breastfeeding

Why I Nursed My Hungry Baby In a Public Bathroom

“I will never breastfeed in the bathroom! That’s disgusting! I won’t be shunted off into the bathroom to nurse, ever!”
–ramblings of myself

I never planned to nurse in a bathroom. I am a proud breastfeeder, and while I don’t “bare all”, I also rarely cover or leave the room to make anyone else more comfortable. With AM, my second baby, I literally nursed on the go all the time. We breastfed at an LDS temple open house. I held her in clutch position to nurse while I pushed a grocery cart with my other hand. She ate while I bathed her big sister.

It was my second time around and I was no longer as timid as I once was. I even pumped outside of home and work during the time I was donating milk.

I decided to begin working around the time my tiny girl was six months old. After a long first shift, I met DH at Olive Garden to have dinner. It was 6:45 on a Saturday night. We waited for a long time to be seated, and I tried to encourage AM to nurse in the car during the wait (the lobby was busy and loud, and six months is a very distractable age). She wasn’t having it. I finally gave up and put my aching engorged breasts back away and headed into the restaurant.

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As any experienced parent might guess, she decided she was ready to eat right about the time our order was taken and the bread and salad was brought out. I tried to discretely remove my swollen breast from a non-nursing bra and latch her. I managed okay for a second, and then my letdown occurred. She came up coughing and sputtering, attempting to dodge the spray of milk and I hastily covered myself with one of the linen napkins at the table. (Thank you Olive Garden for having high quality linen!)

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I burped her and tried again. The letdown was still too strong. She popped off with a scream and my milk literally shot across to the next table, spraying am unsuspecting woman in the butt before I could stop it. I giggled nervously and tried once more to latch my cranky baby. She wasn’t having it. It was busy and she was too distracted to focus.

I admitted defeat and took her to the lobby (right as my food arrived). I sat in the quietest part I could find, but it wasn’t quiet enough. At this point, my breast pads were leaking and I had two big round wet spots on my shirt. I didn’t have the keys, couldn’t face going back to the dining room to fetch them, and my breasts desperately needed emptied.

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I went to the bathroom. I freed my milk machines and let them spray into the toilet while I held my baby awkwardly in one arm. After the spray slowed to a drip, I was able to get her latched on, and she nursed contentedly.

I nursed her in the bathroom and wasted who knows how much milk. I sprayed a stranger with my milk and didn’t say a word. I learned in that one experience about compassion and not judging moms who (for whatever reason) choose to feed in the bathroom.

But the true moral of the story? Don’t forget to pump at work or you might end up spraying milk all over your local Olive Garden.

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4 thoughts on “Why I Nursed My Hungry Baby In a Public Bathroom

  1. It wasn’t until I became a breastfeeding mom that I realized society has not been structured to accommodate nursing mothers at all. My daughter would never nurse in public even if I had wanted to (which I actually was too shy to do sadly), and never allowed me to use a cover either. You would think that given that nursing is a common and natural way to feed your child, popular, family-friendly establishments should have private nursing rooms that aren’t bathrooms. I’ve had to nurse my daughter in a bathroom at a 5 star hotel in Miami after checking out!

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    1. I agree! There definitely needs to be a middle ground for those who want it. The problem I see is people don’t realize that even if there’s a designated nursing area, women and babies are still allowed to nurse wherever they want to. As a society we’ve got to figure it out!

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  2. This post almost made me spit my tea out with laughter! Milk spraying onto a ladies bum on the next table! Ha Ha hilarious! I’m sure it wasn’t that funny at the time though. The worst I had was spraying my husband in the eye one morning when I got up and leaned over him, which he luckily found hilarious!

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