Breastfeeding Welcome Here

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Welcome to The Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival! This post was written as part of The Breastfeeding Cafe's Carnival. For more info on the Breastfeeding Cafe, go to www.breastfeedingcafe.wordpress.com. For more info on the Carnival or if you want to participate, contact Claire at clindstrom2 {at} gmail {dot} com. Today's post is about nursing in public. Please read the other blogs in today's carnival listed below and check back for more posts July 18th through the 31st!


 

Please, please breastfeed in public. Please, please, please.

I am so tired of the controversy. I am so tired of hearing the jokes and hearing idiots giggle about “milking” men because they have nipples too. I’m so tired of the idiocy surrounding breastfeeding.

You know what? Those kids have gotta eat. We tell these new moms, who are worried about getting everything RIGHT for their babies, that breastfeeding is best. We vilify them when they don’t breastfeed or don’t breastfeed long enough. We have posters at bus stops about breastfeeding. We have public service announcements.

Then, we launch these lovely women, overtired, hypersensitive to criticism, worrying about how much their baby is eating, peeing, and pooping, out into a society where no one is breastfeeding. We let our teenagers (and other idiots) make fun of them. We let them get thrown off of planes. We allow them to be removed from stores and restaurants. We tell them to feed their babies in dirty toilet stalls. We treat them like we are ashamed of them for doing what we told them was right.

Yes, it can be a fight. It can be nerve-wracking to breastfeed in public. Encountering someone opposed to breastfeeding, dealing with the jokes and nasty asides, and being asked to leave, are horrible. But truly, they aren’t common. And the more you breastfeed in public, the better you feel about it and the better we all feel about it.

If the idiots see people breastfeeding regularly, it doesn’t have the same power to make them giggle. If stores and restaurants just have to deal with it on a daily basis, they will. If people consistently breastfeed on airplanes, people will get over it.

Yes, it’s a boob. Boobs are all over prime-time television. Frankly, boobs are all over the place. They are in advertisements, hanging out of tank tops, and sneaking their silhouettes into the public conscience everywhere you turn.

But, with a baby on them, it is simply having a meal. That’s it. We have meals in restaurants, in our offices, in our cars, walking down the hall, etc. You know those commercials where people are walking around eating their Hot Pockets and people are offended. This is NO DIFFERENT.

Babies have to eat. Boobs are involved in that process. There is zero reason that we should have to hide our babies as they eat. Frankly, I don’t think I’ve seen an adult eat who isn’t more disgusting while they chew. I don’t get to throw a blanket over the heads of adults in the food court at the mall. I don’t get to throw the man next to me off the plane because he can’t chew and breathe with his mouth closed.

I remember being afraid to go out. I remember running to my car to breastfeed. And, I remember the first time I just decided to do it. I was at a restaurant. My son would NOT breastfeed with anything over his head. I had not finished my meal. I wanted to eat. So did my baby. So, I breastfed him. And, I ate my meal. Everyone was fine with it. I felt so empowered. I COULD breastfeed in public. It was ok. Suddenly, I could leave the house. I could run my errands. I could be a part of society again.

I encountered a woman breastfeeding in public one day. She was trying to balance the cover and the baby and her breast. She was having a really hard time. She looked defeated. I told her that I would happily sit next to her and hold her cover. I did. She got her baby on breast and I just sat and chatted a little with her. Why not? Why should she have to be a pariah because she’s feeding her baby?

So, breastfeed in public. Enjoy the sun at the park. Enjoy a meal out. Enjoy not having to time everything in your life just so. And know that a lot of the women there wish they would have seen you breastfeeding in public when they had their babies. Because they wanted to do it too.

And if you’re not breastfeeding, support someone who is. Stand by the breastfeeding women. We have told them to breastfeed. Their babies are hungry. So, ask the next person giving a breastfeeding woman grief, “are you trying to starve that baby?”

 


  Here are more post by the Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival participants! Check back because more will be added throughout the day.

Category: Motherhood
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Well said!

What a great post! It's so true, society is so hypocrical sometimes. Breastfeeding in public should not be a controversy! The more women that do it, hopefully the less it will be.

Submitted by Sara from the Momzelle blog (not verified) on Fri, 07/22/2011 - 11:59.
YES!

This is a great post on this subject! I loved the way you compared it to everything else that is involved in living, breathing, being human. So well said.

Submitted by Melissa LaVange (not verified) on Fri, 07/22/2011 - 12:19.
Agreed - normalizing it will

Agreed - normalizing it will lessen the harassment and ridicule. Just do it, ladies!

Submitted by Dionna @ Code Name: Mama (not verified) on Fri, 07/22/2011 - 14:40.
Hell Yes!

I have to say this is one of the best articles I've read on the subject! I love it! You have it 100% correct and you say it so well! Thank you =)

Submitted by Anastasia (not verified) on Fri, 07/22/2011 - 15:28.
Bravo!

Ditto to what Anastasia said... You're so right and you write so well :)

Submitted by xela (not verified) on Fri, 07/22/2011 - 22:27.
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Very instructive and good bodily structure of subject matter, now that’s user pleasant (:.
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Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 03/29/2012 - 17:48.

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