Breastfeeding in Public with Jennifer Shannon


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Today's podcast is an extension on last weeks topic of breastfeeding. This week will focus on the decision to breastfeed over using formula and the more conservative approach to breastfeeding in public.

Episode transcript:

“Intro music plays”

This is...Activism with Andrea!

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Today’s podcast is an extension on last week's topic of breastfeeding. This week will focus on the decision to breastfeed over using formula and the conservative approach to breastfeeding in public.

And now the woman behind the mic- its me! Andrea, and joining me today is Jennifer Shannon, a fearless stay-at-home mother of three.

Andrea: Hi Jen!

Jen: Hi!

Andrea: So today, I want to talk about how you went about breastfeeding your three kids. So first off, how did you decide that breastfeeding was the best option for your children?

Jen: Well my mom breastfed my brother and I, and just through the research and when we went to child health classes and stuff like that, they really advocated breastfeeding. I knew I had the support from my mom and so I decided that's what I wanted to do for my kids.

Andrea: Ya, agreed. I really think that breastfeeding is probably best feeding there is out there. So when it came time to feed, and you were not in the comfort of your own home, how did that play out? What were your go-to strategies for breastfeeding while out and about?

Jen: Let me tell you, it was definitely difficult. With breastfeeding, especially as a first time mom that’s breastfeeding, it’s not exactly easy. It’s hard to get the baby to latch on. It takes a lot longer than you expect, and if you have a baby that wants to eat every two hours, or that needs to eat every two hours. Sometimes it can take a half hour for them to eat, and technically the time starts when you start feeding. So if you take a half hour to feed, that means in an hour and a half you have to feed the again. So, you really are on a timeframe. And it’s hard to get anything done. So you kinda get put in this situation where you have to breastfeed while you're out. And it does become difficult. Cover ups were my favorite thing ever. Not everyone chooses to use them, especially if you have a baby in the summer, it is definitely difficult because they are hot. Your boobs are sweating, the baby doesn't want to be underneath there, it’s hot. I used the car a lot to breastfeed in. I would put the keys in, and start the car to make it comfortable, and I definitely feed a lot in there so I didn't always have to use a cover up. But when I had to, the nursing cover-ups were great to use during that time.

Andrea: And did you ever see other moms that would breastfeed without a cover-up?

Jen: Um, I did a couple of times. But you know, they would have their shirt up and their baby was basically covering everything else. So you really didn't see much. I mean gosh with what some people are wearing now-a-days, some teenage girls, I mean you're trying to do a good thing here feeding your child.

Andrea: Ya, last week's episode on the podcast we actually talked with another mom who shared her experiences of breastfeeding without a cover, just breastfeeding in public and we got into that conversation as well. About the difference between seeing a woman breastfeeding and the breast being exposed under those circumstances versus a breast being exposed just to style choices, or wanting to look a little more sexy, or scandalous. And how that seems to be acceptable in our society and culture, but seeing the naked breast in its function of breastfeeding is more frowned upon, and is more judged.

Jen: it's awful, to think that. And I've heard people say “you know you should take your baby into the bathroom if you're at a restaurant” And it’s like would you want to bring your dinner or have your child carry their dinner in there and sit on a toilet and eat.

Andrea: exactly, I cannot fathom. I just can't imagine, wanting to eat or consume food in a bathroom, it’s disgusting

Jen: right, and trying to seat yourself properly on a toilet. Trying to hold yourself up while holding your newborn and holding your shirt. There's just no way.

Andrea: Oh, yes I bet. I can only imagine

Andrea: So what would you tell any new moms, or soon to be mothers, about breastfeeding? What would be your number one piece of advice?

Jen: Oh goodness. Not to give up if it’s something they really want to do. I’m definialty for choice, I mean there's moms out there that want to formula feed- good for them. Whatever is best for them and their baby, and their situation is great. I obviously, you know, I am a more natural person and I wanted to breastfeed and I was lucky that I could. Some moms that want to can't, if they don't produce enough milk. But you know I would say to just keep trying and just push forward. It does hurt in the beginning and a lot of people are like “I can't do this anymore, my boobs are bleeding”. But, you know what, if you can just truck through that and just keep moving forward, it gets better. And it is just, it’s definitely worth it. And being able to bond with your baby and watch them eating and know that you're helping provide that for them, it’s just a feeling you just can't get anywhere else.

Andrea: Right, oh thats awesome. Okay well thank you! Thank you so much for taking the time, I know you have a very busy life with your kids.

Jen: No thank you! I’m happy my kids were quiet so we could do this.

Andrea: Right it was wonderful, it worked out great!

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Thanks for listening to this episode of Activism with Andrea! Head on over to for more episodes and to subscribe!

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