Hello. My name is Karla and I am a writing instructor at the University of *** as well as mom to my 15-month old daughter. In my spare time (ha) I also do research and am currently working on a project about pro-breastfeeding in public resources. I came across your blog several months ago while logged in to my birth club on BabyCenter one night, and after reading your most recent post from January I wanted to reach out to you to encourage you to keep going with the blog. You mentioned feeling redundant since there are already lots of resources out there, but honestly, I think every resource, including your blog, adds something new and important. And, I really haven't found that many blogs of women sharing their stories/photos of breastfeeding in public, even though you might expect there to be lots.
There are academic studies I have read recently that address the reasons why women do not start breastfeeding or stop before reaching their goal, and one reason has to do with society's perceptions of breastfeeding in public. Many women feel embarrassed about breastfeeding in public and fear the responses they'll get for doing so, and various studies show that women are right in their concern about backlash since many people find breastfeeding in public inappropriate (or if it's okay then only when it's done discreetly). I really appreciate that your blog celebrates breastfeeding in public, whether you choose to cover up or not, and some blogs I have looked at support breastfeeding in public but seem to emphasize doing so with a cover (or going to a nursing room or other more private area, such as a booth at the back of a restaurant). If we want to change attitudes about breastfeeding in public then we need to quit telling women it's not okay or that it's only okay when you're covered or hidden away; so, thank you for delivering the message that there's nothing shameful about breastfeeding in public, which is what telling women to cover up or go somewhere out of sight says.
My daughter has already weaned, but while she was still nursing I breastfed her a handful of times in public. I always used a cover due to my own personal preference, and thankfully I didn't have any negative reactions to what I was doing. But, I admit that I prepared myself for what I would say to anyone if they challenged me about my choice to nurse in public, and that's something no nursing mother should have to do. So again, thank you for the work that you are doing to help nursing mothers be able to breastfeed in public without fear of repercussion. I think the confidence you convey on your blog can help other women feel more confident about nursing in public, and maybe also help some people who would otherwise consider the practice disgusting or inappropriate to realize it's not.
I don't necessarily expect a response to this email, though of course I'd be happy to get one. I really wanted to send some encouraging words to let you know your blog makes a difference, even if it may not seem like it.
Karla, thank you for your encouraging letter. Expect some new blog posts from me soon. :)