On busing and breastfeeding

I recently read a story on Motherwear’s breastfeeding blog (yeah–so?) about a mom’s experience nursing her child on a public bus. In short, she was harassed by other passengers until the bus driver came to her aid. Yikes.

Despite the fact that breastfeeding is touted as a “hassle-free” feeding option, I haven’t found it to be so. (Great way to bond with my child? Absolutely. Convenient for bus parenting? Not so much.) While it’s true that, unlike moms who drive (well, except this one), bus moms have the option to feed their babies while they travel, this only matters if they actually feel comfortable nursing in public. (And folks, it doesn’t get much more public than Metro.) And unlike moms who drive, breastfeeding bus moms don’t have cars to retreat to when they get where they’re going. So, not feeling comfortable nursing in public means not feeding your baby while you’re out.

I know there are plenty of women who are comfortable nursing in public–probably some who are even comfortable nursing on buses–and others who can feed babies in slings/carriers without anyone being the wiser. I, unfortunately, am not one of those women. For most of my outings with Busling (except those to destinations that offer privacy or are populated with other moms), I either: 1) bring a bottle (which, if done too often, can interfere with nursing) or 2) rush home in time for his next feeding. (Yet another reason why late/slow buses are even less tolerable now than they were when I was a solo bus chick.)

Folks, living by bus schedules can be a challenge; coordinating bus schedules with infant feeding schedules (not to mention naps, diaper changes, and two-year old trips to the potty) takes up more of my brain cycles than should be spent on getting around.

I cherished my first year with Chicklet, and I’m having an absolute blast with Busling. I’m not in any rush for my babies to grow up, but I’m definitely looking forward to the day when the only travel snack* I have to worry about is a box of raisins.

*For them. For me: Black Russians from Three Girls!

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