What are your rights as a breastfeeding mom? And feeding in public for the first time.
Hey guys it’s Lindsay, owner of The Little Milk Bar. I’m here to talk all things breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding is hard… like really hard. It’s one of those things that no one really talks about until you’re in the middle of it, up at 2am in tears wondering if you’re doing it right. Or wondering if your baby’s getting enough. Throw in the fear of having to actually feed outside of the home, because let’s face it…. you have to leave the house at some point. And you’re on a whole new anxiety level. You just got her to latch properly, how are you supposed to do this in front of strangers?
I want to start off by letting you know that it’s 100% legal for you to feed your baby in public, with or without a cover, in all 50 states. Yup, you heard that right. No longer are the days of moms feeding in dirty bathroom stalls, parked cars or dressing rooms.
And no longer are the days of store managers asking you to leave and “go do that somewhere else”. Major win for the breastfeeding community!
Today I’ll be informing you of your rights as a breastfeeding mom and getting over your fears of feeding in public for the first time. So if you’re a breastfeeding mama, this post is for you. And I really hope you keep reading because it could change your life. No joke!
P.S. I’m all about supporting all breastfeeding mamas, because let’s face it… we could all use a little encouragement. So I put together 3 FREE “Thank you for breastfeeding in public” downloadable cards that I hope you print off, keep in your diaper bag and hand out to every breastfeeding mama you see. You can download them HERE.
In 2018 Utah and Idaho (the two remaining states ) finally legalizing breastfeeding in public. Honestly, what the heck took so long?
As the last hold out state, Idaho sponsor Republican Rep. Paul Amador and father of then 5 month old son, called it shameful in this age that breastfeeding moms were offered no protection.
“Personally, I find it disappointing that we’re in 2018 and we still haven’t passed this law in Idaho. I think we can take a proactive stance here through legislation to promote the natural bond and health benefits of breastfeeding for both mother and child.”
It’s about time the U.S. get caught up with the rest of the world when it comes to laws protecting nursing mothers.
Okay, now that that’s out of the way. And we now know we CAN breastfeed in public, let’s talk about the stresses that come with feeding in public for the first few times.
Most people don’t care.
First off, I know it can be scary… reading all the stories in the news, or watching Facebook videos where people say all kinds of rude comments to breastfeeding moms.
I want to set the record straight. 90% of the time, people don’t care. 90% of the time, people don’t even notice you’re feeding your baby. 90% of the time, no one is going to give you dirty looks or walk over and say some snarky comment.
I’ve had two babies and breastfed them both. My second I fed any and everywhere I needed to, WITHOUT a cover for almost 2 years and only had ONE person say something negative, one!
Focus on you and your baby.
It’s important to ignore everyone around you. Focus only on you and your baby. It’s simple… your baby is hungry and you need to feed him. That’s it, there’s nothing else to it. Don’t worry if you’re “offending anyone”, their opinion doesn’t (and shouldn’t) matter.
Your baby comes before anyone else and filling that little belly of theirs should be the only thing you’re worried about.
Lose the cover (if you want to).
The law states that you can feed your baby with or without a cover… meaning, you can ditch that nursing cover you got at your baby shower… if you want to.
One of the things I hear most often is, “it’s too hot for a cover, my baby sweats”... or “my baby always pulls down the cover, she hates it”. Did you know that being able to see mom while your baby feeds is an essential part of breastfeeding (especially for newborns)? It’s part of the bonding process, it’s what makes them feel safe. They want to see your face while they’re feeding. So when you put a cover over their face, it’s not uncommon for them to cry or try to pull it down, they can’t see mom :(
Some babies have no problem being covered, sweet!
But if they do, and you find it more of a hassle than not, then feel free to #dropthecover.
Try the 2-shirt method.
If you haven’t already heard of the 2-shirt method… be prepared for it to change your life! No joke. It’ll save you a TON on “breastfeeding friendly” clothes… spoiler, you don’t need any. And it makes it SUPER easy to feed in public, keeping your tummy and breasts covered while your babe eats with ease. Easy peasy.
I made a video so you can see exactly what the 2-shirt method is. Check it out below.
They say the more you see of something, the more normal it becomes. So I’ve made it my personal mission to post as many breastfeeding pics as possible on our Instagram account @thelittlemilkbar_.
