I have been thinking about this recent article in the Huffington Post: If you don't support breastfeeding in public, you don't support breastfeeding, in the context of my recent travels.
My neck of the woods tends to have higher breastfeeding rates than the rest of the country. I don't know a lot of women my mother's age who didn't breastfeed for a while, and certainly my neighborhood has more breastfeeders than you can shake a stick at. It was enough to make me feel like a total pariah with my bottles to supplement my little one before we had his lip tie fixed, or as I refer to it, "the before time." Not everyone, of course, was breastfeeding exclusively, but in the early days when I was having all sorts of problems with it, it sure felt like it to me. My lack of confidence in my ability to breastfeed my baby coupled with his then-frequent and nursing strikes were powerful barriers to my feeling comfortable about breastfeeding in public in "the before time."
I was in Vegas over the weekend and in several airports along the way, and I was surprised by the number of bottles I saw whenever there was a baby nearby. Surprised because that's not as common where I live. It's just not what you see a lot of here. It was kind of good to have a reality check.
But it had me thinking about breastfeeding in public. Because my little one is 13 months now, he doesn't nurse very much anymore.... except for when he wants comfort. And when he's far from home and cranky from jetlag, and overwhelmed by Vegas, let me tell you, he wanted to nurse for comfort. A lot. Especially on the plane. In public. And it was wonderful to feel perfectly at ease and confident knowing that my baby wanted to nurse. That's enough for me.