Wednesday, July 7, 2010

My baby doesn't take bottles

Welcome to the July 2010 Carnival of Nursing in Public
This post was written for inclusion in the Carnival of Nursing in Public hosted by Dionna and Paige at All week, July 5-9, we will be featuring articles and posts about nursing in public ("NIP"). See the bottom of this post for more information.


My baby doesn't take a bottle.  Not one.  Never.  Ever.  And honestly, I can't say I mind.  Sure there's been the rare occasion that it would be nice to be able to have someone else feed her for whatever reason, but those occasions are passing and at eight months old, really aren't even an issue anymore.  The fact is, nursing my baby has not slowed me down (granted there is the normal altering of old routines that any new child brings to a mother's life).  We still go to the beach, restaurants, parks, road trips, and adults-only dates.  And truly, it has been this way from the beginning.  I was up and out of the house Ella's second day of life.  By two weeks we felt like old pros. 

I remember the first time I nursed Ella out in public - I was so very nervous.  We went to a favorite local restaurant and sat in a corner.  I had dressed for the occasion, as it were, and found the whole ordeal to be...easy!  Freeing!  I must have asked Ben a million times how it looked (always the supportive partner, he gave me all the needed reassurance).  I knew from that moment on I could do it anywhere.  Sure, there was a learning curve, but I think any incident that I may think of as "embarrassing" was more a matter of me being hyper-aware.

Ella and I are a great team.  I quickly ditched any type of nursing cover - what was the point?  No one can see anything as it is, and Ella would get hot and focus on pulling the cover off rather than the task at hand.  Happily, we now nurse as easy as we breathe - it comes second hand.  I feel lucky that Ella and I have come to this ease, because not all nursing mothers can say the same.  So if you know a nursing mom, give her a hand - don't judge or lift her cover if she uses one, no scene needs to be made, follow her lead, hand her a glass of water, give her reassurance (if she wants it), and thank her for passing on to her kiddo an awesome gift of love and nutrition.


Art by Erika Hastings at

Welcome to the Carnival of Nursing in Public

Please join us all week, July 5-9, as we celebrate and support breastfeeding mothers. And visit any time to connect with other breastfeeding supporters, learn more about your legal right to nurse in public, and read (and contribute!) articles about breastfeeding and N.I.P.

Do you support breastfeeding in public? Grab this badge for your blog or website to show your support and encourage others to educate themselves about the benefits of breastfeeding and the rights of breastfeeding mothers and children.

This post is just one of many being featured as part of the Carnival of Nursing in Public. Please visit our other writers each day of the Carnival. Click on the links below to see each day’s posts - new articles will be posted on the following days:

July 5 - Making Breastfeeding the Norm: Creating a Culture of Breastfeeding in a Hyper-Sexualized World

July 6 – Supporting Breastfeeding Mothers: the New, the Experienced, and the Mothers of More Than One Nursing Child

July 7 – Creating a Supportive Network: Your Stories and Celebrations of N.I.P.

July 8 – Breastfeeding: International and Religious Perspectives

July 9 – Your Legal Right to Nurse in Public, and How to Respond to Anyone Who Questions It


Lauren @ Hobo Mama said...

This is great! I'm so glad to hear you have a supportive partner, too. It really makes such a difference, doesn't it?

It always seems weird to me when people say, against nursing in public, "Well, just give her a bottle!" As if it's sooo easy, and as if it had no repercussions. I'm not anti-bottle, but I much prefer breastfeeding for my own convenience. ;)

Andrea!!! said...

@Lauren - yes yes yes, what many people don't realize is that some babies won't take a bottle. That was our situation, we tried when she was little, but she would just scream. Also, when one sees babies getting bottles in public, I think most people assume it's formula.

Dionna @ Code Name: Mama said...

We've never done a bottle either. I had a whole bag of them to try, but we had such bad latch/weak suck problems at the beginning that I didn't want to jeopardize anything. And then I just didn't care :)

sandramort said...

I've been nursing for 12 years without a break as of November and only have had one occasion where I felt I *needed* to use a bottle. Most of the time, the babies were with me until they were old enough to wait to get back to me, but by that point, I occasionally gave my SO a soft spouted sippy cup of milk for my first just in case. It almost always came home and was thrown out. I don't think we bothered at all for my third and fourth.

However, when my second was five or so weeks old, a friend had a stillborn baby. I was NOT bringing a newborn baby to a baby's funeral. He wasn't old enough to leave home because the funeral was 3 hours away, so my mother in law offered to watch him outside while I went in to pay my respects. However, she had only used bottles and wasn't comfortable learning how to cup feed. The risk of nipple confusion scared me, but he was a more secure nurser than my first, who took months to latch on properly, so I did it. Retrospectively, I don't regret it, but as the mother of a newborn, it was a hard call.

Andrea!!! said...

@Dionna - ha, I also have an array of bottles and nipples that have gone un-touched.

@sandramort - oh what a hard situation to be put in, I can certainly understand why you would be nervous to try a bottle so soon, but also not wanting to bring a newborn to such a funeral. I'm so sorry for your friend and am glad that your nursing relationship remained intact.


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