If you’re looking for some more breastfeeding support… or just wanna hang out with some pretty badass breastfeeding mamas, you can check out our blog here with tons of breastfeeding tips & tricks, and follow us instagram.
And don’t forget to grab our FREE downloadable “thank you for breastfeeding in public” cards here. Print a bunch off, keep ‘em in your diaper bag and hand them out to all the breastfeeding mamas you see.
“Use your voice even if it shakes… we have your back.”
Miscarriage and loss. Two topics no one ever wants to experience, or write about, but here we are writing our stories and reading hundreds, no, thousands of other women’s stories about the same painful experience we have gone through as well. Miscarriage is hard. It’s hard on you emotionally, physically, and mentally. Miscarriage tests your faith. It changes who are you while also changing how you view pregnancy as well.
For me, I wasn’t prepared to have a miscarriage almost four and a half years ago. I honestly didn’t even understand how it was happening to me, to us, and I didn’t realize being my naive self that even the first time you got pregnant, you could lose your long-awaited baby you prayed so hard for and wanted so bad. Thankfully that storm passed pretty quick, and we were given our oldest daughter, our first miracle, our rainbow baby.
The third time I got pregnant, I held onto our little pot of gold. She was a fighter through and through, although that pregnancy had twists and turns, ups and downs, and stomach dropping moments-we made it through. Postpartum days were gut-wrenching and something I would never want to go back and experience again, but we made it to her second birthday and the love I have for that spunky pot of gold is something beyond belief.
Now comes the hard part. The part I’ve talked about but haven’t talked about a ton because it still rocks me to my core that this happened a second time to us. The fourth time I got pregnant I had a miscarriage. One miscarriage, ok, I get it I guess, but two? How did this happen? Was there something wrong with me? Were we not meant to have another baby? Why did two babies at totally different moments, in different states, in different houses, different everything, get taken from us so quickly? Why couldn’t I understand any of this? And why did this second miscarriage cause the amount of emotional upheaval that it did this second time around? Why was this miscarriage harder on my body than the first time around?
All the questions I asked and none were ever answered. I was left feeling weak and empty for awhile, but those thoughts also get pushed back to the back burner when you have two young children to care for. Someone is always yelling mommy or mama, needing you even if you’re going through a terrible moment of your life. Those little girls of mine helped me to navigate a second miscarriage I wasn’t prepared for or even thought would happen again. I’m not sure why I didn’t think it was possible to have another miscarriage, but I just thought it wouldn’t happen to me, to my husband and I, to us, again.
Miscarriage hurts everything in you and around you. It changes your perspective on life. The grief is all consuming at moments and the pain of losing one child or two, or more in other women’s cases, leaves you emotionless and raw at the thought of trying to even get pregnant again. Miscarriage changes you inside and out.
My husband and I talked about another baby after my second miscarriage, but as life would have it, the timing wouldn’t have been good and we didn’t know for certain if I would ever be able to carry another baby. We put it on the back burner for the time being and we left it in God’s hands-which is what I’ve learned you do when something weighs so heavy on you and you don’t have a solution for it, you just have to give it to God and try your best to move away from it for a short while. It doesn’t mean you give up; it just means it’s too heavy to carry with you for the time being.
As luck would have it, or maybe fate, or even dare I say, God’s timing, I found out in mid-August I was pregnant again. We didn’t try the slightest. Trust me when I say there’s many factors working against us, and the fact that I got pregnant again was pretty much a total God thing. It was a part of the plan and a part of the process, and the road we had to walk to get where we are at now. I’m happy to say to the world now that we have two beautiful, healthy, little girls and that we are expecting the final member of our family, a baby boy, in April of next year. We feel so blessed that we are going to have a second rainbow, our little rainbow boy.
I’m not sure why the road to parenthood and having a family has been so heartbreaking and devastating for us at times. I’m not sure why we had to have two losses. I have a long list, maybe even a short story book worth of questions that will never get answered by anyone here on this Earth. I do know though, that beyond comprehension, beyond all the questions, beyond the heartbreak and the grief, beyond the happy tears and the moments filled with laughter and joy, is me. A mom to an angel, a rainbow girl, a pot of gold girl, an angel, and a rainbow baby boy. A mom that has wanted to give up hope and throw the towel in so many times but for some reason a force greater than myself has kept me afloat in times of trouble and in times of good.
