Public Breastfeeding - page 7

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   ParrotHeadRN
    I just want to quickly say that 14 years ago, when I was breastfeeding my son, I thought I was discreet. I didn't use a blanket, but I didn't have my breasts hanging out for all to see. Or so I thought until one day my (now ex) husband told me that everyone in our town had seen my breasts! LMAO.
  2. by   FutureAustinNurse
    Quote from ParrotHeadRN
    I just want to quickly say that 14 years ago, when I was breastfeeding my son, I thought I was discreet. I didn't use a blanket, but I didn't have my breasts hanging out for all to see. Or so I thought until one day my (now ex) husband told me that everyone in our town had seen my breasts! LMAO.
    That's AWESOME!!! How great that you could nurse your son w/o someone having issues!! I've never had anyone have an issue with me except for an "old-school" relative, but did that stop me from nursing at my grandparents house - no way! And now she couldn't give a rat's booty if I feed anywhere near her because she's used to it. Bravo to you & your town!
  3. by   MarySunshine
    Quote from SunStreak
    Yes breastfeeding is natural but here in the USA breasts are a sexual object, like it or not and some people do not feel comfortable with exposed breasts.
    And this is where my big, fat "I don't care" comes in. Their discomfort is not my problem. I am a concerned person, I'm a nurse after all. I work hard to be tolerant and not offend anyone. If my children were being loud, or hitting people or anything disruptive or offensive like that I would be embarassed and would promptly fix the situation. I would not stay in a public place with a screaming child for any long period of time -- I'm considerate, after all. But if I am breastfeeding my child and they move their little head and someone catches a glimpse of nipple, and they are offended then I. DON'T. CARE. At some point, you must make the best decision you can for you and yours. You cannot please everyone. There are plenty of things that I find aesthetically unappealing and I don't try to get them banned. My concern is that woman are hearing from folks who think it's "gross" and that is stopping them from breastfeeding. This breastfeeding phobia is nothing short of a public health hazard.
  4. by   nurse4theplanet
    Quote from MarySunshine
    And this is where my big, fat "I don't care" comes in. Their discomfort is not my problem. I am a concerned person, I'm a nurse after all. I work hard to be tolerant and not offend anyone. If my children were being loud, or hitting people or anything disruptive or offensive like that I would be embarassed and would promptly fix the situation. I would not stay in a public place with a screaming child for any long period of time -- I'm considerate, after all. But if I am breastfeeding my child and they move their little head and someone catches a glimpse of nipple, and they are offended then I. DON'T. CARE. At some point, you must make the best decision you can for you and yours. You cannot please everyone. There are plenty of things that I find aesthetically unappealing and I don't try to get them banned. My concern is that woman are hearing from folks who think it's "gross" and that is stopping them from breastfeeding. This breastfeeding phobia is nothing short of a public health hazard.
    AMEN! No matter what you do, who you are, or how you do it....there is always going to be some jerkwad somewhere that has a problem with it, beit breastfeeding or anything else. Can't please everyone. Child has to eat whether or not it offends some uptight person who can't separate the breast as being both a functional object and a sexual object.

    Try and cover up just out of respect for those who we acknowlege as being uncomfortable or having wandering eyes, but if something pops out and someone is staring enough to catch that little glimpse, well big deal. You saw a strangers nipple/cleavage. I am sure you are not ruined for life......if you suspect you are go see a psychiatrist.

    And for those moms who rant that they are NOT going to be discreet blah, blah, blah.......that is just about as narrowminded as someone saying you should not be allowed to breast feed in public.

    Middle ground is what I seek. Gotta give a little from both sides.
  5. by   MarySunshine
    Deleted because I read the read of Q's posts and I think that she agrees with me, but is making too big a deal out of the .01% of breastfeeding women who are inappropriate in their exposure.
    Last edit by MarySunshine on Dec 16, '05
  6. by   Cute_CNA
    Quote from OB_or_NICU_hopeful
    "If anyone thinks I'm closeminded, frankly, I don't care. I have a right to my opinion."

    And fortunately mothers can nurse their babies in public, regardless of your opinion.
    Unfortunately, or yours.
  7. by   myra01
    I breastfeed my daughter for 10 months. I was always unsuccessful with feeding her in public. I don't know if it was the blanket covering her or if it was the inability to get into a comfortable position. I fully support women who chose to feed in public, just don't do it in an eating environment.
  8. by   Cute_CNA
    Quote from CuriousMe
    I'm not a mother, not a nurse....just a bystander. I have no problems with mothers discretely breastfeeding in public places...but that's the kicker isn't it...everyone seems to have a different opinion on "discretely". I know breastfeeding is a "natural" activity....but there are lots of "natural" activities that I don't want to witness while I'm eating in a restaurant.

