Musings

Why I shunned the nursing bra

I’ve been breastfeeding now for 7 months and I’ve never use a nursing bra. You know, that specialized bra that opens exactly to the nipples so that you can breastfeed in public without bothering people with your bare breasts. That. I despite that!

If I need to nurse in a public place (parks, restaurants, stores), I just whip out the boob and give it to my baby. And when people gave me disconcerting looks and judging stares, I just smile with a glaring look that says “you have a problem with this?”

While our society adores scantily-clad models (mostly teenagers) in magazines, TV shows, billboards and social media, breastfeeding in public is still a taboo. And yes even in an otherwise liberal society like the Netherlands.

If not, breastfeeding mothers like me would not be assaulted with thousands of products that are meant to hide our breasts while nursing. Think of nursing bras, shawls, clothes, etc. Why should we be ashamed of the most natural and one of the most beautiful thing in the world?

Growing up, I remember watching Manang Angie and Manang Lorna breastfeed my bestfriends’ younger siblings. And Kambal’s wife nursing her baby in the river during breaks from washing clothes. These women never hide their breasts while nursing and everyone in our little barrio was fine with it. Ok, maybe the teenage boys stared when no one was watching but breastfeeding and in public was not an odd thing to do. So when I decided to breastfeed, I swore to do it like them.

I would breastfeed in front of visitors at home, in front of my colleagues during lunch break, in the park, whenever my baby needs milk. I don’t wear a bra whenever I take my child to the office or when we got out because she could ask for the breasts anytime and I can’t be bothered with taking the bra off and putting it back on again. My blouse would have milk stains all over them and I didn’t give a damn.

One time I was talking to my colleague in the middle of nursing and baby suddenly took here mouth off the breasts so the milk was spurting all over the place. I think it was my colleague who was too embarrassed and walked away. It was hilarious.

I did breastfeeding in the most shameless way. And I think that’s the way it should be.

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