I’m reminded every day that although we go through the storms of life, and life isn’t always rainbows and butterflies and beautiful sunsets, life is a beautiful ride. The children I have here on this Earth will never take the place of the two children I lost before them. In a way I would like to think that maybe my two rainbows are actually the children we lost that came back to us. Maybe they weren’t ready for whatever reason the first time and the second time they were. It’s kind of a crazy concept to think about, but the only thing that truly will keep you going sometimes.
To anyone suffering today with miscarriage I just want you to know that you are known and you are not alone. It’s an incredibly lonely process going through a miscarriage no matter the number of times you have gone through it. There are so many people who have walked in your shoes in similar situations. You are never alone. Reach out, talk about it, and cry about it. I want you to know that you will be ok though and this storm will hopefully not last forever.
Rainbows, I’ve learned, appear at the times you’re not expecting them, but the impact they leave on your life will change you and how you view them forever. Rainbows change you as a mother, and forever will I be grateful for my rainbows, and my pot of gold.
I had always known that I was put on this Earth to be a Mama. I dreamed of it. I wanted it so badly. So, in March of 2017, when I was using the restroom, I noticed some blood and it wasn't time for my cycle just yet. Immediately, my intuition was that something was wrong. Isn't it weird how our bodies know these things? My husband and I decided that we would go grab a test at the store. Those two little pink lines appeared on a home pregnancy test and I was filled with more joy and excitement than I have ever experienced in my entire life. It was finally happening! But, why did I also feel something so deep in the pit of my soul that it was going wrong? My husband and I went to the Emergency Room that night due to some pain and the bleeding not stopping. They confirmed the news that there was a little one growing inside of me and that I was two weeks along. Too early to hear the heartbeat, we were told to return by the end of the week to confirm that my levels were increasing. That night we celebrated, even knowing what was really happening, but we had hope. I was teaching at that time, so I had to be on my feet a lot throughout the day. Upon going to work a few days after the ER visit, I had to run to the bathroom before school had even started. The school nurse called my husband and he came to get me to rush me to the ER. We went to a better hospital this time, which was closer to my job. Waiting for what seemed like forever, I prayed. I prayed and prayed and prayed. I sat in silence. Then, it came. Those awful words that no Mama wants to hear. “The baby isn't going to make it. I am so sorry.” My levels had dropped even lower. We then discussed our options and went with the shots to get the process moving. Worst. Day. Of. My. Life. The months following my miscarriage were hard. I cried a lot and felt like my dreams of becoming of mother would never come true. What did I do wrong? Could it have been prevented? Why me? My husband, Ryan and I gave ourselves some time to heal and eventually decided to try again, once the doctor cleared us. I was so afraid that it wouldn't happen or something would go wrong again. We started our infertility journey in January of 2018. We started by taking Clomid. One round of Clomid. Then, after EXACTLY ONE YEAR of trying, medicines and countless prayers, I found myself taking a home pregnancy test once again. There were those beautiful pink lines—it was positive once again. Same time as 2017, but in 2018, we conceived again. Our Angel baby would have a birthday a day off from our Rainbow baby. How ironic that story is to tell! We scheduled our first baby appointment with our doctor and waited again to hear our baby's heartbeat. March 2018, we headed to the doctor's office for the much-anticipated appointment. I was a nervous wreck, but thankfully, my husband was there to hold my hand and reassure me we were in this together. The doctor came in and the next thing I knew we were listening to the sweetest, most beautiful sound I have ever heard. Our baby had a heartbeat! Tears of joy filled my eyes. Due date October 25, 2018. In the months to follow we learned that we were having a boy!
Labor was...long, to say the least. We were in the hospital for a week.
72 hours of labor and 4 long hours of pushing. Then, on October 26, he was here, our Rainbow baby! He came on what would have been our Angel baby's birthday! I have never felt happier or more in love than I did the day my son was born. My whole world changed that day, just as it did on the day, I suffered a miscarriage. I thank God every day for blessing me with such a beautiful, healthy baby boy. He is so perfect in every way!
I wholeheartedly believe that without the rain, there would never be rainbows!
We were excitedly preparing for the arrival of the newest addition to Team Moreno—praying, researching minivans, and reading books about siblings with our daughter—when the unexpected happened. Just weeks after learning about and sharing the news, I was sitting in the emergency room, facing tragedy.
