Mama Monday- Nursing at Holiday Gatherings

Over this past weekend I went to a holiday party with my husband, our little girl and lots of friends (old and new). While at the party, a new Mommy arrived with her little one in tow, and after what I assumed had been a long car trip, she immediately stepped into the restroom to nurse.

This made me think back to the days when I was nursing– my girl was born the week of Thanksgiving, so those first weeks were filled with visits from family which then ran right into holiday gatherings. I spent much of these visits and gatherings nursing my little one either in the back bedroom at our place or in a friend or family member’s restroom, and not out and about with loved ones. I remember wanting to be out with everyone- feeling like I was missing the party, and also hoping that people didn’t think I was ignoring them. It was an awkward time– mainly because I wasn’t sure how I felt about nursing in the company of others, or how they’d feel about me doing so.

Over time, I got more comfortable with nursing, and consequently, more comfortable with the idea of nursing in front of others. The visits, (of course), continued- because any parent knows, there’s nothing that draws a crowd more than a new baby. I started with friends by asking if they minded me nursing (with a cover, because I personally just didn’t feel comfortable going without one). Nine times out of ten, they were cool with it, and those visits were so much easier and much less awkward than the visits in the early days. Interestingly, nursing in front of family, for me, took longer- but I eventually ended up nursing in the company of most of my friends and family.

With so many gatherings happening this time of year, I started wondering what other Mommies’ experiences have been with nursing at holiday parties. Have you ducked out? Nursed with a cover? Without a cover? Were you comfortable with it right from the start? Or did it take easing into?

At the party this weekend, I didn’t get the chance to chat with that new Mommy (my two-year-old went into melt-down mode because she was overdue for a nap). I had hoped to connect with her, to swap stories as a fellow nursing Mommy, and also to tell her about our nursing covers, so that in the future, if she wanted to stay out with the rest of us, she could feel comfortable nursing her baby anywhere, and in any company. I also would have told her that the nursing period goes by way too fast, and to enjoy each and every moment of that special time with her little one– whether she’s hanging out on her own or in the middle of the party.

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