The Do’s and Don’ts of Nursing in Front of Your Kids
A mom sent us a message telling us she’s about to have her second child and this is the first time she’s had to think about “modest nursing.” While she wants her older son to recognize that nursing is normal, natural, and not an inappropriate thing, he’s also at an age where he’s learning about privacy and body autonomy. So how does she reconcile the two? We turned to our tribe.
We received a lot of responses and the answers were a mixed bag, ranging from “I wouldn’t do it” to “go for it, mama!” Here are some Tribe Mom thoughts:
- “I wouldn’t nurse uncovered in front of my son when he’s older.”
- “I’ll make an effort to cover in front of my boys.”
- “Feeding a baby isn’t the same thing as going to the bathroom with the door open. I nursed discreetly without a cover in front of everyone...I taught my kids that there’s nothing wrong with it but also that a nursing mother deserves the privacy of not having anyone stare at her.”
- “I refuse to wear a cover because it drives me crazy! I’m not missing out on life because of nursing. There are ways to nurse in public without being on display.”
- “I have no problem breastfeeding in front of my children. They know I have a nursing cover for when we go out. I reinforce the idea that we don’t need tt look at other people’s bodies as it’s not our business.”
- “I used to cover up but I want my kids to know it’s natural! When they grow up, I want them to have had the example to support either doing it themselves (for my girls) or support their partner in it (for my boys).”
- “I won’t get dressed in front of my kids but I will nurse in front of them. There’s a difference!”
- “My kids don’t even notice when I’m nursing anymore. If you can do it without being completely undressed, I don’t see why not.”
- “I think it’s okay to nurse uncovered but modestly. This way you can teach them there’s nothing to be ashamed of, no need for a cover, etc. but you’re not completely exposed. Nothing screams ‘I’m nursing!’ like a cover, but it also screams ‘I’m ashamed.’’
- “Always covered! Great opportunity to teach them about our amazing bodies.”
- “My kids know about it but they don’t need to see it all the time.”
- “Nursing is natural, but it doesn’t need to be done uncovered.”
- “My oldest boy stares when I nurse and I tell him not to because it’s not modest...is that a double standard or should I just cover up a bit more? Not sure.”
- “With boys, I’d nurse a little more covered, like the way I do in public.”
- “From a young age, I teach my kids about modesty and personal safety against predators so anywhere that a bathing suit covers is off-limits. The same applies for me, so it’s natural that I be covered too. I have teenage boys and I wouldn’t walk around in my underwear in front of them, so I wouldn’t nurse without proper coverage either.”
- “I always cover up for personal modesty reasons.”
- “I think it depends on what you’re wearing. A flap on a shirt is very different than taking off a shirt.”
So what do we think? You are the mom and you make the rules. Find what works for you and do it! If you’re comfortable nursing without a cover, take the opportunity to teach your older kids about our bodies and what they can do! If you’d rather cover up a bit, you can still explain what you’re doing and that you enjoy the privacy. No one should tell you what to do or how to do it! Make the choice for YOURSELF.
What do you think? We’d love to know your thoughts, so let us know! #TribeTalk
Disclaimer: Entries were edited for length and clarity. Opinions in this piece do not reflect the Havah Tribe brand’s own opinions.
By: Jaimie Brick
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