I think I am in the vast majority of women who, when looking for nursing clothes and such, are MUCH more unnerved at the idea of revealing their post-partum bellies than any brief flash of boob. Breast. I still struggle with which word is right. Some people think boob is rude. Some people think breast is a bit fanciful. Nursie is all mine have been called for ten years, so maybe I am a little warped :)
Its really a conundrum, though. Wanting to be all about breastfeeding in public without a second thought, and yet, wowee wow wow, lifting up your shirt when you just had a baby and having the bright red badges of motherhood (stretch marks) come a tumblin' out, along with any back fat, all completely emblazoned with the alarm-scarlet stripes--and then what if everyone sees that you are still in maternity pants? Brrr its cold out when you have to reveal your entire middle just to feed your baby--then add the weird posturing to try to keep your baby latched, your shirt down, your boob/breast vaguely under control--Oh, the list of horrors for me personally went on and on.
I never ever could do the whole nurse the baby in a baby sling thing, for one simple reason: My boob/breast is not on my collarbone, nor is it in an upright or manageable position when a child is hanging from my neck in 30 yards of fabric. Note my bitter tone--I NEVER was able to do the babywearing very well, and I tried and tried---this really seems to be for the small breasted and small baby--2 things I know nothing of. Four kids and I couldn't do it. There are tons of moms who walk around the stores with a secret baby down in the secret pouch, secretly suckling the whole time. SO so cool, but just absolutely physically impossible for me.
So back to me and my scarlet rolls of fat--I had an 11 pound kid and then a 12 pound kid in 2 years, ok? So if you are sitting there reading this with a confused feeling sweeping over your sleek and tight body, feel free to not leave a comment!
So, for me, my stress about nursing a new baby, in "public"--meaning in front of pals mostly, was again not so much about the BOOB as it was the midsection. So there were these nursing bras invented a few years back by Glamourmom that were supposed to be the answer to this very issue. They are a tank top/nursing bra combo, designed to cover up the tummy and back, with a nursing bra in the top part.
they are really short! Sigh. Like everything maternity and nursing, they are designed for the average woman, or the average very short woman--and buying a larger and larger size only gets you a wider and wider product. This is why I always hated the Motherwear catalog. Short and wide and expensive.
BUT TODAY I found out that they are now available in LONG! Woo hoo! They even make then in a minidress style, if the "long" isn't long enough. So, so cool.
Today, all my flame-red tribal body marks are now a dignified silver, and my nursling is a ginormous toddler who really doesn't ask to nurse when we are anywhere besides home, or if he is really sad or tired. When he is on my lap, he blocks all view of boobs, belly, and anything else. But I am really glad that Glamourmom is making these in long. Because tall moms exist, and apparently they have spoken!
Of course, there is the option of being an absolutely fierce and awesome human being, in all our stripey scarred and saggy glory, and forget the whole bullshit of covering up all together. I just haven't gotten to that point. I am a pretty modest person, I don't even wear shorts, really--so I don't know. Maybe in another time and place, in my matriarchal commune, sure, I'd bust it all out. I wish I could be like that now, but I know I am not.
Maybe we all need to down a glass of wine, take a deep breath, and throw all the special shirts and blankets away and just feed the children.