    My sister has just had her second child....she borders on militant on her right to breastfeed (right being a very big word). I just think that with everyone so defensive on their rights (her right to breastfeed, a passerby's right not to have to explain it to their young children) it's hard to meet in the middle with so many folks.

    I guess I just wish that both sides could consider both perspectives a bit more and be sensitive that whether you think it should be or not...this is a cultural change here in the states. I don't remember seeing women breastfeeding in public while I was growing up......where as now it's a somewhat common site. It takes time and consideration for changes....and I just wish we were kinder with each other during the growing pains.

    Take the whole blow up with Barbara Walters on the View....all she did was say she was uncomfortable when a woman sitting next to her on an airplane started breastfeeding.....she didn't say anything to the woman at the time and said that that she had the right to breastfeed....but just mentioned she was uncomfortable at the time.....the next day there were protesters for crying out loud....the show had to make a public apology. Since when did someone admitting that they were feeling uncomfortable become a problem for all of us....talk about intolerant, can't we give each other a little growing room?

    My .02

    Peace,
    Cathie

    Good point. Perhaps both sides need to look at the opposing viewpoint, respectively.

    Edit: my concern about just covering up the baby with a blanket is: what if the blanket falls off and/or you need to bend over? Then everything hangs out!
    Last edit by Cute_CNA on Dec 16, '05
  9. by   nurse4theplanet
    Quote from myra01
    I fully support women who chose to feed in public, just don't do it in an eating environment.
    I don't understand this at all. I am glad you support breastfeeding in public but to put a limitation on which 'public area' is acceptable......well, it just does not make sense to me.

    "Don't FEED your child in a resturaunt!" Seems quite ironic to me to say the least. I am sure as a mom, you recognized early on that everytime you sit down to eat the baby gets hungry too. I am sure the smell of food aggrivates the issue. So......make your baby wait and scream and cry.......or go off to the dirty bathroom, cold (hot) car, etc.........or just don't go to resturaunts period? Which of these do you propose?

    Is it because you think you will make others lose their appetite? *Sigh*......I am through with this conversation. I think we have thoroughly :deadhorse
  10. by   Spidey's mom
    Quote from MarySunshine
    Wow, asoldierswife. That's awful. I'm glad I didn't see that one.

    Not only does that fact that it's legal in all 50 states give her the right (http://www.ncsl.org/ programs/health/breast50.htm), but so does the responsibility of being the best mother she is able to be in her situation. If you don't like it, don't look.

    I agree that it's best to be discreet though, too. But wouldn't it be nice if your brother DID see it as a natural thing... Like, "oh, that's what mothers do"....rather than flashbacks to the soft-core porn we see on TV everyday? I dream that boys can be raised in that way...to still appreciate breasts sexually in that appropriate context, but to be able to understand them in the motherly, nurturing context as well. I know that viewpoint is hard to find in this neck of the woods...

    I had a child when I was 43 and my boys were 15 and 17 and I "discreetly" breastfed their little brother in front of them all the time. I breastfed in church. I breastfed in restaurants. I breastfed at a breastfeeding conference table. Heck, I breastfed my son until he was 3 1/2 . .. .

    I seriously doubt seeing their mom breastfed their little brother did them any harm and hopefully will help them be great husbands to their future wives and support breastfeeding.

    If we really want to talk about what is hurting teenage boys, lets talk about how easy it is to access internet porn. :angryfire

    There is a trial going on in my community where a 17 year old raped and murdered a young woman. Part of what the prosecuters are bringing up is his interest in internet sites containing images of violent sex, bound women and grisly photographs of seminude and scantily clad women said to be murder victims. It is just a click away folks.

    Seeing a breastfeeding mom is hardly gonna warp ANYONE.

    steph
  11. by   Spidey's mom
    Quote from OB_or_NICU_hopeful
    Q. ~ It's a simple fact that breasts produce milk to feed humans. If a woman chooses to utilize that God given ability, why should she be concerned about who sees it? Your kids should know that babies are fed by their mom's breasts or by formula & bottles.

    I mean honestly, I've seen many nursing mothers and I rarely see any part of her boob. Where do you all find these women that are flinging their boobs & milk around
    The only place I've seen this is at a midwive's convention . . . .

    I agree - seeing a woman breastfeeding would be a great time to talk to your kids about how babies eat.

    That is not the same as being forced to watch Janet Jackson though. With or without her breast hanging out.

    steph
  12. by   MarySunshine
    It's not unsanitary to breastfeed near other eating people. The baby needs to eat, too!
  13. by   Spidey's mom
    Quote from Cute_CNA
    Good point. Perhaps both sides need to look at the opposing viewpoint, respectively.

    Edit: my concern about just covering up the baby with a blanket is: what if the blanket falls off and/or you need to bend over? Then everything hangs out!
    Well, not everything. Just the one breast that the baby was nursing . . . . . .

    We haven't had one of these threads in a long time . . . maybe people didn't read the sticky about it.

    steph

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