Public Breastfeeding - page 18

In a discussion I had with my brother in law today (who is a future nurse!), I learned he is uncomfortable with public breastfeeding unless there is a blanket involved. I know some folks wouldn't... Read More

  1. by   Rocknurse
    The whole idea of breastfeeding someone else's baby is pretty gross to me. It's a personal thing between a mother and baby and the thought of a third person taking over that act is weird.

    I could never imagine EVER breastfeeding a baby, and never will, but I guess I don't have a problem with it if done discreetly in public by a mother. Personally if I'd paid for a nice meal and was having a quite romantic moment over dinner I don't think I'd appreciate it if the woman at the next table decided to breastfeed, but I suppose we all have to learn to co-exist and I certainly wouldn't say anything to her, I'd just look away.

    However, something mentioned earlier in the thread really disturbs me, and that's the discussion of 3, 4 and 5 year olds breastfeeding. Babes-in-arms is one thing, but walking talking toddlers is another. That is just really weird and not natural. I know absolutely nothing about babies....never had one, don't know anyone who owns one, but I did always think that a baby was weaned onto solid food at a certain age. Something about that image of a breastfeeding toddler playing with and kneading his mother's breasts is really disturbing. How old is too old?
  2. by   Q.
    Quote from stevielynn
    Yep, there are breastmilk banks available - I considered donating milk at one time.
    I think breast milk banks (where breast milk is screened BTW) and a stranger breastfeeding a 2 year old who doesn't rely on BM for nutrition are two distinctly different scenarios.
  3. by   Q.
    Quote from mercyteapot
    You keep quoting that comment when responding to me, but I wasn't one the one that made the comment, and it isn't central to my POV. My POV is that study after study shows that breast is best, and women shouldn't be sent to the restroom or their car or their homes just because for the briefest flash of time, a part of the breast will be exposed. What it comes down to is that in this country, we really have no inherent right to never be offended, so the onus to "get over it" falls to the offended.
    I know your POV.

    My comment about the "natural" defense comes up in relation to you because I'm responding to your statement that you don't understand the urination argument. I use the urination argument to demonstrate that the defense "BFing is NATURAL" isn't a good one at all. Again, as evidenced by many natural things being unacceptable in public.
  4. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Breastfeeding would be "normal" (as well as "natural), if we allowed it to be. It's time for us to grow up about these things. We are hypocrites. We tolerate Hooter's and R-rated trashy music and movies and on the other hand, can't handle a woman feeding her child in the healthiesst way possible. Ridiculous.
  5. by   mercyteapot
    Quote from Q.
    I know your POV.

    My comment about the "natural" defense comes up in relation to you because I'm responding to your statement that you don't understand the urination argument. I use the urination argument to demonstrate that the defense "BFing is NATURAL" isn't a good one at all. Again, as evidenced by many natural things being unacceptable in public.
    If there are so "many" natural things that aren't acceptable in public, personally I would choose a better analogy than urination, to illustrate my point. And to say "I don't understand" your analogy was actually a polite way of saying I consider it invalid. You chose an example of something that is expressly forbidden by local ordinance in probably every jurisidiction in this country. Not because it's "natural"; because it is a health hazard (and let's not revisit why, shall we?) In contrast, many communities have laws on the books that expressly GRANT the right to breastfeed in public to mothers. So yes, perhaps there are natural things that aren't acceptable in public. And unnatural things, too. That really isn't a deciding factor in my mind.
    Last edit by mercyteapot on Dec 21, '05
  6. by   Spidey's mom
    Quote from Rocknurse
    The whole idea of breastfeeding someone else's baby is pretty gross to me. It's a personal thing between a mother and baby and the thought of a third person taking over that act is weird.

    I could never imagine EVER breastfeeding a baby, and never will, but I guess I don't have a problem with it if done discreetly in public by a mother. Personally if I'd paid for a nice meal and was having a quite romantic moment over dinner I don't think I'd appreciate it if the woman at the next table decided to breastfeed, but I suppose we all have to learn to co-exist and I certainly wouldn't say anything to her, I'd just look away.

