Passionate About the Community
and the Moms Who Live Here

Public Breastfeeding in St. Augustine

Every August the world shifts its focus to breastfeeding. I am one of dozens of photographers for the Public Breastfeeding Awareness Project, a global activist campaign that aims to normalize public feedings through documentary styled images. I am very thankful to have found such a supportive breastfeeding community here locally – and wish all mothers the same on their journey. As a former formula feeding mother, I must point out that this campaign doesn’t aim to push mothers to one feeding method over another – that’s no ones business but your own. We simply aim to encourage respect for mothers who choose and are able to breastfeed their children. Here’s what a few St. Augustine Moms had to say about breastfeeding their little ones publicly.

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Ashley

“I hate when people say they support a mothers decision to breastfeed in public, as long as they’re discreet. Breastfeeding needs to be seen, it needs to be normalized.”

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Carrie

“I’ve always known that when I had kids I wanted to breastfeed them. I don’t remember seeing many babies being breastfed when I was younger so it wasn’t really a “normal” thing for me but I knew this was something that I wanted to do! At first, it was difficult and I don’t think that I was prepared for that but as time has passed it has become one of the best parts of my relationships with my babies. I really want my boys to grow up thinking that breastfeeding is a natural, normal thing to do so they can be supportive of it when they are old enough to be parents themselves.”

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Jessica

“I wasn’t always comfortable nursing in public but with my husband’s full support to do what we thought was best and what worked for us, I no longer think twice about it or stress about bringing a blanket to cover up or wearing the right layers of clothing. Breastfeeding is just a part of how we are parenting our daughter and 20 months later it’s just second nature to me, just as it’s been for my daughter from day 1.”

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Melissa

“I never had an issue with breastfeeding in public but I struggled with my own insecurities about it. After having my 3rd who was an exclusively breastfed baby and always being on the go with the other two. I had to quickly overcome some of those insecurities. Having a super supportive husband has helped tremendously. We are now 2 yrs & counting with baby #3’s breastfeeding journey!!”

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Dana

“My daughters are 2 yo and 4 mo so I have been breastfeeding for over two years now. One thing I’ve learned is that the more comfortable and relaxed I am when I nurse in public, then the more everyone else seems comfortable with it, or they don’t even notice.”

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Amanda

“A few weeks after having my daughter My husband and I decided to go out to a local restaurant for the first time as parents. My husband asked for a back corner booth so that I could feed without feeling exposed. Although it was a slow time of day and not many people were eating . . . the waitress denied our request. We were instead sat at a very open table in the middle of the restaurant. Before our drinks got to the table, my newborn was ready to nurse. Feeding for the first time in public was proving to be a challenge! As I pulled my breast from my shirt and began feeding my baby, I could see eyes all over the restaurant looking at me and then quickly away. Someone called the waitress over, whispered something, and pointed my direction. The waitress shook her head, frowned, and said “I am sorry sir, but there is nothing I can do. Would you like to move to another table?”

It is hard to describe how I felt in that moment. As a new mother, I wasn’t even sure if maybe I was doing something wrong? Maybe I should have gone to sit in the bathroom to feed her. My husband asked me if I’d like to leave, and believe me I was ready to get out of there. I stood up from our table with a sleeping, nursing baby still latched on to me, and we walked out of the door! Luckily for me, I took that as a learning experience. The first of many unpleasant experiences I would have because I chose to breastfeed. But, for some women, gone that experience might have prevented them from trying to go out and feed in public again. Or, even worse, make her give up her dreams of breastfeeding simply because formula is more socially acceptable. We have to change the way our culture views public breastfeeding! We can love, encourage, and support every mother we see in public feeding her baby. And one person at a time, we can make breastfeeding a normal part of having a baby in America once again!”

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Lucy

“I am a mother of 2 sons, and there is an 11 year age gap between them. I nursed the older son for 3 years and I am grateful that he is exposed to his brother nursing so that he can view it as “normal.” It is fascinating to me that the main difference I’ve noticed is the hospital’s support of breastfeeding. This year was way more supportive than during my first birth in 2005. At that time, I had to fight to keep formula away from my newborn and this time the NICU staff was beyond helpful with lactation support. As far as social norms, I’ve still encountered some folks that feel I should feed away from the group gathering — this time I do not take it personally and do what is most convenient for me and the baby.”

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Jamie

“I never thought that I would breast feed this long. My original goal was for 1 year, then she continued for 2 years, and now and nearly 2.5 years old, she will still ask for it most mornings. Some days, I am completely done with it, and others it gives me accomplishment and joy much like most days living with a toddler. It still fixes “ouchies” when needed and is very helpful when she’s sick to keep her hydrated. We plan to continue until we don’t, whenever that may be.”

Whitney

“This is my third daughter I have breastfed. Surprisingly, this has been the most challenging nursing experience. My supply suffers at times and Lucca’s latch isn’t perfect, but this is the most confident I’ve felt with nursing. Maybe it’s the growth in acceptance for public breastfeeding or maybe I just don’t give a damn after three kids. Don’t get me wrong all three breastfeeding experiences have been beautiful but this feeling of confidently nursing in public is pretty amazing!”

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It was such an honor, as always, working with so many local moms. I hope that their bravery continues to make St. Augustine, and the rest of the world, more respectful of infant feedings. And follow #PBAP2017 on social media to hear more perspectives and inspiration from mommas all across the globe 🙂

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