With my first born, Audrey, I breastfed exclusively but was not comfortable doing it any public setting. Our days were always planned around her feeding schedule. Outings were short, designated private nursing areas were mapped out and the backseat of our car was always my "emergency safe place" to nurse. Now being a mom of two, I can't plan my day solely around one child's routine. Like before, I'm still uncomfortable with nursing in public. I'm scared of being confronted by someone who's offended or disgusted by the way I choose to feed my child. But I still choose to breastfeed.
So before heading out to the park today, I fed Amelia. I hoped she could last until we got home but she couldn't. She's coming up on her three month growth spurt/cluster feeding phase and while at the park she woke hungry & angry (aka hangry). I got anxious and tried to hustle Audrey out of the park so we could head home. Home was a 30 min walk away... likely longer since Audrey sensed that I really wanted to leave & fast. Amelia was becoming more hangry by the second. Now I was faced with a choice. Either spend the next 30+ minutes pulling a toddler home while soothing a crying hungry baby or nurse in public. Really, I had to suck it up. Feeding my child shouldn't be a dilemma or anxiety provoking.
Today I breastfed my child in public. This is a big deal for me, I did something that I was too afraid to do with my first daughter. It's also a sad accomplishment because regardless of how a mother chooses to feed her child there is always someone ready to tell her that she is doing the wrong thing. Whether you bottle or breastfeed, you are at risk of getting a dirty look, overhearing angry whispers or being shamed for how you feed your child. Mom shaming needs to stop. We are all trying to do what's best for our children, with all that we have. That should be enough.