    However, something mentioned earlier in the thread really disturbs me, and that's the discussion of 3, 4 and 5 year olds breastfeeding. Babes-in-arms is one thing, but walking talking toddlers is another. That is just really weird and not natural. I know absolutely nothing about babies....never had one, don't know anyone who owns one, but I did always think that a baby was weaned onto solid food at a certain age. Something about that image of a breastfeeding toddler playing with and kneading his mother's breasts is really disturbing. How old is too old?
    To each their own - no one would ever try to force you to breastfeed your own child, much less someone elses.

    However, when I nursed my niece and when those friends decided that in order to keep a baby nursing while mommy was having surgery the other friend would nurse the baby for her, this is not gross. It was a kindness and a loving thing to do.

    We just aren't used to thinking this way. But really, wetnurses were common.

    I did nothing gross. I refuse to accept that characterization of what I did for my niece.

    I also nursed my kids into toddlerhood. Not gross either.

    steph
  7. by   mercyteapot
    Quote from Rocknurse
    How old is too old?
    I have no idea, but that's fine, since it isn't my call to make. Or your's.
  8. by   wannabemw
    [font=book antiqua]<grimmy/:quote>
    [font=book antiqua]this is your opinion, and i do not share it. for me, any clean and self-respecting mother who has a hungry baby and chooses to feed it promptly is appealing.
    [font=book antiqua]-------------------------------------------
    [font=book antiqua]thank you grimmy, i couldn't have said it any better myself!
    [font=book antiqua]and just to add to this; if i do hear a baby crying in a store my 1st thought (&/or statement to my child):
    [font=book antiqua]pick up & feed that baby!
    [font=book antiqua]i once got myself in trouble w/a dad b/c i told mom: baby has fallen asleep (bottle in mouth propped & in danger of choking). her dh tracked me down in the store to tell me that i had "insulted his wife!"
    [font=book antiqua]to me, what was an insult was that he cared more about his wife's feelings rather then his own baby's welfare. but, once again, it is all in how the receiver takes the imputed info. me: i saw a choking hazard, him: saw an attack on his wife's ability to parent.
    [font=book antiqua] oh well, if she never propped another bottle again, i would only be too happy. babies deserve our time & attention. i realize that there are times & places for propping (i.e. twins, broken arms, ect.), but she had dad w/her to help. (& what about dad feeding baby?)
  9. by   wannabemw
    Quote from Rocknurse
    Something mentioned earlier in the thread really disturbs me, and that's the discussion of 3, 4 and 5 year olds breastfeeding. Babes-in-arms is one thing, but walking talking toddlers is another. That is just really weird and not natural. I know absolutely nothing about babies....never had one, don't know anyone who owns one, but I did always think that a baby was weaned onto solid food at a certain age. Something about that image of a breastfeeding toddler playing with and kneading his mother's breasts is really disturbing. How old is too old?


    This surprises me b/c you live in the UK & have much more exposure to traditions of other countries. Over in India & many other countries, they feel that the longer that a child nurses the smarter they will be! Yes, contrary to popular belief, it is completely natural. It is not seen or hear of often b/c we chose to nurse behind closed doors & not discuss this relationship w/others.

    The duration of bfing is a private decision made b/t the nursing couple. It is not sexual nor can it be forced on the child. A toddler nurses for the comfort & bonding/connection/closeness that he/she gets from mom (as does she), the milk is the bonus.

