Breastfeeding in Public: An Open Letter to the One Who Stared

Breastfeeding is definitely on top of every mom’s “Most Difficult Thing I’ve Ever Done” slash “Most Painful Life Experience” list. It demands so much physical and emotional energy and getting used to. But as if that’s not enough, breastfeeding moms also have to deal with the anxiety of nursing in public. We’re talking about the judgmental glances and the downright stares from both people you know and don’t. In celebration of Breastfeeding Month, we’re starting an important conversation because every nursing mom needs to feel that they can safely breastfeed in public. So, Dear Judgmental Starer, this one is for you.

Breastfeeding in Public: An Open Letter to Everyone Who Stared

I don’t know who you are and what you’re impression of me is, but I just want you to know that what I’m going through is difficult. I love being a mom and I don’t see breastfeeding as a sacrifice. It’s simply my way of loving my baby and I don’t have regrets. But this doesn’t take away the fact that Breastfeeding is hard, because it really is!

Breastfeeding is hard in itself

For some mothers, nursing in public is as natural as how they do it at home. But for me and my baby, we have yet to master the art of perfectly latching in one go. That’s why I make sure I pick and choose outfits that make it easy for me to nurse without feeling too exposed. You see, I am mindful of what I’m doing. I choose the location and the strategy that will make it a good nursing session for me and my baby. But sometimes, no matter how prepared and planned everything is, if my baby needs to feed, I will gladly do so.

I'm not trying to make you feel uncomfortable

Breastfeeding is not about you and your judgment because it’s about me answering my baby’s need to feed. It is beautiful and no matter what you say or do, I will choose to love my baby the perfect way I know how to. So please don’t direct me to the bathroom suggesting that I should breastfeed in private because it is my child’s meal you’re talking about. Would you want me to give you a sandwich and direct you to the toilet instead of the dinning room?

Nope, I'm not going to feed my baby in the bathroom

Now that the food analogy is out in the open, I hope that it makes more sense to you, Dear Stranger. I’m giving you the benefit of the doubt that maybe you’re staring out of curiosity instead of judgment. Just remember that your actions and demeanor has an impact on other people, too. So in behalf of all nursing mothers out there, I just want to say that thanks in advance for minding your own business.

Thanks for minding your own business

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