February 1, 2012
By Ann Seacrest, Executive Director, MilkWorks
This past weekend I attended the 125th anniversary celebration of my college sorority.The ballroom of the Holiday Inn was filled with women ages 18 to 91.We watched a video on the history of the sorority and I was amazed by the changing looks (clothing and hair styles) of college women. Needless to say, there was a great difference from the 1887 straw hats and white gloves to the 2012 skin tight short dresses and high heel shoes.
The contrast made me think of a recent article published in Great Britain that took on the hooter hider, calling it a “shower curtain cover up”. Better known as a nursing cover, this large piece of fabric drapes over a baby at the breast. The neckline “bows” which allows a mom to see her baby, yet be covered up while breastfeeding.
Some of the older staff at MilkWorks initially scoffed at the nursing cover. Doesn’t it just draw more attention to nursing your baby? Is this progress? Or is this moms feeling like they must be “under cover?" I personally liked being a bit bold nursing in the 1980’s because I felt it might help pave the way for other mothers to feel more comfortable breastfeeding in public.
But then I wondered if the shower curtain look is actually a badge of honor? In a way, it does say “look at me!” I am breastfeeding and I am proud of it!
Like sororities, breastfeeding will no doubt continue to adapt to the times. While the basic process of breastfeeding will not change, the fashions of breastfeeding will most likely go through many evolutions .... as mothers continue to nurture and care for their newborn babies.