I have thought long and hard about this blog post. Most of the time, when I’m trying to introduce an idea to someone who might not be ready for it yet, I try to do it gently. I acknowledge feelings, express empathy, and do as much as I can to relate directly to my audience.
This is not one of those times. Sometimes, even as a person who strives to be gentle with the world, there are times when you just want to reach out and punch someone in the chotch.
Somehow, ‘Merica missed the memo that breastfeeding under any circumstances is normal, natural, healthy for both mom and baby, and should never be shamed or hidden. There are several angles I could take here, but like I’ve said in previous posts, nobody’s got time for a novella. I’m sure I’ll cover topics like normal-term (read: toddler) nursing and the medical lie that is “low-milk supply” in later posts. But today, we’re going to talk about Nursing In Public, otherwise appropriately known as NIP.
Let me be very clear. There is nothing wrong with nursing in public. If I were going to start at the very beginning, I would have to acknowledge that there are some people out there who believe that even if a woman hides under a blanket the size of a circus tent, she still isn’t covered enough and should either go home or stick a bottle in the baby’s mouth. But I’m not starting at the very beginning. And those people don’t deserve the acknowledgement I’ve given them thus far, so we’ll move on to the next batch of idiots.
I’d like to insert a reminder here which is less of a side-note, and more like the point of this post. In this country, you do not have the right to not be offended. Being offended is a fancy way of saying that you can’t handle your own feelings. Nowhere in the world are you guaranteed a Personal Emotions Liason who will make sure you don’t have to look at something which you consider unpleasant. If you are the one who is offended, then you are also the one who is responsible for becoming un-offended. Nobody is going to babysit your feelings in that regard.
I have heard the argument a hundred times: “There is nothing wrong with breastfeeding, but you should at least have the consideration enough for others to cover yourself.” (This argument has come in many forms. I am giving entirely too much credit to most who use it, considering their version goes alot more like “Nobody wants to see you flaunt your tits on display for the whole world! Have some decency! Cover that shit up!”)
But you get the point. Somehow people are all for breastfeeding until a woman sits down next to them in a coffee shop with a hungry baby. Then she faces the uncomfortable heat of their judgemental gaze as they sip their latte, fuming over the six square inches of flesh showing above her baby’s head. Women are told all the time that they should cover up to save the poor feelings of those who might accidentally burn their retinas by catching the glimpse a nipple, or god forbid a six-year-old might walk by and see a baby (gasp!) drinking milk from a breast (the horror!). I’ve actually had a woman I know, a woman I’m close friends with, throw a blanket over my son’s head in my own house as she nearly broke her neck stampeding out the door with her three-year-old.
“I don’t want him to see that!”
Seriously? What are you going to say when he gets older and asks you what boobs are for? Will you wink and say, “Those are for your dad, kid.” The funny thing is, I don’t see any of these people shielding their kids’ eyes from the magazine rack at the grocery store. They sit next to their kids on the couch while Beyonce’s undercarriage is broadcast on network television, and don’t bat an eyelash. Apparently, women are allowed to show as much skin as they want as long as they’re doing it in a sexual context. But something as natural as breastfeeding is downright offensive.
Of course, let’s not forget the uber-intelligent peanut gallery who’s about to say, “Well, taking a dump is natural, but you don’t see me popping a squat on the sidewalk, do you?”
Well, no. You see, there are a couple of reasons that the law says you can’t defecate in public. For starters, human excrement is a public health concern. With all that bacteria and whatnot, it’s not exactly the cleanest bodily substance. (Breastmilk, on the other hand, kills cancer.) Furthermore, you generally can’t eliminate waste without exposing your genital area, and that’s also not okay. And I have news for you: Boobs are not genitals. They’re not. This might be news, but genitals are the outer parts of your reproductive organs. That means penis, testicles, clitoris and labia. Just because adults enjoy letting breasts take a starring role in their love lives doesn’t mean they fall under the same category as genitalia. I don’t know about you guys, but I use way more of my body in the bedroom that just my boobs. I think its fair to say that most of us use our hands to touch each other, our mouths to kiss each other (and don’t forget the hand jobs and oral sex, too!) But you don’t see restaurant managers approaching regular Joe’s in the middle of dinner rush to ask them to put their gloves back on or take it to the bathroom to keep from offending other patrons.
Oh, right. The damn bathroom. The most popular place to banish she-who-dares-to-nurse-in-public. Are you kidding me? I have a hell of a lot more respect for my son than to ask him to eat in the same place where everyone is peeing and pooping and flapping their jaws on their cellphones and running that loud-ass hand dryer. That’s disgusting, not to mention distracting to a 16-month-old who wants to investigate every toilet flush he hears within a 2 mile radius. If we’re both in a restaurant, and my kid gets hungry, he’s eating in the same room as everyone else.
