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Wednesday, July 11, 2007No, this email wasn't sent to me, but it was sent to a friend of mine. I've changed the names to protect the innocent and the not so innocent.
I have a favor to ask for the birthday party…
I know you are 100% totally comfortable nursing in public and around a lot of people but I would really appreciate it if while you are at the birthday party you could go in the house or away from the group to nurse. I have some friends that had preemies and were not able to breastfeed their babies and its upsetting to them and also the majority of our family/friends aren't really that comfortable with overt breastfeeding and I want to do everything possible to make the day as comfortable as possible for everyone.
I totally respect your decision and ability to nurse wherever you want in front of anyone (I certainly couldn't/didn't feel comfortable doing it!) but I'm asking for you to respect our wishes to make the birthday party about Addie and not about everyone feeling uncomfortable.
Also – if you could get Tim to wear a "non-weirdo" shirt that would be great too – we'll be taking lots of family pictures I'm sure and it would be great to look back at these pics and not see one of his shirts with a giant steak and "got beef?" or what not on it – you know how he is with silly shirts hehehehheeee
I hope you understand where I'm coming from with this and let me know if you think that will be a problem!
We can't wait to see you next week – Addie wants to see what having hair looks like, I'm hoping she'll be inspired by Emma and start growing some more!
Yep...you read that all correctly. Someone I know actually just received that email from a family member. She emailed me to ask what I'd do. Here was my response:
Oh. My. Goodness.
Personally (and keep in mind that I'm grumpy from lack of sleep) I would write back and assure her that you won't be nursing at the party and that Tim won't be showing up in a "weird" shirt.
Then I'd visit the post office to drop a nice gift in the mail.
Then I'd stay home.
I asked her about posting it here and she said she'd love to hear reader responses and how they would handle it.
Honestly, I find a few things interesting about the request...
1.) Once again, it's always about making everyone BUT the mother and baby comfortable. Who cares if my friend has to feel like she's doing something wrong or offensive every time she feeds her child? At least other people wouldn't have to confront their own issues with nursing...
2.) The "preemie" logic. I wonder...if one of the attendees had lost a child to SIDS or stillbirth, or even a miscarriage...would my friend be expected to leave her baby home because it might be a painful reminder of what she'd lost? What if one of the attendees was a widow or widower? Should other people leave their spouses home? While I am not unsympathetic to loss, I don't believe in hiding joyous things because of them. I certainly wouldn't flaunt the nursing, but to go and hide? No.
In my mind, any person has the right to make a request of what someone else does or does not do in their own home. This person was totally within their rights to ask my friend not to nurse, or to nurse in private.
But if I had someone tell me that I was not welcome to nurse in their home, then my solution would probably be politely decline to visit their home.
Labels: Nursing in Public