This topic has been in and out of the news just as much as Charlie Sheen within the last 4 years. Since we all know I have an opinion about everything, I think I should start by saying I know I’m a man. I know I’ll never breastfeed, no matter how much of a severe case of gynocomastia I have. I know as far as opinions on THIS particular matter go, mine will probably be taken with a grain of salt, or less. Women mostly are heard on this issue. Moreover, mothers. And of course, on top of that, currently nursing mothers. So, before I tell you what I feel about breastfeeding in public, and the complete media circus it’s become, I’d like you to see and read some real and unbiased quotes that I’ve gathered from real mothers:
Christine F. Pampanga, PI.
“For me public breastfeeding is ok as long as you wear appropriate clothes that won’t reveal your whole breasts and bring something to cover, or if possible to put breast milk in to a bottle
And government should consider this issue need to put more places for breastfeeding, coz we can’t stop the babies getting hungry when we’re outside.”
Alica A. Texas, U.S.
“I think breastfeeding in public is fine. I don’t think you have to expose yourself to the world to feed your child. There are so many cover up options sold and different ways to be discreet. There is nothing wrong with nursing your child and I don’t think most would have an issue with it, I think more people have an issue with walking by and seeing someone’s breast out. Not everyone wants to see that while they are eating or have to run to explain what is going on to their young child.”
Jenell M. Illinois, U.S.
“Well….I did it all the time. Lol
I didn’t have all my shit out though. You might have seen a bit of nip when latching or unlatching but only if you were really gawking.
After a certain point he refused to be covered but I always wore 2 shirts…”
Betina L. Louisiana, U.S.
“I feel like as long as it’s done modestly it should be allowed its feeding their child but at the same time it’s a little crass to just pull your shirt up pop a boob out and then feed with no thoughts of modesty.
Though it takes practice to keep covered I struggled with Jade for a couple weeks until I learned.
But regardless, it’s to feed a child it’s natural that would be like saying ‘I’m sorry my kids screaming but I can’t feed him his bottle bc it might offend someone’.”
Lindsay D. Oklahoma, U.S.
“I can see both perspectives on this ongoing issue. Being a mom, I understand that when your child is hungry you need to feed them whenever and however you can at the time being. .. now the bystanders perspective might be that its wrong and disrespectful to others as a woman. That she should cover up her body in public. But if your babies only way of food is by breastfeeding and your out in public. What are you going to do? Unfortunately most public places or bathrooms do not have a breastfeeding area or even a bench or chair for the moms to sit at and feed their baby.”
Ashley G. Texas, U.S.
“No I didn’t because I know some people get uncomfortable with it and too me it just wasn’t that serious. So I would pump at home and use that in bottle when I went out.”
Rita G. Washington, U.S.
“I don’t have a problem with it. I do have a problem with women who don’t cover up while they’re feeding. That isn’t because I have a problem with the natural function of feeding, but I don’t believe you need to expose yourself to do it. At the same time, I wish all young ladies would cover up and not expose themselves the way they do these days. It cracks me up that a woman can walk around with her boobs hanging out all over the place and her ass too, and no one says a word. Let a woman breast feed in public and the people go nuts. WTF? I don’t understand that at all except one is sexual and the other is not.”
There you have it! Straight from the mother’s mouth! Now, I know this doesn’t go for everyone. Some people want to fight at the very base of discretion and ask why we have to cover our bodies at all! Well, that’s another argument for another time. For the time being, and in most “civilized” regions, it’s law to have certain parts of your body covered. Although breastfeeding isn’t illegal barely anywhere in America, what about respect? For yourself? For your child? Maybe even your husband or the guy you’re with? I’ll save that for later.
So, apparently there was a major uprising at a Chickfila in 2013 where a woman was breastfeeding in the eating area when some other customers complained. Whether I agree with the complaint or not doesn’t change the fact that THEY WERE COSTUMERS TOO. If having your tits out [for whatever reason] is something thats not only frowned upon but also illegal [indecent exposure] then I have to say, their complaint was viable. Now, Chickfila is a customer service oriented business. And unfortunately, whoever complains gets the most attention. I’m certain that nothing would’ve happened had they not complained. However, since someone DID complain, this woman took her case to social media, causing a huge uprising and people felt the need to start these incredibly insipid “nurse-ins” in Chickfila. Not just that one, but several across America. Grandstanding at it’s finest.
