Since I was a little girl, I knew I intended to breastfeed my future babies. My grandmother had done it, my mom had done it, my aunt had done it, my mother’s friends and the women I’d babysat for in high school had done it. It seemed straightforward enough and easier than making and then washing formula bottles. Plus, you can’t forget your boobs at home, a major pro for me because I was absentminded even before mommy brain took over.
The only glitch in this pre-baby fantasy of an easy, convenient, earth-goddessy breastfeeding experience was that I wasn’t sure how breastfeeding while out in the world worked. Did it work? I mean, you have the baby, you have the boobs, and (because this is fantasy-land), the baby latches on like a pro, no pain or coercion required. But… didn’t that require exposure? Or one of those claustrophobic-looking, tent-like nursing covers I’d seen in the baby store where my friend worked? Nursing seemed natural enough, but nursing under a tent? Not so much. Still, I imagined I wouldn’t be able to just whip my breasts out either… I mean, I’m frum! I’d never seen a frum woman nurse in public without being all covered up in a blanket or running off to find somewhere private. Actually, I hadn’t seen much nursing at all.