I never really thought I’d join the debate over breastfeeding in public, but there was a short but interesting twitter exchange amongst some South Florida sports media personalities regarding this very subject. Wait, breastfeeding…huh?! Yep, Joy Taylor of The Zaslow and Taylor morning show on 790 the Ticket tweeted this:
I was surprised at Roy’s sympathy and compassion for nursing mamas, especially considering he’s not a father…yet. But it got me thinking, why does it bother me to see a woman openly nursing in public?
Let me preface by saying that I always used a nursing cover. I would breastfeed in public, at the mall, and even in restaurants. And I always noticed the double takes and even dirty looks, from mostly men, and sympathetic smiles from the women who were clearly moms…again covered. Sometimes children would curiously look, and guys would nudge each other. I would imagine Beavis & Butthead “hee hee…look, boobs under there!” You see, these are the people I specifically covered up from…I mean how could anyone look at breastfeeding, the most natural and nurturing thing in the world other than what it is? A way to feed our hungry babies and give them the most healthy, brain boosting food possible.
Katy Widrick says
Whoa, girl — good subject!
I’m with you. To each her own. Frankly, until I had a baby of my own I didn’t really understand the actual logistics of breastfeeding, or the crazy phenomenon of babies needing to eat “NOWNOWNOWNOWNOW” when they are teeny tiny. 🙂 As a pretty passionate nursing mom, I never felt compelled to whip my shirt off, Brandi Chastain-style, and run around with my boobs in people’s face shouting about my right to nurse (even though I had that right) but it was because of privacy, not because I was worried about other people’s reactions.
Boobs to me, as a still-nursing mom, are tools…a means to an end. So when I need to nurse, I do. The privacy factor is more about having quiet time with my girl, and cutting out the distractions, than trying to hide myself. Nursing covers never worked for me — I found that trying to keep it over a wiggly little baby who got sweaty and fussy under it was MUCH more noticeable than a subtle sweater shift and a quick latch.
And what really amazed me is the support I got from men, women and even business people. I never once got a nasty comment (some looks, but I can live with that) and on the flip side, I had several people smile or even ask me about my baby and breastfeeding while she was actually nursing.
Kristen Hewitt says
That’s great that you received so much support! And yes…I am now recalling lots of under the sweater quick feedings during the crying frenzy. BTW…so happy you know who Brandi Chastain is…someone at work yesterday asked me who she is…sigh. Thanks for reading and sharing your input!
Crystal Bissonnette says
I nursed my first son for 18 months and I am still nursing my 21 month old. The first time around I was considerate of where I was and who I was around in the beginning. I was always sure to cover up or leave the room. But as I continued to nurse I felt strongly about what I was doing for my child and cared less about what others thought. When child number two came I hardly covered up(only around my father, I thought I should spare him the sight of my breasts).
I think the same thing happened to me! But with #2 I always covered up around my father in law…
Nicole Johnson says
I agree. I think the choice should rest with the mother. I don’t understand why it makes people so uncomfortable…and yes, some guys do act like Beavis and Butthead.
This was a great article, I read the one you post on Facebook today and it really made me mad, it was filled with hypocritical sentences that made no sense, how you can fully support breastfeeding BUT, if you fully support something there is no room for BUTs.
As you said each mother will do what’s best for her, while you felt comfortable nursing with a cover most times, my kids and I never really liked covers. While I am not the type to just pull down my shirt and nurse my baby, I do try to layer my clothes so that once the baby is latched nothing is showing, in fact when I nurse most times you can’t tell and I show less skin then a girl wearing a bathing suit at the beach.
So, I guess I don’t understand the issue either way. I realize there are people out there who find it sexual or gross but that is THEIR thoughts my thinking is why should I put myself and my baby out of our comfort zone in order to please and accommodate someone who I don’t even know?
I think breastfeeding in general is a topic that is debated with no real need to be. I mean who cares, a women nurses her child or formula feeds that baby is still getting fed and the mother is doing the best she can, same with a mother who nurses in public and a mother who won’t nurse in public as well as the cover issue it all boils down to preference, and not to be disrespectful or rude but stranger’s comfort is not my problem when it comes down to feeding my baby or not, all that matters is my baby.
In the end we are all parenting the way we think is best for our family and that’s the important thing, we need to just accept this, we will NEVER be 100% comfortable in life there will ALWAYS be something that makes us feel uncomfortable, that’s life.
I agree…who cares? But unfortunately so SO many people DO care. They feel like they need to tell others what to do. We could all learn alot if we changed our reactions to others! I am happy to meet you and thanks for sharing your view point.
I am one whose kids never allowed a cover, they would rip it off, usually exposing more boob by their fussing and ripping then the original latch would have created. I wear nursing clothes and try to be discreet, but I haven’t even bothered bringing a cover with me second time around. If my son is hungry, I feed him, that’s that. No one sees my boob, or top boob, or tummy as everything else is covered. I have never had any problems at all either.