The Breastfeeding in public debate
Friday, 9 August 2019 | Mummy and Little Me
Putting a cover on the breastfeeding argument
So, once again it seems the breastfeeding in public debate has reared its ugly head again. I have to admit there to me is so many more pressing matters we could be discussing for the good of the world rather than flogging this age old argument again. It seems people are still somehow offended or feel uncomfortable when it comes to mothers breastfeeding in public.
The airline KLM has enforced a rule that those who breastfeed on their flights should cover while they do so as they may make others feel uncomfortable around them. Perhaps it’s because I am a mother, one who admittingly didn’t breastfeed for long but did on a couple of occasions do it in public but I just do not see what the drama about it is. Simply put to me if I see someone breastfeeding in public, I am seeing a mother feed her child not some elaborate sex show act worthy of the windows of Amsterdam. Boobs are boobs to me, with there primary function being to feed and keep a baby alive. If a mother doesn’t feel confident enough to breastfeed in public, and who can blame her with this argument going on for what seems like years, and covers up that’s okay it is her choice. If a mother feels happy to feed without a cover then good for her.
I have heard some arguments that mothers’ seem to get a kick out of getting a boob out in public surrounded by people she doesn’t know to feed her baby. I’ve heard some arguments to say they should go in the other room, cover up, or feed them before or after they have come out! Its not really that simply though is it? When the baby is hungry, it’s hungry and they won’t wait and nor should they have to just because you might offend Dorris on the tube. I do remember with E I never really wanted to breastfeed, I just couldn’t imagine doing it and I couldn’t see myself being comfortable enough to do it. With H I did try, and was very nervous about doing it in front on friends and family and when out too. When I did have to feed out I did use a cover but that really was me not feeling comfortable to do it.
With so much stigma and negativity surrounding infant feeding especially fueled by social media you can hardly wonder why so many mothers feel uncomfortable about their feeding choices. If you saw a mum (or dad) feeding a baby with a bottle out in public you wouldn’t bat an eyelid would you? Would we tell them to cover the baby and bottle up? Maybe the naked hand that was holding the bottle should have a cover on too? But the minute we throw a boob into the mix (with a baby latched on to it don’t forget) all hell breaks loose. With the recent heatwave many men have shed their tops and gone topless in public with dare I say it… with their actual nipples out and no one says a word but the minute a woman sits discretely feeding her baby where you can’t even see a nipple she’s offending everyone? When I see a topless man I don’t run up to him and sleep with him because he has his top off, but it’s the same principle, they may look bit different by why is it a woman’s chest is seen as so much more offensive than a man’s? Would it be the same story if it was the man that could breastfeed? Would we still be sitting here hearing the same argument about someone being offended because a man dared to feed his baby our it public? Would we be going on This Morning to say how men are enjoying getting there nipples out in front of a train full of strangers and getting a kick out of feeding their children? Can someone explain that one to me? It is actually only in recent years that this seems to be a problem, generations upon generations have all fed their babies in public so why now is it such a scandal? For me a lot of it us down to societies views of a woman’s body. Everything now a days is over sexualized and with unreal expectations being shown in the media, pornographic films and everyday adverts on social media it seems we have actually forgotten why boobs are there in the first place! I may have stumbled across the solution and it doesn’t cost anything, people can carry on feeding in public any which way they want as well.
Are you ready? This could put an end to this absolutely absurd problem…. If someone is breastfeeding in public and you feel slightly uncomfortable or dare forbid a bit offended you can just… LOOK THE OTHER WAY. I know, I know can you believe it, I have found the solution for all these offended people could not think of for themselves! I really could be up for a Nobel Peace Prize with this. As a society are we ever going to support parents whilst they raise the next generation ow just make them feel bad and racked with guilt for absolutely everything? You can’t breastfed in public in case you offend someone by feeding your child. You shouldn’t bottle feed, you should breastfeed it’s better for the baby. Don’t dress them like that. Don’t pick them up when they cry, you’ll create a rod for your own back. Don’t co sleep. Don’t leave them to cry it out. Don’t let them have a dummy, let them have a dummy. Do this, but don’t do it because someone, somewhere will have an issue with it and troll you relentlessly for being a terrible parent. I mean is it any wonder we all feel uncomfortable, with the weight of all of the judgment on us? Mainly from people you don’t even know! I am baffled by it all. I wish I could program myself not to care, or let it get to me but it ultimately does. If I could go back to 2014 as a new mum I would certainly try and tell her not to give a crap. I honestly don’t care what Janet on the Number 8 did in the 1960’s and how my child is going to be a delinquent because I dared let him watch Mr Tumble on the bus and have a dummy but hay. To all those women who breastfeed in public, carry on. You are setting the way for future generations of women to not have to deal with this pointless argument and silly judgments. If someone cant turn their head and look the other way while you feed your baby, it is there problem, not yours. It is because of you women, who cover, who don’t cover but are feeding their babies in the public eye that women may continue to feed their babies for years and years to come. Bottle, boob, inside or outside if you are keeping them alive, healthy and you feel semi sane then you are doing a great job and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
That’s you Janet.