Cue the complainers: “At least be decent enough to be discreet and use a cover!”
There are two problems with your argument (besides the fact that you probably can’t spell ‘discreet’). First, it’s none of your business to ask someone to modify the way they do something simply because you don’t want to look at it. It’s one of the reasons we still have to sit next to dudes with sweat-stains on airplanes and people who chew with their mouth open on the subway. It’s why nobody with camel-toe gets a ticket and the Aryan Brotherhood is still allowed to breed. Even the world’s biggest dickheads understand that you don’t get to ask interracial couples to sit in the back or tell gay couples to stop holding hands. There are morons on every corner who will come up with something they don’t want to look at. If we had to sit down to babysit all of them, there would be no more society left as we’d all be stuck in the bathrooms eating our lunch. So if your only argument is that I’m supposed to wear a cover for your convenience, pardon me, but you can suck it.
The second problem with the whole “wear a cover” argument is this: You want me to be discreet. And you want me to wear a cover. You mean like this?
You have got to be kidding, right? If you think something like that and the word “discreet” go anywhere near each other in a sentence, then I should have been doing this blog post using stick figure pictures the whole time. Sure! My baby needs to nurse. Let’s get out my cover and 1. See if baby will agree to nurse in the heat-chamber I’ve created without screaming bloody murder, and 2. Make sure no one can tell what I’m doing. Discreet, for the win!!!
I bet somewhere around a bazillion dollars that if the average person walked into a restaurant, and you didn’t tell them a breastfeeding mother was there, they would never know. Wanna know why? Because breastfed babies are quiet when they’re nursing. Their mothers have had practice and can slip a nipple into their mouths in 2 seconds flat without anyone being the wiser. I once talked to my friend’s husband about breastfeeding for 15 minutes while nursing before he asked me if I was going to need somewhere to nurse the baby soon.
I have spent the better part of my time since I got pregnant supporting moms who have been harrassed, embarrased, lectured, and castigated when they were found doing nothing more than feeding their baby in a public place. I have laid educational smackdowns on internet trolls, high-fived women I don’t even know in the middle of coffee shops, and helped dozens of women become more confident at breastfeeding their children when and where they want to. I have personally waged war on an entire city government for discriminating against a woman and her child, and have done so effectively enough that the city published an apology within 24 hours of the incident. I have done my homework. I know my rights, and more importantly, I know my son’s rights. I am not fucking around.
So. In closing, to anyone out there who is still of the opinion that breastfeeding moms should cover it up, I want to leave you with a warning. My son is 16 months old. He is in the 90th percentile for both height and weight and only naps once a day for like 45 minutes, tops. He is a tank, and the only speed he has is hyperspeed.
And he’s really hungry.
Are you nervous about NIP? My amazing friend Abby (The Badass Breastfeeder) has a free E-course that will be delivered directly to your email. Sign up here.
I’d like to run around naked, too, but I don’t because I CARE that I might offend somebody because I CARE about other people. You militant nursing mothers have A LOT to learn about life. You seem to be one very, very selfish and self-absorbed group. I think it’s pretty obvious that you will be “those” hideous parents who believe YOUR right to eat out means I must put up with your screaming toddler in a restaurant at 9 pm because YOU have “rights” and you’ll be the idiots taking a 5 year old to an R-rated movie and letting him cry through it because YOU paid for your ticket so YOU and YOUR BRAT will stay and watch the movie with no regard for the rest of us. It’s perfectly acceptable to EVERYONE for you to cover up, and if it’s not acceptable to you, I highly suggest you get real about yourself and take your perceived status of self down a few notches.
Oh give it a rest You sound like a nearly dead from Vic. And no, you don’t want to run around naked because you’re a prude with a nasty bad disposition. So why don’t you go crawl in a hole somewhere There, there willl be no chance you’ll be offended by anyone.
You know, I breastfed both of my children and I don’t remember taking off my pants or my shirt or the rest of my clothes to do it. We’re talking about a very small expanse of skin. While you’re writing up your “caring about people” hierarchy, go ahead and toss hungry infants who don’t want to suffocate while they eat at the top.
Do you really care about other people? What about the new mom who is struggling with PPD and would benefit greatly from some fresh air and socialization, but is too afraid to go out because she might offend someone by breastfeeding in public? Or the single mom who is embarrassed to nurse in public so she can’t go out and get groceries for herself with a 1 month old that needs to eat constantly? I have a 6 month old son who instantly tears any cover I try to put on off. I try to feed right before I go out with him, but sometimes he gets hungry when we’re out because he’s a baby and doesn’t understand that it’s not convenient to nurse. Should I just stay home for 2 years while he breastfeeds because of this? Who will run my errands for me? Will you Hotfish? I’d gladly sit on my ass at home while you get my groceries 🙂 By the way, I don’t take my child to the movies, and if we’re in a restaurant and he gets fussy, I take him outside. The fact that you use the term “brat” to describe an innocent child says everything anyone needs to know about you.
get a bottle.
