It may not always feel like it, but there are laws in the United States designed to protect breastfeeding moms from being shamed for nursing in public. Unfortunately, when you step inside a private home and want to breastfeed, all bets are off. Your dingbat mother-in-law, cranky neighbor, or puritanical PTO mom has the right to tell you to head into the bathroom if your baby wants to get his eat on.
So moms, what are you going to do about it?
Out at a shopping mall or on a park bench, we can talk a big game about the law. Inside a private home, we just don't have the ammunition. The owner of a house gets to choose what happens inside it, and fighting it can cost you a friend or at least get you left off the guest list of future parties.
But that doesn't mean it isn't worth fighting her or him on the issue.
I didn't last very long as a breastfeeding mom -- for a million reasons. But I remember having to go hide in my daughter's nursery or my bedroom because my father-in-law was visiting, and I wasn't comfortable with him seeing my breasts.
No one specifically told me to leave, and yet I remember the feeling of being isolated from everyone else. Yes, it was a nice time to cuddle with my daughter, but it also made me feel bad about myself and about what I was doing even though I was doing something GOOD for me and for her.
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There might be more comfortable places to go in a private home than out at a mall, where a breastfeeding mom is stuck in a public bathroom, but that doesn't mean the feelings of isolation and shame are any less.
Private home or not, asking a woman to hide in your house while she breastfeeds is rude. You wouldn't accept being told to take your paper plate of barbecue fixin's into the bathroom or spare bedroom to eat, would you? So why should someone do that to your baby?
Would you breastfeed in someone else's house if they were uncomfortable with it?
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