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The Lactivist Nurses in the Bathroom...

Looking for The Lactivist? She's retired. But you CAN still find Jen blogging. These days, she's runs A Flexible Life. Join her for life, recipes, projects and the occasional rant.

Friday, December 22, 2006


I know...I could almost hear the collective intake of breath! I almost couldn't believe it myself.

So I'm at home visiting my family and mom asked me last night if I could take my 91 year old great aunt to her eye doctor appointment this morning. I love my aunt (in fact, my older daughter's middle name is in honor of this aunt) so of course I said yes. So, I packed up Emmitt, left Nora with Greg and headed off to pick up Aunt Phyllis.

We went to the eye doctor and settled into the waiting room. It was a long, long wait. We chatted with the other people there, Emmitt did his "good" baby act ;) and then Aunt Phyllis went back to see the doc. Emmitt started getting fussy, so I tried to nurse him. He'd eat for a few seconds, pull off, fuss, try and eat again, pull off, fuss, latch on, go to town, then pull off. It was a fun game of "plug the leak" with my finger when he pulled off. (I have a strong enough let-down that if he pulls of in the first few minutes, I get an arc of milk that will shoot several feet.) He finally seemed to settle a bit and had himself a meal.

I got a burp out of him but not long after, he started getting fussy again. Turns out, his diaper was dirty. Now I'll nurse pretty much anywhere, but I do try to not change his diaper in front of a zillion people. So I got up and asked the receptionist if they had a bathroom. They did (and it was actually a nice clean one, looked like my grandma's guest bath, lol) but of course there's no changing table. So, I got a ton of paper towels and put them down on the floor so I'd have someplace clean to lay him. Got him changed and he started fussing again.

At this point, it seemed kinda silly to go back out and play fussy-baby peek-a-boob in a waiting room with a dozen people, so I sat down on the closed toilet (a real toilet, not those seatless public restroom ones) and nursed him. For some reason, it's just easier nursing a fussy baby when you CAN whip your whole breast out. So he nursed for another five minutes and then BAM, conked out, sound asleep. I went back to the waiting room, set him in his carseat, snuggled his blanket around him and he stayed asleep until we got home 30 minutes later.

I had to laugh at myself though. I never would have dreamed you'd find me nursing in the bathroom, but it DID make things easier in that particular situation. Now that said, there's a ginormous difference between me deciding on that route on my own and people simply EXPECTING you to head off to the bathroom to nurse. Kind of like nursing covers...I don't like them, but if a mom wants to use one because SHE wants to and not because she thinks she HAS to, then it doesn't bother me at all.

So what say you? Ever find yourself nursing "in hiding" just because it made it easier? Should I have to turn in my Lactivist shirt? ;)

Oh and to note, the only reaction I got when I did nurse him out in the waiting room was an elderly lady (maybe late 80s?) who smiled at me.

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  1. Anonymous Casey | 11:03 AM |  

    Being a mom is hard enough! Why make it harder just to "prove a point?" You did what worked for you so it was the right thing to do. I vote that you can keep your Lactivist shirt.

  2. Anonymous Anonymous | 11:11 AM |  

    I have def. done that before. Sometimes El just can't focus on nursing if there is a lot of commotion around. I sit there doing exactly what you were doing (plug the leak) while she pops her head up to look around every three seconds. If she absolutely will not focus but remains fussy, I need to find a quiet spot to feed her. Sometimes (ack!) that spot is the bathroom. I never sit on a dirty toilet (the one you used sounds fine, I am talking about the dirty mall toilets that smell bad and have pee all over them). So I often end up nursing her standing up in a quiet corner. The distinction that you make about choice is the key here.

  3. Anonymous Anonymous | 7:39 PM |  

    Sometimes I will go and nurse my daughter in the car. But only when I want to, either because she is less distracted in the car or it is a good excuse to leave people I am not fond of visiting LOL.

  4. Anonymous Anonymous | 7:45 PM |  

    I nursed in a bathroom once, when I was a very new mom and very rattled by nursing in general. Baby was suddenly starving and I was in the middle of a traffic jam. I pulled off into the corporate office park where I work and walked into one of the lobbies. Some business people were chatting in nearby chairs and my daughter was SCREAMING. I was still using the nursing pillow, my daughter was probably 4 weeks old and I had no idea how to nurse without one. Anyhow, the receptionist insisted on printing out an ID badge FOR THE BABY which was quite silly, and by this time, everyone was staring. I ran into the bathroom and sat down on the floor (gross but better than the lidless toilets) and used my giant nursing pillow to nurse her. I realized halfway through how awful and ridiculous it was to nurse in a toilet stall and vowed to not do it ever again.

  5. Anonymous MK | 6:52 AM |  

    That's why I love my Hooter Hider. My daughter loves to play peek-a-boob, but with a cover, there's nothing for her to see, so she goes back to nursing.

  6. Blogger Nadia | 7:21 PM |  

    Hi there,
    I nursed my son twice (i think) in the bathroom. It was easier but i try my best to nurse him anywhere else other than bathroom if possible..

  7. Anonymous Nisha | 1:40 PM |  

    When I was really new at the whole mom and nursing thing, I did go into a changing room at the mall to nurse my son. I couldn't find anywhere else that I could sit down and nurse that was a reasonable distance from where I was, and he wanted to be fed RIGHT THEN. LOL
    I went into a clothing store, and they quite happily let me use their handicapped changing room, since it had a nice chair and room for the stroller. I was still a little awkward with the mechanics of nursing, and had MAJOR let down, and didn't really want to shoot anyone with milk if they walked by me in the mall. I'm sure that would have been fun. LOL NOT!
    The leather store, a national chain, was wonderful. The manager told me that anytime I was in the mall, to feel free to come by if I needed to nurse my son and wanted a quiet place to do it. She had breastfed her kids, and it was great to have that kind of support early on.

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