My controversial topic of the day: Public Breastfeeding

There seems to have been a lot of flack in the news lately about women’s right to nurse in public as well as the controversial release of a toy baby doll that “nurses” with the help of a special “apron” worn by the doll’s “mommy.”

I have conflicted feelings about this.  On the one hand, I completely support a woman’s right to nurse whenever and wherever she feels comfortable doing so.    On the other hand, I personally did not ever feel comfortable nursing in public.  Not even in front of my mother-in-law.  I nursed in a nice, quiet, soothing place where I could thoroughly enjoy my “baby time.”  I saw it as a wonderful way to relax and bond with my children as opposed to simply a functional way to feed a baby.

I understand that women are so much busier these days and don’t want to be a slave to nursing privately whenever their children are hungry (which, let’s face it is all the time), but it seems a little ballsy to me to disrespect other people’s feelings while demanding that they respect yours.  And personally, I feel that if the child is old enough to ask for boob and unhook your nursing bra, that’s simply too old.

Just because something is a natural biological function doesn’t necessarily make it suitable for public viewing.  Sex is natural, but we still feel uncomfortable when our children see the monkeys doing the wild thing at the zoo.  Defecating is a natural bodily function and I definitely don’t want to see anyone doing that.  Breasts are natural, but all of America had a ginormous hissy fit when we saw Janet Jackson‘s tata on television.  There were even people freaking out because their kids saw it.  Wasn’t a breast one of the first things these children ever saw?

Whether we like it or not, boobs are not only for feeding babies.  They are highly sexualized, especially in America.  If they weren’t, Victoria’s Secret would be out of business and no one would ever pay for breast implants.  Would it be such a horrible thing for women’s rights to cover up and use a little discretion?

It’s very similar to the religious debate in my mind – I don’t care what your beliefs are, just please keep them to yourself.  I don’t want to hear it.  And, sorry, but I don’t want to see your boobs in the grocery store, either.  Until we perfect interstellar flight, we all have to live on this rock together.  So, how about I promise to support your right to nurse if you respect my feelings and kindly refrain from flashing your golden bozos at me when I go out for chocolate?  I think that’s fair.

3 thoughts on “My controversial topic of the day: Public Breastfeeding

  1. I have to agree with you, here, totally. No matter how openminded I think I am, I’m not a fan of public nakedness and exposure. And, honestly, I’m betting that in most cases, a mom can find a more private place to nurse her child.

  2. Most of the moms that I know, if they nursed in public, threw a baby blanket over their shoulder to cover up boob and baby. I have no problem with that. And I totally agree… “if the child is old enough to ask for boob and unhook your nursing bra, that’s simply too old.” I’m also against all the pressure that new moms have put on them to nurse. It just doesn’t work for some and all the “breast is best” fanatics should back off and not make them feel guilty. But that’s a whole other topic. 🙂

  3. I was trying to figure out a way to work in the pressure and guilt that was foisted upon me by the Nursing Nazis after the birth of my first child, but you’re absolutely right – an entirely new post would be more appropriate. 🙂

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