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Agent Undercover

I’m a firm believer in breast-feeding; at 8 ½ months Maddie’s still going strong and we have no plans to wean for at least several more months.  Breast-feeding in public, though, is a bit harder for me to get into. 
Before you get up in arms and send me chastising email, understand that it’s not about breastfeeding itself.  I think nursing is beautiful and natural and I’m not at all ashamed that I feed my baby.  My issue is, if I didn’t show you my naked breast before I had a baby, I see no reason to give you a free show now.  So I’m one of the women who cover up with ponchos or blankets.  The only problem is, the blankets never stay put and are heavy and suffocating, while I have to stick my head down the neck of my poncho to check on things and it looks as if I’m either going into a “Don’t make me come down there!” moment or looking for a lipstick I dropped.
So when I found this product, I was totally psyched and got it for my girlfriend Abby to take out for a test drive.  With a three-year-old to keep busy, I knew she’d be nursing in public much more than she did with just one child.
Click below to read what she thinks about it.


I like to think that it was the sleep deprivation that caused me to think that it would be fun to invite 15 family members and 1 guy from the Internet—my mom’s friend included at the last minute-- to our modest Jersey City apartment.   By Christmas Eve, I knew that I had made a mistake. Compared to some of the places I’ve lived in Manhattan, our 1200 sq. ft. apartment borders on spacious.  But take a family with a new baby and a 3 year old, add 3 people sleeping over, one of them missing a leg (Internet guy), another with MS and on crutches (my mom)  and a heap of others traipsing in and out and suddenly  I longed to go sit in our Honda Civic for a little bit of space and a shot at a comfortable chair.    Oh the tension that ensued!  Oh the squabbles that burst out at strange, awkward moments in front of Internet guy!  Oh the shocking amount of cookies I stress-devoured!  You get the picture and I’m only telling you half of the story.  By the time we piled into the cars to go to church I felt ragged and only too aware that my next opportunity for a nap was a couple of days away.
I did not regret leaving the church service early with the kids because there was no nursery care and it was too much to ask Isaiah to be still and Joshua not to fuss.   I was happy to be heading home and have few moments with just me and the boys, before everyone arrived for dinner.  And I had in my hot little hands the bag of Christmas gifts from Jennifer. 
I should tell you that Jen’s her ability to understand people combined with her obsessive research yields brilliant presents.  Each year I save her gift as one of the last.   And this year it was REALLY last because when I was unloading the kids from the car, I could not find the bag of gifts from Jennifer.  And I knew exactly where it was:  on the curb at 79th Street and Amsterdam where our car had been parked.  I tried to calm myself down by remembering that I got the kids in the car and that was the important thing.  And while that was great consolation, I must admit I melted down anyway.  The convergence of events was just too much and I was just too tired. 
So, what was the gift?  Jen had a replacement sent in the mail.  A Hooter Hider.  A Hooter Hider?  I opened it and thought, “Well, Jen struck on this one.  It’s nice, but I’ll never use it.”  (Sorry, Jen. . . )
After all, I’m a second-time mom.  I’m trying to cut down on gear, not add to it.  I’ve already done the nursing thing in public many, many times.  I’d figured out how to be discreet (mostly) and I knew how to nurse with a baby under a blanket.  I tossed it in the diaper bag anyway since it didn’t take up much space and I wanted to use it at least once so that I could tell Jen about it.
I pulled it out at my mom’s group recently when I was sitting next to a man who was a DSC00195.JPGguest speaker.  And guess what?  I loved it!  The Hooter Hider had great coverage and was easy to put on.  It had a piece of wire in the top seam so that the fabric pulled away from my body and I could see Joshua nurse instead of fumbling around with my hands under a blanket trying to blindly get my nipple in the his mouth.  Joshua fell asleep while nursing and moved his head away from my body.  If I didn’t have the Hooter Hider on, I would have had to figure out a way to try to cover myself up without waking Joshua.  Under the Hooter Hider, he could sleep and my breast could be exposed without anyone knowing.  I could look down and watch him sleep.  The fabric was thin so it didn’t get too hot underneath it, even though the room was quite warm.
Now I take it with me everywhere and I am much less concerned with nursing Joshua before I leave the house.   I have also noticed that other people, especially men, are more comfortable with me nursing in public with it on.  I even use it at home when my brother in law is over so he doesn’t have to pretend that there is a really fascinating book on the bookcase when I am trying to get Joshua latched on.   Last but not least, the fabric designs are funky, so you can be a hip mama.  The downside?  I wish it had a different name.  Hooter Hider seems derogatory and makes me think of a restaurant that I despise for the same reason. 
So, if you are thinking of hosting Christmas in baby year, email me.  I’ll set you straight.  Jen, thanks for the great gift—you were right.  And whoever picked up my gifts at 79th and Amersterdam:  I hope that you are a nursing mom and get great use out of it.


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