** Men, feel free to skip this post if you'd like...**
I like to feed my babies in public. It's probably because I don't want to miss anything or maybe I'm just too lazy to get up and leave. But the main reason is because I think it's a really beautiful, natural thing - and I shouldn't have to go hide away to do it.
At the same time, I want to make others, males especially, feel as comfortable as possible when I'm nursing while still maintaining a spirit of modesty. I've finally discovered the perfect nursing attire to accomplish that.
Here are my pet peeves about nursing in public,
* I don't like having half of my stretchy stomach skin and fat spilling over the side of my jeans for everyone to see.
* I don't like having the other half of my back showing from behind.
* I don't like pulling a shirt's neckline over a breast on one side because it stretches it out.
* I don't like using a nursing cover or blanket because my kids don't like it and fight it and I feel like it brings more attention to what I'm doing anyway.
* I don't like using a tank top under my shirt to pull down over a breast because I'm almost always using that tank top to give me a modest neckline anyway - pulling it down defeats its purpose.
* I don't like using nursing tanks because they don't have any breast support on their own and wearing a nursing bra under a nursing tank is cumbersome. Nursing tanks are also not long enough to cover my back side when sitting down. (I've got a long torso, and yes, I like to wear low rise jeans...)
* I was using a skin tight stretchy tube top that covered just under my bra down to my jeans, but it wasn't long enough to cover my back side and it was constantly "catching" the fabric of my top shirt because it was entirely made of stretchy fabric.
I took an old white tank that I knew was long enough to go over my jeans when sitting down and cut off the top right under the arm holes. I was left with a little white tube top.
Then I measured and cut a piece of elastic that fit snugly around my ribs, just below my bra. I folded the top of my cut tank top around that piece of elastic and sewed it shut. I was left with a long, elastic topped undershirt that fit snugly below my bra. But what happened? Throughout the course of the day, that elastic would work its way down my back and I was constantly pulling it up. So now I safety pin the elastic top to my bra strap in the back in two places and it stays put. The front elastic doesn't work its way down at all because it still fits pretty snugly.
So now, when I'm in public, I cradle Charlotte and with the opposite hand of the breast I'm using, I hold her head in place over that breast. With the other hand I reach under my top shirt to unhook my nursing bra and pull that down. With that same hand, I begin to lift my shirt over the breast, just enough so she can find the nipple and begin to feed.
None of my back shows. None of my stomach shows. And as long as nobody is peering directly above us when she's latching on, none of my breast shows. It was hard to believe that Charlotte's head and my arm were enough to cover everything that's left exposed, but Jude assures me, it is. And now when she's done, I slide my shirt back down over the breast before I move her head and hook the bra back up. Piece of cake.
I still haven't figured out how to nurse in a dress, though...