In an effort to start readying Cole for the realities of having a newborn in the house, one of the things I made a conscious effort about was to expose Cole to other nursing mamas. Not in a show-me-your-boobs-while-you're-nursing-and-I-creepily-stare-at-you sort of a way, but just as normal, day to day sort of thing. We are blessed to have many mama friends who were nursing their babies, so Cole saw it and was around it, without it being a super big deal.
As soon as I had Chase and was nursing him for an hour at a time, around the clock, it was much more obvious to Cole what was going on and he had some questions about it. He's pretended to nurse his baby doll a time or two (which is absolutely adorable and sweet) and we've discussed a few times how the whole system works.
Now, I rarely use a cover when nursing. Chase HATES it and I don't blame him. It's hot and distracting and uncomfortable - and frankly, there's no need. It's possible to breastfeed in a secluded spot, without whipping out my whole boob, and most of the time people around us don't even know what's going on. I've heard plenty of arguments about requiring mamas to cover up when nursing in public - and one of the recurring arguments is about how boys and men might see and "get the wrong idea". Well. Let me tell you the kinds of ideas that Cole has had regarding nursing:
Cole: MAMA, WOULD YOU LIKE TO JOIN US ON OUR FISHING TRIP? YOU YIKE FISHING AND CAMPING?
Me: Well, I think it's important that you and Daddy and Papa have some time all to yourselves, so I'm not going to come camping.
Cole: ARE YOU SURE? YOU CAN COME. I DON'T MIND.
Me: Thank you sweetie. But I will stay here.
Cole: CHASE WILL COME?
Me: No, Chase will stay here with me. Because if he goes and I don't, how will he eat? He will be very hungry without me to feed him.
Cole: YOU CAN COME AND BRING CHASE! AND I WILL BRING YOU PILLOWS AND WATER FOR YOU WHEN YOU ARE NURSING HIM. I WILL BRING THE BOPPY FOR YOU. DOES THAT SOUND YIKE A PLAN?
By being exposed to a nursing mama, Cole has learned that breasts are one way to feed a baby; that it's an important job; and that he can do things to make it easier and more comfortable (I know it's solely Chris who gets credit for this one - he's full of never ending support, offering snacks, drinks, and anything to make me comfortable while I'm nursing).
I'm so proud that my son will grow up to be an advocate for nursing, who will know that breastfeeding is a normal part of parenting.