Phew!!!What a lot of assumptions!! I suggest that someone like you Hotfish wouldn’t even recognise a skilled and experienced BF mother at work because she’s going about feeding her baby quietly,discreetly and with the greatest care for her hungry baby. What has nudity got to do with breastfeeding in public places? Militancy has it’s place, most mothers need to concentrate of having content wellfed babies.
You don’t have kids do you? Are we meant to spend all our time at home until our children are grown adults so as to not offend someone?
wow what a fucking douche you are..
Why follow this or read this blog in the first place? Did the title invite you enough to be a nasty troll? Get a life! Or better yet invest in yourself and enroll in a Logic and Critical Thinking class at your local college.
While Hotfish may not have said it in the nicest way, they are absolutely on point. I do not want to see a child suckling anywhere. Particularly if that child is over six months. Moms with small babies aren’t as bad, because they are able to nurse and mostly cover themselves. However, I saw a mom nursing a five year old in public, and it made me puke. There are many options to cover up, or step away to a private room to nurse. I don’t understand why you think its ok to bare your breasts in public. When I see moms doing this, I know they are completely self centered and selfish, and have no consideration of others. If you must show your boobs – post them on the internet where they belong 🙂
First of all I can tell you that I have only seen, in my whole life, an entire boob while a mom was nursing twice. Most moms are discreet and mostly covered by their shirt or a blanket or a burpcloth or the baby. You have probably not even noticed these mom because that I see all the time. You may be 100 times more polite than Hotfish but you are still speaking in ignorance. This article accurately pinpoints the hypocrisy in society’s total acceptance, if not welcoming, of showing breasts everywhere except in the context of nursing. Over the years our clothes and bathing suits have gotten exponentially smaller. Hell they used to air bra commercials with a manikin wearing a bra OVER a turtleneck. There are many thing I would rather not see when I venture out into this big bad world so what do I do? I just don’t freaking look. I don’t act all high and mighty and tell everyone how offensive and insensitive they are. I don’t act unreasonably and ask people to relocate out of my visual field. I just don’t look at them and I move on with my life. Which often includes nursing my baby wherever I need to in a discreet manor before anyone even notices. Contrary to most people’s assumptions (including mine before I tried) breastfeeding can be challenging and difficult for mom and baby. There are any number of problems that can complicate the process. So next time you see a couple inches of boob that is just evil in comparison to what you see all over the media maybe have a moment of compassion that this mom is doing her very best to provide her baby with the best diet and nutrition, exactly as nature, biology, and if you believe, God, intended.
Booooooo to Jenny……people like you are embarrassing! WHAT DO YOU THINK YOUR BREASTS ARE FOR????????????? really sad.
Do you wear a bikini or approve of others wearing a bikini? There is much more skin exposed in a bikini than a nursing mom. And nursing mom’s would tend to be more down to earth, never take their kids to PG-13, let alone R rated movies and will have their kids in bed by 8 at the latest, because that’s what’s healthiest for them.
Never? Could you generalize more about the “Nursing Mom” in this post?? I am sure that no bad parenting has ever been perpetrated by the “Nursing Mom”. If only we could find more of these perfect beings to raise the children of tomorrow… I can see it now! Peace on Earth, Dogs loving Cats, an end to Global Climate ch… Oh wait, what is that?? Some really sh!tty moms nurse? Damn, I thought we had it all figured out.
shame on you Hotfish…..shame on you… breastfeeding is probably the most un-selfish thing one could ever do….. I am sooo sorry for you Hotfish and any kids you might have….wow…so sad for you..
I literally laughed out loud at the sheer ignorance of your comment. Thank you for that!
On to my full response, yes I do take my baby and toddler out to eat. But because I respect my son, I don’t do so when he should be sleeping. I am of the belief that my children need experiences in their life so that they can learn proper and acceptable behavior. As for R rated movies (or any movie inappropriate for my son, regardless of ratings) it again comes down to love and respect. I would never treat him so poorly.
I also happen to respect him SO MUCH that I will not shame him by covering up or hiding away his most basic need. I will not send him to eat his meals on a toilet. Seems pretty respectful to me!
Selfishness is not willing to move past your own discomforts. It is expecting others to bend backwards, forwards and feel ashamed because you can’t handle something that is a normal, healthy, physiologically correct function.
I totally agree!!!
I mean i agree with the 1st post from hotfish
For someone who says they CARE about other people, you sure were open about telling an entire group of women that not only are they self absorbed, hideous parents, and infringing on YOUR rights because they choose to do the most natural thing in the world. This is not your best moment. I hope one day if you ever have a child you will suffer what it is like to be critisized and will apologize for your insensitivity and stupidity.
