The Nursing Mommy Wars: Part Suck(le)

Please, dear god, let this be a North Carolina Southern thing, and not because all women are idiots. Amen!

More than I hate the morons who think nursing is disgusting or gross or that they shouldn’t be forced to see that (the hell?!?!), I hate nursing moms who hate on other nursing moms.

For example: Recently I posted my Target nurse-in video in a Facebook group and another mom commented that our Target protest wasn’t a good protest because it’s not natural to sit in the aisle of Target and nurse.

Here I am, unnaturally nursing my baby in the aisle of a Target store. FOR SHAME!

And then I woke up from the nightmare that is my life and replied that, DUH, since nursing itself is natural, anywhere a woman nurses is natural.


She further said that a better way to protest would be simply to nurse as usual. Well, okay then, Steel Magnolia, I will! And if my baby wants to nurse while I’m browsing in Target, I might just sit down in an aisle and nurse her. And if other nursing moms see me nursing and need to nurse their babies, I will invite them to sit down in an aisle with me. And then — voila! — nursing as usual in a group of moms in an aisle of Target.

Ugh, ugh, ugh.

In all seriousness, I hate the mommy wars, but more than that I hate the nursing-moms-who-don’t-want-you-to-nurse-because-you-don’t-do-it-right-and-give-other-nursing-moms-a-bad-name.

I give these women some credit for nursing their babies. However, I take some credit away for their insistence on being “discreet.” This means that if their baby wants to nurse at an inconvenient place/time they would (1) go into another room, (2) abandon a cart full of groceries to go nurse in the privacy of their car, or (3) cover themselves, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD. Nobody wants to see THAT.

Even a 6-year-old knows that nursing moms should be covered up!


I think this kind of bullshit — and that’s really the only word I can think of to describe it — discourages some moms from nursing. Especially in the early postpartum period when most moms are feeling weird anyway (physically, emotionally, mentally). Add to that  a hungry baby and concern about offending strangers in Target who will cluck their tongues in disapproval, and it’s a recipe for disaster.

Obviously, I’ve never been the kind of mom who worries about offending anyone. While I don’t exactly welcome it, I basically don’t give a shit. I think it’s a benefit of getting older and having more kids. I see that there’s more than one way to skin a cat. (You know I’m all for skinning cats.) But there are moms who are more… gentle… than me, and don’t want to offend people, and don’t want to draw a lot of attention to themselves. And to them I want to say, Ignore the haters. Just nurse your baby. If you want to cover up, then cover up. If you want to go somewhere else to nurse, then do it. But just keep nursing.


2 Responses

  1. I totally agree. I wrote a blog post recently defending nursing in public, and half of the comments were, “Oh, yes, moms should nurse in public, but one time I saw a mom who was doing it like X, and that can’t *possibly* be necessary. I never had to,” etc. One mom said that nurse-ins were “nursing for show” and “just using your baby.” Seriously, who made these rules?!

    My mom never, ever showed an inch of skin when she was nursing. Mostly she would go into the bathroom and sit on a dirty toilet to nurse (poor thing). But she has never, ever, ever told another woman how to nurse. So when it was my turn, I nursed wherever I wanted and my mom honored that — because she said it was about MY comfort level, not hers!

    I wish more people had that attitude … if the mom who is doing the nursing is comfortable, then everything’s A-OK. If she’s not, see what you can do to help out. But don’t go telling women that whatever worked for YOU is what SHE has to do. We’re all different, right? And aren’t we just thankful the babies are getting fed?

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