This is a throwback post from June 2014. Crazy how it is still a relevant and controversial topic. Please enjoy and let us know your thoughts!
Breastfeeding in public has been all over the news. Everything from media campaigns about feeding in public and even dads wishing they could get in on the action. To Facebook now allowing moms to post breastfeeding pics, which have been removed in the past. It would seem that society is starting to become more supportive of breastfeeding in public. At least moms are making sure it is heard about. What do you think about this upswing in support? Do you feel it is appropriate to breastfeed in public? Have you ever? If so, have you ever faced criticism for doing so?
The Naturalist Mom: I think it’s a great “norm”. I think, at this moment, Mama’s are trying to make it acceptable. Society boasts normalcy with over sexualized TV, Movies and music-yet we become SHOCKED when a woman illustrates her most natural purpose postpartum. Personally, I have proudly nursed all 3 of my babies. With each child I’ve been blessed with a longer, closer breastfeeding relationship. There have been several times when I have felt the pressures to wait or excuse myself from places to nurse my child, but it’s always been on my terms-no one has ever said anything. It helps to have a supportive spouse, too.
The Not-So-Single Mom: I am happy to see a rise in support for breast-feeding mothers. I however, was not able to breast-feed, but I did pump for 9 weeks, so I didn’t not endure criticism. I didn’t want to breastfeed…until late in my pregnancy…but never shamed others for making that choice. I believe there are modest ways to go about feeding in public. I believe that if we are allowed to eat there, so should a child. I hate when I see these women banned or asked to leave because their child needed to eat. Today’s society is so…I don’t even know what to call it. I just think that we need to be modest about doing it in public, and the more this happens the more society will begin to accept this practice once more. If we slowly re-introduce breast feeding to the public and not throw it in their face, they will be more likely to support those of us who choose that route.
The Perfectionist Mom: I think this support is fantastic. I truly hope that the support continues and only gets stronger. I was very self-conscious about breastfeeding in public and went to great lengths to not be seen. In hindsight and if god willing we have a second baby I like to think I would be more comfortable. I would always use a “Udder Cover” one of the best purchases I made. My daughter hated it but it was essential. I must have one of those faces that people feel they can judge because boy do they lol. I still got looks and one time I was washing the cover and forgot it at home. We were at a restaurant, not a “sit down and waiter comes” kind, but a “you sit and eat” one. I had to feed her covered with a blanket that she kept trying to pull off. An older woman came up to me and told me that I was being inappropriate and that should be done in private. I cowered and felt ashamed. It was terrible. It took me a while to get over it but I did and now I wish I had said something in response. The more we do it in public the more common place it will become. I feel no mother should ever be judged for feeding her child.
The Hot Mess Mom: Although breastfeeding is this all natural, perfectly human way of feeding your baby, I did not even attempt it with my first child. To me breast-feeding takes support and patience and availability. Those are things that I didn’t have after my daughter was born. I was 21 and her father was a piece of crap and I was completely overwhelmed. I had to go back to school and go back to work and I had no idea what I was doing with milk coming out of my boobs. And to be honest, the idea kinda freaked me out. Then 6 years later when my life became more stable and I had a better understanding and respect for breast-feeding I decided that with my son I was going to try it. Of course it was like the most difficult unnatural thing ever. He was born jaundice and was a decent size baby so he needed a lot of milk at first. I had to breast feed and bottle feed because when I would try to breast-feed he would just scream because he wasn’t getting enough and he was so hungry, it seemed he couldn’t latch. It took about a month but eventually the Dr. realized that he was tongue tied pretty badly and that was why he couldn’t latch on.
So to make a long story short I have never had the opportunity to breast feed in public but it definitely doesn’t bother me. I think it’s a pretty natural way of feeding your baby and providing the very best for your baby. You shouldn’t be made to feel bad about doing it in public. The looks, snarls, and awkward behavior from people is lack of education and ignorance. People don’t like what they don’t know.
I think it has been ingrained in the brain of society that anything where you see a woman’s breast or part of it is a no-no and privacy is a must; whether it’s revealing clothing on a teenager or a mother feeding her baby. For some reason the looks that people give seem to be the same for both, which is completely ridiculous. Mothers are supposed to go to a private area to feed their babies at all times….Well, no mother wants to breast feed in a bathroom and I don’t think they should have to. I think that mother’s should take a small precaution to carry a thin blanket with them so they can always have a cover if they need to feed their baby’s and in return I think society should be evolving with the times and shifting their views about what social norms were put here for in the first place.
The Scrambling Step Mom: I feel that breastfeeding is acceptable anywhere, as long as the mother covers herself properly. I, myself could care less if someone pops a boob out to feed her baby in front of me, but others are not so comfortable. I was never able to breastfed my daughter, but I would have fed her in public if I had to. Every person is entitled to his or her own rights, and both the mother & public have rights and freedom to feel how they want.
What do you think about the recent media blitz? How do you think we can better support nursing mothers?
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