Its not like we do it for fun or to shock people, we do it because we are feeding our babies. We don’t run around topless shaking our breasts in people faces. We simply feed our babies with the part of our bodies that have the sole biological purpose of feeding babies.
Have you ever nursed a baby under a blanket in 90 degree weather? It gets hot and humid so fast, the baby starts screaming and kicking at the blanket and suddenly my nipple is exposed for everybody to see. If I had foregone the cover I would have a happily nursing baby whose face was covering every part that seems to offend you so. I care about other people but my child comes first and when the benefits of breastfeeding are so clearly superior to the alternatives I will feed my child whenever she is hungry. It’s just a breast, that is serving its biological purpose. We live in a world where billboards, magazines and television shows are filled with sexed up images of barely covered breasts and feeding a baby the way nature intended offends you?
Wow hot fish…. You care a lot about offending people huh? How rude can you be? I was one of the moms afraid to nurse in public and probably deprived my child of months of important nutrients because I cared too much about being judged. If I had the chance to do it all over again I would indeed tell other people to “suck it”… Like you hotfish…
Don`t want to see nursing babies (Beauty at it`s best)
Bring a Picture Book as i`m sure with your limited intellect a word book would be of no use to you.
Well said! I will never, EVER be told to sit in the toilet, away from people, cover up or stop breast feeding.
It’s exactly what is supposed to happen…..what’s wrong with all you perverted people?
And no you can’t run around naked because its illegal, what an awful comparison. Idiot.
I NIP proudly and very openly, if you don’t like it, don’t look.
Hotdish is clearly a troll. Notice the total lack of a name to go with his post? Unless his parents actually named them Hotfish. In which case, that may explain why they hate the world.
looks like I found a new blog to add to my favorites! awesome post, I was just having this conversation with an old friend on facebook…
What about butts, though? Butts are not genital areas, but yet it is definitely not ok to be running around with a bare butt. I’d say that’s on par with running around with bare breasts–which you are definitely not allowed to do except _maybe_ in the context of breastfeeding. If there is nothing wrong with breasts than why the taboo against bare breasts in public outside breastfeeding?
I’d say it makes about as much sense for people to be offended with public breastfeeding as with public urination–aside from the public health issues. That said, I’m all for public breastfeeding, but public urination offends me–that’s just my personal sensibilites though. I don’t think they’re any more rational than the next persons–and I understand the people who are offended by breastfeeding. No sense beating them over the head. There’s just a trade-off between your convenience and their sensibilities, and if you’re diplomatic maybe you can try and persuade them to see things your way.
Butts are inches away from the genitals, and poop comes out of them. Breasts are up near the face, excrete a life-giving food, and are necessary for feeding the newest and most vulnerable among us.
Public urination, while I am not really against it, especially in rural areas, is different for a few reasons: It DOES involve genitals, and again it excretes a WASTE product, as opposed to FOOD.
NOBODY IS RUNNING AROUND WITH BARE BREASTS!!! WTF is wrong with you people? Breastfeeding cannot be compared to evacuating bodily waste and exposing genitalia in public. If anyone bothered to read this ENTIRE blog post, rather than skimming over it, perhaps such ignorant, offensive, argumentative comments could be avoided. I suppose it’s just too much to expect someone to read something (thoroughly), consider the points of the argument and offer their own contrasting points with any intelligence, whatsoever. Go figure.
This is absolutely amazing! I, myself, have always been a little bit intimidated to breastfeed in public, due to the ignorance of other people and what they might say to me. However, being pregnant again, and planning to also breastfeed this baby; as it is my second, I without a doubt with breastfeed in public with alot more confidence!!!! Thank you!!
Carrissa, I commend you on your decision to do what you feel is best for you and your child, whatever that decision is. Intimidation and fear should never EVER have to be considered when making the breast VS bottle decision.
You should really look up the words ‘discreet’ and ‘discrete’.
Who? The author uses them correctly. I don’t get your point.
Raising a child has been an interesting endeavor. My wife breast-fed from day 1 but when we were out, she did use a cover. This doesn’t mean I am arguing for or without, just that we must allow the mothers the opportunity to mother, how they are comfortable. As a man, I understand the tendency to get “nervous” when mothers are breastfeeding, we don’t, for the majority, want to make the mothers feel uncomfortable – so we shield our eyes, stare at the sky, and we make matters worse. The other argument that many men can’t understand is that these breast-feeding mothers are NOT trying to attract attention to themselves, nor are they “presenting” themselves in any type of “sexual advance.” They are mothers! trying to do their duty. I have to agree with the blog suggestion that the bathroom is NOT ok for a baby to feed and neither is it ok for mothers to be confined to their homes. I am amazed at the level of anger that this topic evokes. Why can’t we just be “grown-ups” about the situation and realize that God gave women the ability to produce and nurture life?
well said. completely agree as another husband of a breast-feeding mom.
