The fight for women’s right to breastfeed in public is very needed. But lately, I feel, it’s getting off the track, it’s loosing logic and is placed in the wrong context. Does it feel frantic only to me? Are there really no limits to public breastfeeding? How important breastfeeding is?
I am, with all my heart, a true supporter of breastfeeding (but it’s not my religion, nor would I ever shame any formula feeding mama). I’ve been breastfeeding Z. for 27 months now, that includes nursing in public places. I do support the right of women to breastfeed in public, to nursing breaks at work. I don’t like covers, although I understand that some women feel more comfortable using them. I love separate feeding rooms for babies and see no shame in using them and can’t understand how they can be seen as a pressure tool to keep boobs out of the public sight.
Many blogs and websites support breastfeeding. Some of them were founded to fight specifically for the women’s right to breastfeed in public. It is a noble goal. So many parts of the world need that fight!
I will never agree with a situation when a nursing mother is asked to leave, go to a toilet or cover herself.
Never, unless… Have you ever seen a woman nursing from above her shirt, or with both boobs out or almost topless, or sitting with the boob out long after the baby is fed? These are my “but” situations. I understand why these women are asked to cover or leave. I understand why people are bothered.
I’m not a prude. It doesn’t really bother me that much. I just know and understand how it may make some other people feel uncomfortable. Expecting people to accept nude nursing in public won’t get the revolution anywhere. It won’t win any fight. Show the world it can be done comfortably for you and the baby without making others feel awkward – this is how to win, how to gain those people’s trust, respect. This is how to normalize breastfeeding.
“Breastfeeding is not sexual” – the most common argument. I agree. It isn’t. But breasts are. We don’t have separate pair for breastfeeding and separate for sexual purpose – and it seems to be a problem nowadays.
Please, don’t try do “desexualize” boobs. Denying that breasts have sexual implications is naive. I mean, doesn’t your partner love your breasts? Don’t you like your boobs? They’re not even a tiny element provoking the arousal for both of you? Seriously? Beautiful, round, soft boobs! I, at least, love mine and will never deny them their sexual attributes! This is also why I don’t go around naked showing them to everyone.
Breasts are sexual. This is why breastfeeding in public is difficult. This is how our society evolved. This is why magazines with topless women on the covers are usually in separate sections of the shop or are covered. Sex is a private matter. Of course it is used in mass media to sell everything but we also accept it only to a limit. When the line is crossed people oppose.
A breastfeeding mother is a member of the society like everyone else. A society is a complex organism, built with different structures and organs. It will work well only when each member, each part plays within the rules. Don’t call me bad names just yet. I’m not saying breastfeeding mothers have to go to the toilet, leave, cover, stay at home. I just want to say that breastfeeding in public may be done in a way that will make baby’s stomach full, mom happy and nobody will be bothered.
“My right to swing my fist ends where your nose begins”. If you want to nurse in public just think what to wear. you don’t need a cover, although there’s nothing wrong with using it if both you and your child are comfortable that way. Simply, breastfeed from under your shirt or whatever kind of top that you wear. And if you’re using a nursing top, please don’t let the boob hang out for long moments as if you’re trying to show off your “nursing skill”. It’s just so weird. The need of showing the naked breast just for the sake of showing it is so so weird!
Breasts don’t shock me, they don’t bother me but I just understand that other people have their rights and there is a way to respect others without compromising the right to nurse in pubic or my baby’s right to be fed.
So, keep on boobin’ mamas!!
Just remember there are people around you