Author Lauren Hirshfield Belden may have spun an entire book around all the places you'll nurse, but I'm pretty sure she never imagined putting a TV studio on that list. Yet that's exactly where Irish mom and broadcaster Dil Wickremasinghe found herself breastfeeding last week during a live appearance on Ireland's TV3.
This very public feeding sesh all started when Wickremasinghe's son, Phoenix, got hungry during a panel discussion on attachment parenting and nursing. Rather than leave the set, she brought her babe to her chest and nursed him discretely behind the desk as the cameras rolled. Subtle, yes, but the on-air mealtime (during World Breastfeeding Week, no less!) was a conscious choice, the show's host, Elaine Crowley, explained to the folks at home. "I think mothers should be free to choose how, where and when to feed their babies without judgment or condemnation," she said. "If I didn't point it out, there is no way anyone would have known little Phoenix was having his lunch live on air."
Crowley went on to say, "All mothers should be supported no matter what they want to do, and if you're lucky enough to be able to take your baby to work and he happens to be hungry, well, what are you going to do?"
Okay, there were some complaints, but many TV3 viewers threw their support behind the working mom. "I really liked Dil Wickremasinghe's spot. Good to see breastfeeding & attachment/mindful/gentle parenting normalised. More!" one woman wrote. "[A]s a 1st time bf mum thats wonderful to see. Bf is something so natural & should not have to be hidden away," another tweeted.
I'll throw my support in the mix, too. Though I probably wouldn't want to nurse on live TV (see: possible nip slips and milk sprays), I wholeheartedly endorse the idea that a woman should feel free to feed her baby wherever, however she sees fit. That holds true whether she's in a boardroom, on the floor of Parliament, or in front of a bunch of cameras.
Don't forget to sign up to receive our free Parents Daily Baby newsletter!
Bonnie Gibbs Vengrow is a New York City-based writer and editor who traded in her Blackberry and Metro card for playdates and PB&J sandwiches—and the once-in-a-lifetime chance to watch her feisty, funny son grow up. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+.
Establishing a Breastfeeding Routine
Screen shot courtesy of Dil Wickremasinghe via Twitter