This is simply amazing and I agree 100% THANK U THANK U THANK U!
BRAVO!! Our society is so backwards and self-centered. As of 3.3 weeks ago, I’m a first time grandma. It is disturbing to think that anyone would dare to make my daughter ashamed or embarrassed to breastfeed my beautiful grandson in public because of their own ignorance. Thank you for such a GREAT blog! ♥
I am not a BF mom… i have tried but unsuccessful… i dont know ANYONE who feels uncompfortable around a child breastfeeding. Kudos to you ladies who do bf! Babies need to eat too… eff the idiots who cant understand!
I love you and I want to send you a Valentine. I could have written this, word for word, and might have to save myself time typing out responses on my typo-prone smartphone whole nursing. But really, this:
“There are two problems with your argument (besides the fact that you probably can’t spell ‘discreet’).”
That’s why I am so utterly twitterpated. I keep having idiots tell me that I need to breastfeed in an individually separated and distinct fashion. Discrete: I do not think this word means what y’all think it means.
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I’m a mother and I fully support everyone’s right to do what they (legally) want to do. HOWEVER, as I used to tell my sister, nursing may be “natural”, but its not very natural to make other people uncomfortable in public. If you want to nurse your baby in a restaurant – fine. Just please go do it in the restroom, out in your car, or with the child lightly covered with a blanket. You can satisfy yourself AND the child in a modest manner WITH a little bit of class. I do not (nor do most of my fellow diners) want to spend $100 on a nice meal and have to view your exposed breast because you think it’s natural, nor do I want to have to explain to my grandchildren why you’re doing a private thing in public.
Basically, it’s called having manners. Having a baby doesn’t give you the right to offend everyone in public because of your personal beliefs.
Oh sandyb30, may I ask you if you read the entire post? Also, if *you’re* the one who is uncomfortable with it, then you should be the one who goes in the bathroom and eats. Nursing mother’s can’t help that others are uncomfortable with women nursing and shouldn’t be the one’s to protect your feelings. We are all adults, so handle your own feelings with it and stop make nursing mom’s feel bad for just trying to feed their child. And nursing has nothing to do with satisfying the mother, just the baby. So I didn’t know if you’re trying to say that nursing mothers are perverted, but it’s clearly the opposite because they sacrifice SO much to nurse. If you had nursed, you’d understand. So I guess the one’s who haven’t nursed can’t understand and that’s why their opinions are so off putting. And nursing doesn’t not mean you don’t have class. It’s not bad manners. And it’s not private and educate your grandchildren that a mother is feeding her child and there’s other ways besides a bottle to feed them. Then they may grow up with more of an open mind than yours. And I don’t “think” breastfeeding is natural, it IS natural. It’s what they’re for! And once again, if you are offending by nursing, don’t look!
sandyb30…..SUCK ON IT! Seriously ?? manners? If your grandchildren were exposed to breastfeeding the way they were exposed to people eating in restaurants, they wouldn’t think anything of it!! It’s people LIKE you that put TABOO all over the act of breastfeeding by making it into something perverted! Shame shame shame !!
Shame on you Sandy for telling your grand children that feeding a baby is private and shameful. I can’t believe eating in a public bathroom is an acceptable alternative for you. Would you eat food in a public restroom? Seriously if a quick flash of flesh offends you so much I pity your husband….
See sandyb here’s the thing, it is not “bad manners”/immodest/lacking class to feed a baby in public, anymore than it is bad manners to eat in public in general. I have been offended by far more disgusting adults eating that a beautiful baby nursing. If you don’t want to watch a baby eat, why don’t you take your meal to the bathroom, or car? You will then be shielded from the horrors of breastfeeding. Why do you have more rights to eating in peace where you are than any other person? That mother paid for her meal too, and she has as much right to be whereever she is as you. I am appauled at people’s lack of consideration on this issue. If you don’t want to nurse in public, don’t do it; if you want to risk seeing someone else nurse in public, stay home. I am ticked off, and I haven’t even nursed a baby in 6 years.
