Monday, September 07, 2009

What are your opinions on public nursing (breastfeeding)?

I ran into a Facebook comment a week or so ago wherein a family member mentioned that she'd seen a woman at the mall walking around with a 2-year-old "hanging off her chest". She went on to say that she made a point of passing the woman again just to be sure that she'd seen what she thought she saw.

Seems that she and her friends believe that there's a point where women should stop nursing for no other reason than that she doesn't want to see it in public OR she and her friends felt that if you must breastfeed after the child is walking and asking for milk you do it in the privacy of your home.

I totally disagreed, and expressed my support for breastfeeding until mom and baby decide to stop. They said they supported breastfeeding, as well, but just not as long as some moms and babies did it.

I heard words like "discrete" thrown around. My experience with nursing my three was that people who approved of breastfeeding always thought I was discrete and those who didn't said things like, "She just whipped it out." Heh. I ALWAYS thought I was discrete, so it's pretty obvious that discrete has different meanings for different people.

Lots of pregnancy/childbirth talk in the blogosphere lately. My oldest daughter's expecting and a few bloggers are, as well. I'm really trying not to influence my daughter in the childbirth/breastfeeding departments BOTH because I understand that my opinions may not be currently mainstream AND because I think she should decide what she wants to do without my influence. I'll support her in whatever she decides to do, even if I have to grit my teeth while doing it.

What are your thoughts on childbirth/breastfeeding?


Diane said...

As you already know, I'm one of the wacky child-led weaning broads. I'm also terribly shy. When out & about with any age nurser, I try to find a secluded place, such as walking back out to the van or finding a (clean!) restroom stall because I'm just not a people person. I'm nervous as heck around people so I have trouble relaxing enough to nurse. BUT, if it comes down to it, if there are no other alternatives, I will (and have) whip it out on national TV and deal with it. Of course, whipping it out is usually not necessary and, even then, I have a blanket or sling to cover with.

As far as others, I have no problem whatsoever with anyone nursing however/wherever they want. I've not yet seen any nursing mother use it as an excuse for exhibitionism. If I do see someone nursing in public, I try to make a point of making eye contact and giving her a reassuring, friendly, BTDT, approving smile. There are too many finger-wagging jerks out there so I'm just trying to even up the score & show support for the home team.

Ann said...

I think nursing a child is something that should be done in the privacy or ones home. I for one do not want to see a mother nursing her baby at the mall. Malls are not the place for mother and child bonding.

Just saying/

Farmer's Daughter said...

My mom is a huge proponent of nursing. She nursed me til 2, brother til 3 and youngest brother til 4. As the oldest, I always saw nursing going on so it seems very normal to me. Not to mention all the animals on the farm nursed.

When I have my baby I plan to breastfeed. It will be a bit of an adjustment, going from being a pretty modest person to, as you put it, whipping my boob out. However, I'm sure at that point my main concern will be the baby and not what strangers think.