastfeeding as long as it's discrete (which is what you sound like you're aiming for ;) ) I mean, most of the time I don't even notice when my friends do it (or even family at my wedding party), I wish I could be half as stealthy at the stuff I do ;)

Congrats on McK getting off of the formula and all of those "baby steps" that she's making :)

7:20 AM  
Blogger Margaret said...

COngratulations on your first public BF experience! When DD was 8 weeks old we flew out here, and I learned that you nurse going up and down for smooth sailing! WHen she was 3 months old we moved here, so I nursed in rest areas across the country! If you're relaxed she'll relax and nurse with no difficulty! DD is now 13, and sometimes I miss those days!

6:07 PM  
Anonymous Melanie said...

In Australia, you're more likely to get dirty looks if you bottle-feed than if you breast-feed! Though as the babies get older, the looks do start. I BF DS for 14 months, but not in public again after 3 months, when he got more interested in looking around at everyone else, leaving me... somewhat exposed! Well done on the hurdle, you're going great guns at this motherhood thing :)

3:05 AM  
Anonymous Rachel said...

I think it's quite sad that you need a law to protect breast feeding in public. You go ahead and feed wherever you want to, ignore any dirty looks that you get, and if anyone dares to say anything nasty - just send them my way, and I'll give them what for!
(Sorry, just one thing I feel passionately about).

McKenna looks absolutely gorgeous in all her photos, and I'm so pleased it's all going well for you all.

5:17 AM  

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