I’m sure some other posters have covered this, but the thing I don’t understand about “NIP” proponents is how they can be so righteous and indignant. Yes, it’s “natural” and no, there is nothing “wrong” with breastfeeding, but the same can be said about urination, defecation, masturbation and sexual intercourse yet you are not allowed to do those in public. The fact is that exposing your breast in front of some people makes them uncomfortable and that doesn’t make them “idiots”. If anything, it shows your lack of intelligence that you have to stoop to insults to try to persuade people or get your point across. In fact, I’m an intelligent person and you lost the chance to persuade or get your point across to me when I stopped reading your article due to your insults. Just as breastfeeding is “natural”, so is the feeling of being uncomfortable around someone who is exposing themselves for whatever reason. For example, you might assume that everyone who opposes NIP is grossed out by it or stoggy and proper. But some guys say that they don’t like it because they are attracted to breasts and feel guilty or voyeuristic if they happen to look. Or worse, they are afraid of being called a pervert for looking at a woman who is exposed in front of them. How do you suppose men reprogram their very natural response to a woman’s nude breast or the guilt they might experience over seeing something they shouldn’t have? You’re telling me that your right to convenience automatically trumps a man’s potential guilt and fear over seeing you partially nude? Anyway, being so righteous about exposing yourself it because it’s convenient for you is short-sighted and doesn’t prove anything except that you are an inconsiderate person who can’t accept that other people have a right to their point of view even if it doesn’t agree with yours.
I think she’s suggesting that people who are uncomfortable, or feel guilty, turned-on, whatever…BE GROWN-UPS AND DEAL WITH IT!
“How do you suppose men reprogram their very natural response to a woman’s nude breast or the guilt they might experience over seeing something they shouldn’t have?”
Simple: by being exposed to women breastfeeding. Men sure as hell are not going to learn to distinguish between the sexual breast and the nurturing breast if all they are exposed to is the sexual breast. My two boys, aged 4 and 2, have yet to figure out that breasts can be used in a sexual manner. They are, however, very aware that breasts feed babies into toddlerhood and have barely blinked, or even noticed, when in the presence of other women breastfeeding. I predict that, as they come of age, they will not conflate sex, urination, defecation, and masturbation with feeding from the breast, rendering these sterile debates over whether your inability to avert your gaze should trump a baby’s right to be fed when hungry.
Anyway, being so righteous about being offended because it’s convenient for you is short-sighted and doesn’t prove anything except that you are an inconsiderate person who can’t accept that other people have a right to their point of view even if it doesn’t agree with yours.
Wow thank you!!! VERY WELL SAID!
I’m not sure you read the whole article…she very clearly states that breastfeeding is different from those other “activities” because breasts aren’t genitals! MEN are able to show their nipples as much as they like, even fat ones who have breasts larger than the average woman! So what’s the difference then? Is it because you find them sexy? People find all sorts of body parts sexy, some are super into feet, but we don’t get all pissy when people walk around with *exposed toes*. Even if I want to tell a guy to put a shirt on, I have no business doing so, no matter how offended I am by his body hair. Besides which, another point in the article (which I guess you skimmed) is that most women who breastfeed don’t show the whole breast, and in fact, the nipple itself is usually covered by the baby’s mouth, so you only see a little bit of boob skin and maybe the top of an areola, which is way less than most bikinis show, or even some low-cut tops. So yes, you have every right to be offended by the sight of a mother breast feeding, but like me with a gross shirtless dude, you have no right to tell her to cover up.
Breast feeding in public is not “convenient”. Women have to deal with creepy dudes leering because they can’t “turn off” their desires, all while struggling to effectively feed a squirmy, and often cranky baby. It’s hard, and a pain in the ass, but I do it because it’s my duty to feed my baby. And ps: I refuse to hide the fact that I am feeding my kid by going to the toilets to do it… Because its unsanitary, and frankly disgusting to even think about the pathogens in the air from all the defecation and other nastiness in the bathroom. I’m sorry, but other people’s poop and my baby don’t belong in the same room, thanks! My child is a person, and deserves the right to eat where other people do. And that’s that!
why is it ok for women to wear shirts cut halfway down their breasts and string bikinis? I’m far more uncomfortable with that, but you don’t see anyone making a big deal about covering them up
I cannot adequately express how much I love this post! Excellent.
This was a very aggressive read.
I breastfed my beautiful babe until she was 1year old as this was our goal. I read and researched that anything further this I had surpassed the nutritional benefits. Yay for us!
I nursed a couple of times in public when I needed, I certainly wasn’t going to neglect my baby’s “right” to eat. I however, made sure that when I nursed, it was in a quiet area- not centre stage in a restaurant or on display in a cafe window table for passers by to enjoy a show.
As is my job, I would think ahead and wear appropriate attire for my day. Loose fitted shirts that my beautiful babe could breathe easily and we could share our mother/infant moments wherever need be. Respecting my body, respecting my baby, and respecting others around me.
So if I happen to nrse in public, and I don’t cover in the way You do, does this mean I don’t respecdt my body or baby? Seems like someone is trying to prescribe shame ..and thats not cool.
What part of “and respecting others around me.” did you miss in her post?
Yes! Exactly. Yay, Christine – very well said.