On the drive home from the hospital, my husband asked how I was feeling. Since our daughter was so young, and was therefore not allowed inside of the emergency room, I was seen by and conversed with doctors alone. While she and my husband entertained themselves in the waiting room, he had no idea what was transpiring; no awareness of the diagnosis; and no clue of how to relate to me at the time.
His question was immediately answered with an outpouring of tears. "I do not want her to see me cry" was the only audible I could muster at the time, so the remainder of the ride home was done in silence.
Soon after returning home, our miscarriage began and ended. In a matter of just about two hours, it seemed that our hope-filled dreams of a larger family were silenced and consumed by the pain I felt physically and we, emotionally. No matter how much we wanted it; no matter how much we'd prayed for it and through it, the pregnancy was over.
My husband and I cried—a lot. I, personally, interrogated God in the moments of our miscarriage: “Why this? Why us? Why me?” And, with such clarity, he replied: “The why is all about the responsibility.”
I realized from that juncture, that I could allow my miscarriage to define me—shaping a critical part of my testimony and fashioning the ways I walk out my days. Ushering me to appreciating a woman’s body—my body—and how I see and love on my family; growing my relationship with the intentional, timely, and sovereign Creator of all things; and enriching how I get to relate to, empathize with, and encourage women who sit in the same seat.
Every single thing about losing a child—at any phase or age—is awful and hard. The now is sometimes awful and hard, too. But, what a comfort and a friend we have in Jesus.
In the worst of things, he can teach us the best of things and his love can show up in the best of ways. May we experience him not just in, but through to the other side of the ache. May we disallow our loss to be in vain. Girlfriend, let’s walk in the burden that is light—living shame-free, in peace, with thanksgiving, and dealing this hope to our sisters in the same need.
His timing is everything. Shortly after we miscarried, we conceived and received the gift of the sweetest rainbow baby. Without the tragedy, this exact girl of mine would not be, and she would not have had such a deeply grateful mommy and daddy.
If you need any support or encouragement, please feel free to reach out to me.
I will never forget the day my baby fell out of my body, into my toilet.
I was 25 years old and had all-the-feels about my first pregnancy. I was scared, nervous, and very over-protective. As soon as those two pink lines appeared on the stick, Mama Bear mode instantly kicked in. I made all of the necessary first appointments and sat through the grueling lab tests. I was so happy to bring a new life into the world! I nursed my growing seed very carefully, despite the extreme fatigue and sickness.
February 2008 –
My East Coast neighborhood was hit with a massive ice storm.
Wednesday, February 20th, 7:30 am –
I walked out of my house towards my car so that I could get to work. In my mind I had done all of the right things – wore proper shoes, checked for ice patches, walked slowly. However, those precautionary measures weren’t enough. I slipped. I slid across the walkway and fell on my side into the grass. Panic set-in. Was my baby ok? Was I ok? After getting up and dusting myself off, I walked back to my house and made an appointment with my doctor. 3 hours later, everything was checked; all was well. I took it easy for the rest of the day, grateful that my baby was safe.
Friday, February 22nd, 6:30 am –
I woke up to get ready for work. I did my usual morning routine, but this time something was different. As I was using the bathroom, my stomach began cramping, I felt a little dizzy, and then I heard it. A loud splash, followed by a huge gush. I stood up to blood everywhere. My 8-week-old fetus, in the toilet. The call to 911, rush to the hospital, and weeks of physical and mental recovery were a blur.
October 2009 –
When I saw those two pink lines appear on the stick, I was instantly frozen in fear. A ton of ‘what-ifs’ flooded my mind.
November 2009 –
When I began spotting at 8 weeks with this pregnancy, panic paralyzed me. I was scared to leave the house, scared to move. So, I prayed. Prayed to not have a repeat experience. Prayed for my body to be able to sustain this pregnancy and the growth of my baby.
April 2010 –
Those prayers kept me going and helped me to deliver (after 23 very long hours) a healthy baby boy, my rainbow baby.
Today, that baby boy is 9 years old and has grown to be a great big brother, to two little sisters.
I will never forget the trauma of my miscarriage. I not only lost my baby; I also lost my boyfriend and my sanity. I was really lost, for a long time. But my body successfully carried to term 3 pregnancies after my miscarriage, and for that I am proud. Today, my husband and I dote on our children and appreciate the blessings that they are. There is hope. Hope in knowing that your body is strong. Hope in realizing that you are stronger than the trauma you experience.