Breastfeeding was hard. I’ve joked with my other mom friends who nursed their babies that breastfeeding is the most unnatural-natural thing I’ve ever experienced. In the early days my daughter and I had a hard time getting started, but ended up figuring it out-- so well actually, that my daughter who is 16 months can now reach into my shirt and dig out a boob on her own. At about two months postpartum, it was slowly turning into autumn and I was ready to feel like a human again. One of my favorite things to do pre-pregnancy was to sit at a favorite cafe and slowly sip a hot cup of coffee.
I felt brave enough to handle my newborn on my own as well as not spill coffee all over my baby.
“If she just sleeps the whole time, it’ll be perfect” is what I told myself as I geared up to head to my most favorite coffee shop, Flux Coffee. Naturally, my daughter slept for the 12 minute drive and the second the car stopped, she woke up eager to nurse. At this point I was committed to getting my cup of coffee even if it meant I was getting it to-go. I grabbed the baby carrier, the backpack of baby supplies that I would definitely not need, and headed toward the door. A friendly barista held open the door for me, offered to help me get my stuff set up at a cozy spot on the couch. I didn’t even have to wait at the counter to place my order. He asked me what I wanted, brought it to me, and insisted that as a congratulations for stepping into motherhood, the coffee was gratis. About the same time he delivered my coffee is when my daughter was getting very vocal about her need for some milk. I timidly looked around at the other patrons of the coffee shop, not wanting to disturb any of them, and simultaneously wondering if one of them was going to look at me like “what the heck are you doing, lady?!” I carefully undid my nursing tank and slipped my baby’s head under my shirt so she could have a discrete snack. To my pleasant surprise, nobody looked at me twice. Although now, I’ll whip my boob out to nurse my daughter without a second thought about who is around or looking, in the beginning the thought of doing that in public, for me, was daunting. Gradually, I got more and more comfortable nursing my daughter in public to the point where I stopped wearing layers of tanks and shirts and got rid of my nursing tops all together. I practiced feeling comfortable nursing in public at my favorite coffee shop, run by some really awesome dudes.
They have set the standard for me on how a nursing mother should be made to feel in a public spot... LIKE A NORMAL HUMAN!
Breastfeeding is hard enough when you’re home in your own space without any clothes on, and trying to do it in public while worrying about what people are thinking of you magnifies the struggle. I feel very grateful to have found a spot like Flux Coffee so early in my nursing journey where I could legitimately relax and enjoy my coffee as well as my nursing little baby.