Christine, congrats on a year! However, breast milk does nt lose nutritional value after 12 months. And I hope you do some more research because that is completely a lie. Here is a link to some good info. The second “myth” should help your concerns: http://kellymom.com/ages/after12mo/ebf-myths/
Thank you for typing this. I am also working on trying to normalize breastfeeding with an art exhibit I’m putting on. Check it out:
Everyone please calm down! There is a new fangleed invention that completely takes care of this. It’s called a bottle and you can get it anyways.
Also, if I ever see a woman breast feeding/showing her boobs in public I will immediately take a picture on spread it on the internet.
I love it when people state their opinion and it’s so evident that they didn’t read the entire blog because it covers what they’re post is about. Hence: you.
Thanks for this! This is awesome! And hysterical! I’m still nursing my 30 month old and occasionally we NIP too.
I have a seven month old son and live in a more progressive part of Tucson, AZ. However, I ended up feeling pressured out of breastfeeding at four months because I just couldn’t handle the staring and the comments. I guess I’m sort of a wimp, but my heart goes out to all the mom’s who stick with it. Maybe next time I can muster the courage to stand up for myself and how I feed my kids.
It really is amazing the people UNoffended by tits on display in movies, TV, news, book covers, magazines, billboards, porn, internet, etc. ad nauseum, yet so Offended by a nursing mother…what? if they aren’t for your enjoyment, then don’t have them around for you to see because your delicate senses can’t tell the difference! *SMACK* SNAP OUT OF IT!!!
This could be my favorite blog post of all time. I have informed everyone I know that I will not cover while nursing. It’s hot, my baby doesn’t like it, it takes longer… I’ve got nothing against using a cover but hate the fact that we are all expected to use one out of courtesy.
Breatfeeding in public is okay ! BUT , the mother should cover with nursing blanket ! I(not a circus tent ) i would like to be able to eat the meal I paid for . Some folks just have a weak stomach ! There r so many alternative to just whipping it squirting milk everywhere and shoving the nipe into the babies mouth ! That’s why man invented the breast pump ! Mothers will pump so grandma and grandpa can babysit , but are to offended to use a bottle in public ! I paid 75 dollars for my meal before you entered with your breast and ” it’s my right ” attitude …… Maybe YOU should pay for the dinner I have to push away !
Weak stomach? Do you get a “weak stomach” when you see naked breast that don’t have a child attached to them? What about when you see bare breast period, do they make you sick? Have you ever seen a woman breastfeed in public and she shoots milk on your plate? Do you think breast always shoot milk out and so as soon as a mother “whips it out” to nurse her child, it shoots everywhere? Is this what you think? Because it’s what you wrote, but it’s not what happens. If a child is nursing and becomes unlatched during the “let down” phase, the milk may give the baby a shower, but it won’t end up giving you a shower unless you are sitting at the same table. And guess what, just because bottles and pumps are made, some babies refuse bottles, some mothers do not respond to pumps at all. So at that point, would you suggest a nursing mother stay home for the first year or two? Get real, grow up, and educate yourself. If you don’t like it, don’t look. But a nursing mother’s money is the same as yours. And if you have to push away your dinner, please, ask for a to go box so you can take it home. There are so many other things I’m sure you find horridly offensive that you probably have a hard time going out and enjoying yourself, ever. If you don’t have anything intelligent to say about the matter, please don’t comment because your point is moot.
“There r so many alternative to just whipping it squirting milk everywhere and shoving the nipe into the babies mouth !”…I can’t even come up with a witty comment because I’m laughing so hard at your ignorance. Why are you goose-necking all the way over to my table anyways? Mind your own damn business and turn around and eat your food, little boy.
Is there a way to “love” this comment??
After reading several of the comments talking about how there to make you uncomfortable. Period. I started wondering if any of you get uncomfortable and art gallery where there are pictures of nude women or women who breast-feed? It would seem that in the most modest of eras, Breastfeeding was still seen as normal and was often done in public. In a much more “exposed” manner. I would imagine most of you believe in progress, but in this area we have regressed. Do any of you know what started this regression? The creation of formula and the baby boomer generation. People stopped seeing it and it became taboo. The other thing that not one person who is “uncomfortable with bare chests” have yet to address is why they are not uncomfortable with all the flesh being exposed by the lack of fabric in clothing. Forgive if my belief that those uncomfortable are the ones who need to look away.. But all of history and most of the world disagrees with your point of view. Breats are not first a sexual thing, just as hands and mouths are not first used for sex. It’s a physiological fact acknowledged by everyone but those who are unable to see past their own prejudice. You know who else was asked to sit in bathrooms or hide away from public areas? African Americans, Native Americans, Asian Americans.. They were offensive to people too… All because of close minded, selfish ignorance. Guess what those people weren’t worried about though??? BREASTFEEDING. What a strange thing that even these extremely selfish people weren’t getting their panties in a bunch because a mom needed to feed her baby. Strange.
