so much to blog about, so little time…

I’m going to try something here. Its rare that I get large chunks of time to blog these days, so for a little while I’m going to try to post a little every day. I’ll probably fail in short order, but I’ll try.

For today, I have a question: should I be offended about this?

Last Friday I was at the hospital (naturally, because that’s where I spend A LOT OF TIME), at the Family Practice Clinic for Sawyer’s school physical. Did I mention before that my 5 and 3 year old aren’t allowed to see a Pediatrician on base due to overcrowding? And that I have to have a telephone consult to make peds appointments for my 18 month old and 2 month old? Not even close to acceptable for this hypochondriac. We’ll be making the move off base soon for the kids (except for Emmett, probably, because he can usually always get in at the base, and it’ll make his referral processes easier). Anyway, I was in the waiting room, waiting past Sawyer’s appointment time (as usual), and Silas needed to nurse.

I have never been good at using a nursing cover – my kids aren’t big fans, and with my current issues with the left lady, I need to make sure that he’s latched on correctly, which he doesn’t like to do. So I usually just whip her out, let him get attached, and then cover myself as much as possible with my shirt.

So while I’m nursing Silas, one of the technicians comes out and asks if I want a blanket to cover myself with. I smile and say no thank you, because he won’t nurse well with a cover. The technician goes back to the front desk.

Ten minutes later (still waiting for this appointment), another technician from the front desk comes over with a blanket, and asks me to use it because nursing my son may make others uncomfortable. I smiled, said no thank you, and that it really wasn’t my concern if others were uncomfortable with me feeding my child in public, and that my son wouldn’t nurse well with the cover on. (BTW, not that it makes a difference, but I know that no other patients complained, because there was only 1 other person besides us in the waiting room, and he never got up to go to the desk)

Shortly thereafter, we were brought to an exam room, only 30 minutes late (shortest wait time so far for this clinic).

So should I be mad? Mike doesn’t think so, because they didn’t ask me to leave the clinic or stop nursing. But I think its ok for me to be at least a little mad, because now whenever I’m nursing my son outside of our hotel room, I’m thinking about the fact that I may be offending someone. And I don’t want to make other people uncomfortable, but I want more for my son to get fed when he’s hungry, especially if its in a medical setting.

The bottom line is that is that I need to make a decision – do I care what others think of me or not? What it comes down to to me is what do I put first – other people’s need to feel comfortable when staring at other people, or my son’s need to eat (obviously I’m still irritated about this incident). Of course, if I don’t feed him, he cries pretty loud, and that would make other people’s ears uncomfortable, and if we use a cover, he doesn’t latch right, and I hurt for hours after. If I use a cover AFTER he latches, the damage is done since I’ve already exposed the ladies. And I can’t pump and bottle feed – our pump got packed with everything else.

What would you do? And would you be mad?

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15 Comments

Filed under health issues, life with kids

15 responses to “so much to blog about, so little time…

  1. I’d be offended. I’d also be concerned about getting any breastfeeding support from an office where the staff is clearly uncomfortable with breastfeeding. I don’t think complaining will get you very far. Maybe you can talk to the office manager & let her know what happened. Or you could use this experience to your advantage & whip out the ladies the minute you enter the office & increase your chances of being brought to an exam room pronto.

  2. Mad, probably not. Miffed, yes! As if dealing with four little boys (two of whom are COMPLETELY dependent on you) isn’t hard enough. I’ve never been a successful public nurser, it’s just not me. But, I would definitely say, too bad with how other people feel. Keeping at least one kid happy as often as possible is pretty important.

  3. I can’t believe that a CHILDREN’s DOCTORS office asked you to cover up while breast feeding your baby. Honestly! Shouldn’t a family doctor be encouraging breastfeeding?

    honestly it bothers me how prudish (I assume that’s the problem) this country is about breastfeeding. While we were in Peru, I couldn’t help but notice a commercial for some baby product that showed a mother breastfeeding her child. And I’m not talking about a newborn baby either, she was breastfeeding a child that had to be at least one year of age. I had to think about the fact that this commercial would NEVER be shown in the US because people would
    complain, which I feel is ridiculous.

    Anyway, yes I believe you have a right to be annoyed that you were asked to cover up. Being offered a blanket once is one thing, but then coming out again is unacceptable. You have every right to feed your son when he needs to be fed.

  4. You absolutely have every right to be offended. I agree that Americans are prudish about breastfeeding. It is a perfectly natural thing to do and if other people have problems with it, tough.

    Ridiculously enough, there are laws in some states regarding breastfeeding so I would check that out just in case someone does get (wrongfully) offended. I know that people’s rights vary from state to state so it’s best to just know.

  5. I was never much of a public breastfeeder, but I must admit that by my third one I just didn’t care so much who was around. However, my girls are practically nonexistent, so it was very, very easy for me to cover up without a cover up. What I’m saying is that once a baby is latched on to me, nobody can see nothin’ without really, really trying and being all creepy and obvious about the fact that they are trying to see something (which, thank goodness, never happened). But I would be annoyed by what happened to you. Really annoyed. Especially knowing that there was only one other person in the waiting room and you were at a pediatric appt. for crying out loud. So, mad? Not really mad per se, but annoyed? Absolutely. Were the women who kept offering you the blankets like 75 or something?

