I just don’t get it. How on earth do people get offended by the act of breastfeeding in public? I was at a coffee shop the other day and, while waiting in line for a latte I knew I didn’t really need, saw a woman lift her baby out of his stroller and swiftly onto her breast. She didn’t have a cover, but honestly, it seemed like the nipple never even made an appearance! This lady was a boob-ninja. While I was ogling her adorable baby, I saw an older woman approach the young mom, and hiss in her face audibly enough so that everyone in the vicinity could be sure to hear: “You need to do that at HOME!” Are you KIDDING me?! My back immediately straightened and I stopped breathing (I guess when it comes to “fight or flight”, I choose “freeze”), certain I was about to bear witness to a hormone-induced, coffee-singling brawl. But this mother was not only a ninja, she was a saint. She just smiled at the opinionated woman and shrugged her shoulders, as if to say, “I’m doing my thing and if it bothers you…tough.”
As I left Starbucks, I was still wondering what one could find so offensive about breastfeeding? It’s a beautiful part of a woman’s body that, when given the opportunity, can create the only food a baby needs to survive! Sadly, this woman isn’t alone in her thinking. Recently, a photo of model Miranda Kerr breastfeeding her baby behind the scenes of a photo shoot (click here to see the article) led people to write comments such as this:
People should NOT breastfeed in public. Like it or not, breasts are sexualized. That’s the way it is and you’re not going to change it. You may think it’s “empowering” to flop your breasts out in public, but so do porn stars. We, as humans, wear clothes for a reason; our bodies are sexualized. If you don’t like it and don’t agree, go flop your milk bags around in a nudist colony, cause I most certainly don’t want to see it.
– Lyrra, US, 29/4/2011 9:28
This woman is far more vulgar than the act she’s talking about. To me there is a HUGE difference between baring your breasts while performing a sexual act in public (no thank you) and baring your breasts to feed and bond with your child in public (yes please). Add to that the proven emotional, developmental and health benefits of breastfeeding, both for baby and mom, and it’s easy to see that breastfeeding is not a sexualized act. It’s as natural as breathing and about as vulgar as a naked baby tush.
What’s your take on public breastfeeding? Are you okay with it as long as women wear a nursing cover, or do you think it’s unfortunate that a woman should even feel like she has to cover up? Or are you one who feels like it shouldn’t be done in public?