6 May 2012

Breastfeeding in Public - What's the Big Deal?

Why is breastfeeding in public such a hot-button topic? Why do we even bat an eye when a mother does what is biologically normal? If others can eat in public, why not a baby?

These were my thoughts this morning when I read the "Manners Up" article in this week's Parade. A teacher had written that one of the mothers also had a one-year-old whom she brought to school events, and breastfed without a cover. Evidently some parents had asked the teacher to say something to this other mother. While the answer given focuses on the breastfeeding mother, I think the real question should be why the other parents and the teacher even think it is a problem to breastfeed in public, with or without a cover. Surely it says a lot about our society when we freak out about breasts being used for their intended purpose instead of put on display and used to sell whatever random products are being advertised.

It is sad, really, that there even is a discussion on e appropriateness of breastfeeding in public. A baby needs to be fed on demand, whatever the mode of feeding. If it is appropriate to bottle-feed in public to meet the child's needs, then it should also be appropriate to breastfeed in public as the child needs. I don't know how to make it so that people don't even bat an eye when they see a mum breastfeeding. I do thing the attitude is slowly changing thanks to laws ensuring women have the right to breastfeed in public, and thanks to the somewhat increasing number of mums who are breastfeeding in public, but there's obviously a long way to go since questions like this still arise.


  1. Ug. I wish breast feeding wasnt an issue either. Im really just waiting for the day when I have a run in with someone about breastfeeding. I do it whenever I want with no cover (but still very modestly in my opinion if that even matters). I do live in a liberal area so breastfeeding isn't like some shocking thing. Or maybe I'm niaeve but i still haven't had anyone say anything.

    1. I never had negative comments in Liverpool (or anywhere in England). I have only received negative comments, thus far, in the US. :-(

  2. Sorry to hear about that. I think that is ridiculous. I don't understand what the big deal is. Even if they don't like it it's not their business anyway.

  3. My comment wasn't worded quite right. The US is the only place I've received negative comments, but I've not had only negative comments in the US.