  6. Jeannie

    I’d be pissed. The child is EATING for pete’s sake. It’s the most natural thing in the world, and you are at a doctor’s office! Seriously, if people in the medical profession can’t handle a little boob then what is the world coming to? I’m glad you stood your ground and refused the blanket. I’m not going to call those ladies what I’d like to call them because you probably don’t want me to cussing on your blog.

  7. charityfaithrose

    First of all congrats on handling it with dignity :). I can see offering once (seeing how Americans do view this subject more conservatively), twice was quite rude and I’m very proud of you for handling it with such grace! I would feel a bit uncomfortable about being in a peds clinic where the staff is apparently that uncomfy with what is a very medically encouraged way of feeding your child. Hopefully the rest of the staff is not like those two. Otherwise, I could see checking out another clinic for the boys.

    Miss you guys lots!!! It’s just not the same around here!

  8. Britta

    Ok- so while I would be irritated… it was a “guy” and he may not have gotten up to complain but maybe his body language said it all. Some dudes are really uncomfortable around other peoples women and that kind of stuff- BOOBS. They don’t want to accidentally look and think you are checking them out – or look in your direction and you think they are a pervert… and you were in a Family Practice clinic right? WHich has the possibility of more dudes coming in?
    Usually when I nursed I’d block the view of my surrounding onlookers with my back if possible, hook up, and then try to somewhat cover.
    I was asked several times at the hospital if I wanted to go to the “nursing room” with gliders, formula changing table etc. to finish the job- usually I obliged. I used to get really irritated that the only place people cared was tht hospital where lets be honest is the one place we all lose our dignity and are vulnerable. It doesn’t seem right putting you on the spot especially twice!
    If you are closer to PNS I strongly reccommend trying them. – call me I still have the same 850 number….(Because of course you have absolutely all the time in the world right now. hahaha) I am fostering these 8 day old orphaned chihuahuas for the humane society- there are 5 and way way too much work. Then I think about you and remind myself that although I spend a minimum of 6 hrs a day with them that I can put the lid on their incubator and not deal with them until the next “roughing up” or feeding. Hang in there you are amazing!

  9. Jennifer

    First of all, Happy Anniversary!!

    Second, good for you for refusing the blanket.

    Will you offend someone by nursing in public? Yup, you almost certainly will at some point or other. Even if you used a blanket all the time, you’d still likely offend someone, because some people think *that* should be done *somewhere else*.

    And you know what? They can feel that way.

    However, it makes no sense whatsoever for you to be in pain or to not feed your baby when he is hungry. The end. Let them be offended. You can’t please everyone, so just try to keep yourself out of pain and your baby fed.

    Now, all that said, I personally was uncomfortable showing boob in public. I got this fantastic nursing thing-a-ma-bob called a “hooter hider” or something along those lines. Google that and see if it’s something you might like. (If not, carry on, you’re doing fine.) It has a thing that goes around your neck (it’s adjustable), so it doesn’t fall off/down. It has this boning thing sewn into the top part of it so it kinda sticks out in a semi-circle shape. You can see the baby (think of peeking under a blanket that’s draped across your chest, but it sticks out and stays that way depending on how you have it positioned).

    The things I liked about it… I could see what the baby was doing. I could be completely exposed under there, the blanket wasn’t going to fall, I could use both hands to adjust things, etc etc etc. All while covered up. It was GREAT!

    Either way, I’d probably write a letter of complaint to the person in charge of the clinic you were at. That is ridiculous that more than one person approached you about using a blanket… one was bad enough… You were a lot nicer than I probably would have been.

  10. m

    I think you should have said. “Thank you so much. He was getting a little cold and wrapped Emmet in it.”

  11. Mad or not, your call. One thing I think you’re missing, though: feeding kiddo seems to have gotten you in to see the doc earlier than usual! If it were me, I’d be whipping off the shirt as soon as I got to the waiting room next time (well, if I were breastfeeding…probably not otherwise…but on the other hand, no guarantees — I HATE how long we too have to wait beyond the appointment time!).

  12. Beth

    Feeding the baby is priority number one. If you have to have the boob out, then too bad. I’m sure you were discreet. If someone’s uncomfortable with it, they can move.

    I would be a little mad…especially since you were a medical setting.

  13. Sarah

    Yes, you should be peeved! Seriously, you were in the Peds office. You are nicer than I would have been though, I would have said that I would gladly accept the blanket, when they choose eat their lunch with their head under a blanket.

  14. At a DOCTOR’S OFFICE?!! I’m OUTRAGED on your behalf! Yes, you have every right to be offended for how you were treated. I would expect people to be ESPECIALLY sensitive of your rights and your baby’s needs in a medical facility. Good for you for standing your ground.

  15. I would have been angry if that happened to me. What’s more offensive, a flash of breast or a baby starving so as not to upset an adult? My baby doesn’t like to nurse under a cover either, and I do have one of the hooter hider type things. I just don’t understand the big deal around this issue and I’m glad you stood your ground. First priority is to your baby, not some overly sensitive stranger.

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