Please excuse my typos at the top.. My phone glitched.
I love this blog. As for the negative comments. Those are the people who need to be educated. They don’t truly understand. I breast fed my son. I did it for his health. There was no conscience at all about it. It was painful, it was hard to do, and it was time consuming. But it was healthy for him and that’s all that matters. When a new mom is nursing it can be difficult to use a cover. Babies have to breathe as well. And they have arms that yank on that cover. And they usually like to see their mom while nursing. I wouldn’t want to eat under a blanket. They make so many different types of clothes for nursing where no skin is even exposed.
Who really cares about a strange man walking by that feels sexual when he sees it. That’s his problem.
As for showing your butt. No nourishment comes from that area. Yes we all have genitals as well as we all have arms and eyes. Should someone with a severe disability cover up because it makes a couple people uncomfortable.
And of course they make breast pumps. I’m sure everyone loves to be milked right? I don’t think so. Yes I used a pump and had to find a fridge to store the milk if I was out. Some babies have trouble with bottles too.
No one can judge anyone’s way of nurturing their own children. Of all the posts on here only a couple were negative. Which shows that there are loving parents out their taking care of their babies. Whether they choose to nurse or formula feed. All that matters is they are doing what’s best for their baby by feeding it.
I can’t wait to nurse my next child and give him the best chance of fighting off diseases and allergies. Giving him the most important nutrients to help him grow healthy. And bond with my baby. I will do it whenever and wherever he needs because as a mom it’s my job to feed my child. (Not in a bathroom around feces where he can become sick. Just like you don’t clean your toilet with your toothbrush.)
Love to author and all the moms who breast feed their little ones. And thank you to all the supporters as well. For the people who are against it. Oh well, your minds can’t be changed and it doesn’t matter what you think. Because you already have something negative to say. You don’t see naked women while they are nursing. And I’m sure you see more skin on women just walking by dressed skimpy. Have fun in your closed minded world.
I am currently a BF mom and I try to be respectful of other people. I do feed in public. Sometimes with a cover and sometimes without. If I’m in a restaurant, then cover. In a highly populated place, then cover. In a park I don’t cover. I will not however hide away in a cover like I’m ashamed of what I am doing. Breast have been turned into such a sexual object. They are designed for nutrition, not sex. I have explained to my 3 year old what I am doing when I am feeding the baby. It’s not my problem if someone doesn’t want to explain nature to their child. It’s only a big deal if people make it that way.
Greetings! Quick question that’s totally off topic. Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly? My blog looks weird when viewing from my apple iphone. I’m
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I love you! Seriously, best post EVAR! Signed, proud bfing mom of a 20 month old.
Nursing moms- I LOVE seeing a mom nursing her baby. It is the sweetest, most special thing to see out in public. Only a mom who has done it can ever understand how precious it is, why waste your time on people who don’t understand? Do what is right for you and your baby and don’t let anyone discourage you.
Breastfeeding is natural, definately a self-less act for any normal loving mother. I breastfed my baby til he was 12mths old because that was best for him and he refused to drink from any bottles for grandma or any other sitter (it just wasn’t natural and normal to him). I also BF in public whenever necessary. I did not feel bad about it; my baby needed to eat and I was not going to starve him and let him scream (which would be far more annoying for everyone around trying to enjoy a dinner 🙂 When possible I used a receiving blanket to cover myself, for my own comfort and privacy, BUT at times, it was just too hot to keep covered and once the baby is latched there is nothing more to see than what you see when a women wears a bikini top anyway. Where to nurse and whether or not to cover up IS ONLY A MOM’S PERSONAL CHOICE! Women who BF work WAY too hard at what they do to let anyone else stand in their way! IF YOU DON’T LIKE WHAT YOU SEE, THEN SIMPLY LOOK THE OTHER WAY! BABIES need to EAT more than YOU DO! In fact some eat every HOUR or TWO! When you have had to go through the experience and hard work that a BF mother does ROUND THE CLOCK (DAY and NIGHT – 24 hours a day, day in and out), THEN YOU CAN PASS JUDGEMENT. IF you HAVE NOT, then you CANNOT judge! A MOTHER’s LOVING is UNENDING and so is the work that she does for her children! OTHERS NEED TO STOP BEING SO SELFISH AND SELF-CENTERED AND THINK ABOUT THE BABY’S NEEDS! IF ANYONE COMPLAINS, JUST LET THEM HEAR YOUR BABY’S CRY FOR HIS/HER MOTHER until they decide that YES, it’s BETTER to JUST FEED the BABY! ANYWAY A MOM NEEDS TO DO IT – IS HOW IT HAS TO BE DONE!
SO SUCK IT UP!
This is the best thing I have ever read.
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