Now if you look up breastfeeding online you will see shitloads of pictures and videos of women bearing it all in the name of “in-your-face” politics to people who don’t like the sight of you feeding your baby in public. It’s now an “Us vs. Them” thing. It’s really not even about the baby anymore.
(This is by trollstation, so only the bystanders reactions are natural. The nursing woman and the antagonist are actors of course. But as you can see, she’s not exposed and definitely not indecent at all. I like this video, because it shows how unreasonable someone can be. Probably not this irate but hey… he is Irish 😉 )
Well no shit. And I’m sure you’ve seen the paralells… defacating is natural. So is farting. Burping. Blowing your nose (I’ve recieved the nastiest looks and comments for blowing my nose even in the vicinity of people who are eating). Urinating is natural But you don’t see me whipping out and doing these things in public, do you? Natural? Yes. Too extreme? Perhaps.
Breastfeeding is not only natural, but also healthy, heavily recommended by doctors [essential to life] and a beautiful thing between 2 beings. Well hell, so is sex. There’s a nice parallel for ya. Sex. Is natural. It even says in the Bible it’s meant to be a beautiful thing between a husband and wife. I myself can attest to it being healthy! 🙂 But you don’t see me wanting to strip down and do it in public! Well, some people do… but they’re also arrested, and fined. Heavily.
There are two sides to this. Two extreme sides. Some prudish and immature idiots out there just don’t wish to see you breastfeeding at all! Screw them! And some rabblerousing, “Hear me roar!”, shameless women just want to let it all hang out and claim it’s for their baby… screw them too.
There is a middle ground. It’s called respect and discretion.
Now seriously, you have to be a complete jackass to have an issue with any of these things. And you’d have to be a complete bitch to not see the sense in buying into such things. There are products which are safe, helpful and even FASHIONABLE to assist in this instance; plenty of options for mothers who are more interested in feeding their baby than making spectacles of themselves. So no, I don’t think it’s impossible to meet a middle ground on this issue.
Back to the respect issue. I feel it could cut down on the confrontation aspect if mothers would practice discretion. For instance… the husband. Most men would like to say they don’t care that people look at their wife and or her breast while she breastfeeds. I know for a fact… THIS is NOT true. Because I’ve done it myself. “Do you have a problem?” was what I was asked. My response, without looking away from the woman’s breast was simply “No.” I strongly feel if you feel good enough to have your tits out in public for WHATEVER REASON, then I have the right to look at them.
See what I mean? Call me an asshole all you want, but a little logic and perhaps respect for ones-self, their relationship with their child and maybe even the child’s father or the woman’s husband could cure all this, instead of making it a huge fight between the extremes.
(By the way… I think telling a nursing mother to go to the bathroom to feed her baby is completely fucked up. I don’t eat in the bathroom [well… I have, but it’s not my first choice] I don’t expect anyone else to. I mean… of course, the baby doesn’t give a shit, but it’s still just a messed up thing to request. And as you can see, breastfeeding in public is legal in 47 states! But unfortunately, some are crossing the line between breastfeeding and strip tease. Sorry… it’s true. Blame them, not me.)
Breastfeeding is a wonder just as magical as child-birth itself. It’s not a right. It’s a privilege. One which not all mothers are blessed with. For that simple fact it should be regarded as a sacred and intimate thing. Not something you need to broadcast to everyone. Try treating it as such. You see a mother, respectfully nursing her child in public, smile, look away and carry on about your business. And lets get on with this thing we all call life.
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Image of breastfeeding mother for cover photo: Pixabay artist “AdinaVoicu
Breastfeeding bonnet: http://www.onelittlewordsheknew.com
Breastfeeding shirt: http://www.hoppediz.de
Nursing Poncho: http://www.ravelry.com