It’s Friday. That means the building ladies come by sometime late in the morning to change the sheets and clean the floors in our apartment. Usually they manage this while we are out grocery shopping, and it’s just magically done when we return, like house brownies. But since I can’t go anywhere at the moment, I simply removed myself and the hijo to the lobby while Sra. M cleaned. Husband went to get groceries.
I was in the middle of feeding the hijo when Sra. M knocked, so there was nothing for it but to keep feeding him. I settled into a chair in the lobby, pulled down the neck of my shirt, unhooked the nursing bra, and covered up loosely with a lightweight blanket. While waiting and nursing out there, three of my neighbors passed through– Sr. J, his wife, and another lady, all in the over-60 bracket– and each one of them stopped to say hi and peer into the blanket at the baby and tell me how handsome he is.
“I see it is lunch time” Sr. J said.
“Tiene mucho hambre” I replied.
I’ve decided that the amount of discomfort caused by public exposure depends a lot on who’s looking and how uncomfortable he or she is. My neighbors don’t seem to feel any qualms whatsoever about peering at the baby while he’s latched onto my currently-oversized boob. Their responses are exactly the same as if he were not nursing and I was completely covered. Basically: “Awwww, what a beautiful baby!” So while I had expected that to be kind of embarrassing, it really wasn’t. To my neighbors, it’s apparently perfectly normal. I’m not sure if this holds true for everyone here, but at least among my kindly older neighbors… the whole breastfeeding in public/covering up/exposure/etc. thing is a non-issue. Which is really nice. Maybe when I’m more mobile I can go sit in the sun on the roof to feed the little guy.