Tuesday, February 4, 2014

NIP - What is It? Would you Do it?

I remember quite clearly one day when I was in my early 20s, I was traveling back from work on LRT. There was a young woman sitting across me carrying a small baby (1 guess it was around 2 months old). The baby started to cry and the young mother just coolly popped a nipple into the baby's mouth instantly stopping her cry, pacifying her. I was taken a back, jaw dropped, gob smacked, totally weirded out by this woman. Couldn't she see that she was making people around her uncomfortable? Foreigners, men, women, students all distracted not wanting to look her way but same time wanting to look. 

For many many years this image never disappeared. You know how you only remember only certain things in the many many years of your life? The things that make an impact? This was one of them. I do not remember her face or the gender of her child. I do not remember the faces that were trying hard to look away. But I remembered the feelings I had. How I judged her.....

Art by Shawn Hancock

While I was pregnant I was hungry for whatever information I could get. Breastfeeding seemed to be the buzzword. But why? Isn't it a strange feeling to have a little human sucking on you? But the more and more I read, the more I was determined to breastfeed.

It was quite a new concept for most of the family, I guess during the time we grew up the Baby Formula guys were bombarding the market with false advertising (Isn't it ever so peculiar that something not from the mom / same species is deemed better? Ah the power of marketing and psychological manipulation).

What further motivated me was my mom did tell me she breastfed my first brother till about 7 months, I also had 2 relatives (about my age) that were successfully breastfeeding, this really drew my interest and lastly the  World Health Organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding till the child is 6 months.

I initially tried to pump and bring my milk around. But this proved to be super tedious. Firstly, I would need water to warm the milk, Secondly if Bub didn't finish the milk in an hour after putting his mouth on the bottle it may spoil and I'd have to throw it away, Thirdly, he just refused to take the bottle if I was around cos I guess he could smell the fresh one haha :p

I then invested in a nursing scarf. Which was very short lived as he did not want to be covered. I was advised by some elders to nurse in private. That would mean I have to be 24/7 locked away as my Bub was the kind who was constantly latched for the first 2 months at least.

Its amazing what knowledge and new info can do to you. Since the above didn't work I CHOSE to change the frame of my mind. These were the factors that pushed me to Nurse In Public:

1. Baby will get hungry anytime anywhere, as a mom my sole responsibility is to nurture and nourish my son
2. Would you want to put a cloth over your head when you eat? No? Thought so. Baby is the same.
3. The primary function of the Mammary Glands are to nurture ones offspring

However I just like to add that I don't do it cos of suka-suka. I usually check if there is a place for us to Nurse... If there isn't...well my baby has to eat!

The first time I NIP was is Hard Rock Cafe Malacca.(Ok actually it was at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit when Bub was in for jaundice and most of the moms there with and without hijab a like didn't give a rats ass who was watching and coolly nursed their little nipper! Damn, that was some MOTIVATION!). Our little fellow was 4 months and had the nibbles so I asked the waitress and she told me there was no where but the toilet. Would you eat or feed someone in a toilet? No? Thought So. That's when I whipped out a Scarf to cover myself and nurse my little insatiable Bub. No one even noticed!

"Hi mom! I'm hungry"    |   " I'm full and back to slumberland!"

Once I did it and realised how easy it was, I was now confident. I felt like SUPERMOM and prepared to do it wherever and whenever. Yes, I'll be there for you baby! Against all odds! Whatever people may say! Cheh..getting a lil too carried away here..but you get the picture =)

All you need really are some strategic clothes, some practice and the right frame of mind (superhero, angel, warrior princess cave-woman etc). Places I have NIP and managed to not get stared at include Old Town Cafe at Sungai Petani, in a corner sitting on the floor in front of Sephora KLCC, KLIA while waiting to board and many many more. Its great if you can educate your loved ones and build your own support system if there isn't one already.

When I look back at how I judged the angel young mom when I was younger I really feel ashamed of myself.

Thankfully this has not happened (yet?)
I'm so glad that Malaysian's or maybe people in general have come to accept this idea. No stares. Only people trying to be helpful. So, if you are thinking about it and  haven't tried it please do. I'm sure people around you will be happy especially if it means the sound of baby not crying to help. Cheers.

P.S. Looking forward to hearing YOUR experience XOXO


ElleJay said...

Oh indeed, I feel you babe! I've seen many woman out there feeding away totally oblivious to the surrounding and I use to wonder where did the guts come from until of course our angel came along! I breastfed her almost everywhere , restaurants mostly, weddings, dinners, airplanes, cars.. with/without scarf.. it was indeed a pleasure serving lil DR! ;)

Jaishana Logan said...

Hi Elle, really changes you and people around you too doesn't it! I've never been so in love :)