    I recall feeling the same way that you did. Then, after many problems getting my baby to feed: nipple confusion, thrush, slow wt gain w/supplementation, I made the decision to nurse #1 until he reached the age where he could feed himself. We weaned @ 15m & I missed the relationship terribly... it was my, not his choice to wean. I do feel good that we made it to 15m, however I will always wonder if I did the right thing.
    Once again: this is a personal decision for every nursing couple.
    ~MJ
  10. by   hypnotic_nurse
    Quote from Q.
    That's my point. No, you don't need to explain why urine needs to be flushed away, just like you don't need to explain why we handle breast milk with standard precautions like we do all human body fluids. Breast milk is a biohazard - never mind that it doesn't stink. Stinking and waste products isn't what defines bio hazard standards.
    In that case, so are tears, and sweat, and spit and airborne sneeze particles...I just don't understand why we let any people out in public AT ALL.

    Maybe we should just stay home unless we leave in biohazard suits because, gee, we might get some body fluid from someone else on us!!!

    Having breastfed myself, I can tell you that the only place the milk went was into the baby's mouth or onto my breast pads. Anyone sitting right next to me would not have been in any danger of having any "unhygienic breast milk" spilled on them.

    You're much more likely to have your food sneezed in by the waiter, the cook, or the people you're eating with than to actually touch a particle of breastmilk from a nursing mother.

    Plus there's the whole handwashing thing...I'm certain you've been exposed to far, far more urine (or worse) from unwashed hands while eating out than you have ever been exposed to some stranger's breast milk.

    And if you've ever played sports or gone to the gym, gosh, all that sweat that someone else might have gotten on you or left on the sports equipment or in the locker room! We should just dispense with all sports immediately AND close down all the gyms!
  11. by   Spidey's mom
    Quote from hypnotic_nurse
    In that case, so are tears, and sweat, and spit and airborne sneeze particles...I just don't understand why we let any people out in public AT ALL.

    Maybe we should just stay home unless we leave in biohazard suits because, gee, we might get some body fluid from someone else on us!!!

    Having breastfed myself, I can tell you that the only place the milk went was into the baby's mouth or onto my breast pads. Anyone sitting right next to me would not have been in any danger of having any "unhygienic breast milk" spilled on them.

    You're much more likely to have your food sneezed in by the waiter, the cook, or the people you're eating with than to actually touch a particle of breastmilk from a nursing mother.

    Plus there's the whole handwashing thing...I'm certain you've been exposed to far, far more urine (or worse) from unwashed hands while eating out than you have ever been exposed to some stranger's breast milk.

    And if you've ever played sports or gone to the gym, gosh, all that sweat that someone else might have gotten on you or left on the sports equipment or in the locker room! We should just dispense with all sports immediately AND close down all the gyms!



    steph
  12. by   mercyteapot
    Quote from hypnotic_nurse
    In that case, so are tears, and sweat, and spit and airborne sneeze particles...I just don't understand why we let any people out in public AT ALL.

    Maybe we should just stay home unless we leave in biohazard suits because, gee, we might get some body fluid from someone else on us!!!

    Having breastfed myself, I can tell you that the only place the milk went was into the baby's mouth or onto my breast pads. Anyone sitting right next to me would not have been in any danger of having any "unhygienic breast milk" spilled on them.

    You're much more likely to have your food sneezed in by the waiter, the cook, or the people you're eating with than to actually touch a particle of breastmilk from a nursing mother.

    Plus there's the whole handwashing thing...I'm certain you've been exposed to far, far more urine (or worse) from unwashed hands while eating out than you have ever been exposed to some stranger's breast milk.

    And if you've ever played sports or gone to the gym, gosh, all that sweat that someone else might have gotten on you or left on the sports equipment or in the locker room! We should just dispense with all sports immediately AND close down all the gyms!
    Exactly. Even biohazards can only cause damage if you're actually exposed to them.
  13. by   Q.
    Quote from mercyteapot
    And to say "I don't understand" your analogy was actually a polite way of saying I consider it invalid.
    Then we have more in common than we thought. Once again, MY point is that the breastfeeding -is -natural -therefore -it -should -be- acceptable -by- ALL -people is an invalid argument.

    Something being natural does not equal automatically being acceptable.

close