Breastfeeding is beautiful and beneficial and best for baby and a whole host of other “B”s, I’m sure. But it can also be very embarrassing. I don’t mean that it’s shameful, or that you should have to feel awkward if you’re doing it in public. I mean that, when you’re dealing with a hungry, determined baby or toddler with no sense of boundaries, you are sure to have a few blunders and bloopers every now and then.
I’ve certainly had a few.
When Quinn was a tiny, little thing — maybe a couple of months old — my husband and I were visiting his family and, inevitably, I had to feed her. While none of them are anti-breastfeeding, they also aren’t totally comfortable with it, and a lot of them (especially the men) leave the room when I have to feed her. Well, my nephew, who was 9 or 10 at the time, cam running over to play with the baby, not realizing that she was nursing. He was right up on me before he realized it, then said “OH!” really abruptly and shot his eyes toward the ceiling.
I told him it was OK, but he ran off.
Probably the most embarrassing breastfeeding moment I’ve had happened at a wedding. Quinn was only 3 months old, so she was nursing pretty much constantly. I brought a cover, and I wore a knit halter dress that I could easily slip off, then wore a light sweater over it. No chance of showing off any “indiscreet” skin to anyone, right?
She was nursing on and off so much — something she did often as a comfort measure when she was trying to sleep — that I was basically just leaving my boob out underneath the cover. I would just slip Quinn out from under the cover, but left it around my neck with my boob at the ready below. We were sitting at the table for awhile, but then we got called up for toasts, and I quickly gathered her up and tried to fix myself as we were walking.
My friend’s dad came over to coo over the baby and make small talk with us. He was all excited as he walked over, but his demeanor changed quite quickly, and he awkwardly made his exit.
Turns out I didn’t “fix” myself quite as well as I thought. The cover was hanging in the middle of my chest, and my boob was just hanging out for everyone to see. I was so used to the feeling of it being out in the air that I never even noticed. I wouldn’t have known if my husband had not looked down then started muttering to me to cover up while he stood in front of me.
As we were saying goodbye to the bride, I said, “Hey, FYI, I think I flashed your dad.”
Unfortunately (or fortunately for others?), I had several other moments like it. Turns out that dealing with a handsy baby and trying to maneuver a cover, a bra and squirmy hands doesn’t make it so easy to be smooth.
Have you had any breastfeeding blunders of your own? Share the lolz in the comments. It will be healing.