Breastfeeding Reaction

Thursday, March 29, 2007 10 Comments A+ a-

While breastfeeding on Sunday, I had the most surprising reaction I’ve ever received. Jon and I were planning to run errands after church on Sunday. (Translation: Jon wanted to spend his birthday money at Home Depot.) Since we live in a different town than where we attend church, there weren’t a whole lot of options to breastfeed Hudson. We decided on McDonald’s, where we could grab a quick lunch and Devyn could play while I fed Hudson.

We all trooped to the back of the restaurant and picked the very last booth. There was no one else around, with the exception of this woman in the booth next to ours. She originally had her back to us, so it was no big deal. As I got out the blanket and pulled Hudson from his carrier, the woman decided to switch sides in her booth and was now facing us. We were all situated; Hudson at my breast and a blanket covering us the entire time. Suddenly the woman looked up from her Sunday paper, saw that I was breastfeeding and gave me the most disgusted look I’ve ever received. She then shook her head and started mumbling under her breath. I watched as she took part of her Sunday paper, tucked it into her purse, and created a wall to where she didn’t have to be offended by my feeding my son. Both Jon and I were just amazed at her reaction.

During the whole year I breastfed Devyn and even these last six weeks of breastfeeding Hudson, I have never had a reaction such as that. Most people are very understanding; some moms will even exchange private smiles with me. While others, at the very least, will avert their eyes if they’re uncomfortable. But this woman was incredibly offended by my decision to breastfeed Hudson in public, so much so that I kept expecting her to walk over to our booth to say something. *Sigh* Oh well, what's a person to do with a hungry, crying baby? I just smiled, shared a look with Jon, and went about my business.

Has anyone else had something like this happen to them? How did you handle it?

I’m a coffee drinking, book reading, laundry procrastinating, husband and children loving, mess of a woman who believes that chips and salsa can fix anything. We have chickens running around the backyard, a mountain of dishes in the sink, and on any given morning, I have at least 10 school forms that need my signature or initials. It’s a crazy life {I prefer to call it controlled chaos}, but its ours.

10 comments

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Susie
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8:00 PM delete

Well, I can't say "been there, done that" yet, but I just can't imagine being offended by the most natural thing in the world! I mean it's not like you were standing on the table shakin' it for all the world to see. Sheesh. :) You go right on feeding that child whenever he's hungry, wherever you may be!

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8:19 PM delete

I just happened to stumble upon your blog through a friends link, and I have had so much fun looking through all of your posts! Your children are beautiful. I also have a daughter, 2, and a son, 11 months. Enjoy every moment!

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Elise
AUTHOR
10:02 PM delete

Just ignore it! You are doing what you need to do, and it happens to be the absolute best thing for Hudson, too!
Our first tendency is to be angry about people like this, but I really condone ignoring the looks, snuggling in close to your hubby, (if he's with you!) and gazing at your baby while thanking God for such gifts.
It works pretty well. :)

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Lorena
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8:16 AM delete

I am so sorry you experienced that. With all of the "fun and exciting" things John and I do, I have to feed Annelise in public a lot. I have never been given any ugly looks though. Most people ignore it or giving a discreet smile. One woman at the Denver airport even congratulated me. Not everyone feels the way the McD's woman felt. Don't let her reaction stop you!

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Munchkin Land
AUTHOR
9:27 AM delete

Oh, I would NEVER let this woman's reaction question my decision to breastfeed. Those moments with Hudson are too precious to me, I could never give it up!

I was just surprised at the magnitude of her reaction. She was really offended! Oh well...

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Paula
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1:17 PM delete

You know, it is so sad that people give those snide reactions towards people. I just look at that as a person who needs more grace in their life.
Where did we as a society go wrong when feeding a percious baby the way God intended is offending, but walking around half naked (belly hanging, short shorts/skirt and thong showing) isn't. Priorities...messed up!

I am proud of you for continuing and not being affected from her reaction.

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Anonymous
AUTHOR
5:07 PM delete

It's a law in Colorado that you can breastfeed anywhere you are legally allowed to be. You were in the right and good for you for giving your baby the gift of breastmilk. Just ignore that lady. You have a great family, great kids, and a very supportive husband and you are very blessed. I've never had a reaction like that lady did to you, and I've breastfed in lots of public places...restaurants, cattle auction, park, best-buy, everywhere. I commend you for being such a great mom!

Wendy

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Amy
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2:29 PM delete

I don't BF in public so I've never experienced this. Not that I don't want to, but can't...but I won't get into that here:)...Anyway, you handled it just the way I would have chosen to. People are so strange sometimes. Hope you are doing well! love, Amy

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Christine
AUTHOR
4:50 AM delete

Wow, that never happened to me (and breastfed all 3 of the kids till at least 10 months) but I was always waiting for it. I had heard stories! It's such a special time and I feel badly for the women who have never experienced that bond.

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Stacey
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2:13 PM delete

Jenn, I am so sorry that you had that terrible experience. I think you are doing an amazing thing and it just stinks that some people are so rude. I think it was bizarre that she reacted that way! How strange.

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