Breast Feeding in Public

Well, isn’t this a hot buttons topic! What I want to know is why? What, honestly, is the big deal about breast feeding in public? I near so many stories about women who are called sluts, called out for being inappropriate or having no shame, and I don’t understand that at all. Maybe it has something to do with where I live, but I’ve had nothing but positive comments about feeding my son wherever we happen to be when he’s hungry.

For example, my mum and I stopped to have a bite to eat at a very busy restaurant in Spruce Grove after going to a swap meet a few weeks back. Finn was starving by the time we got there, and he didn’t want to wait to start eating until we were seated, so I let him eat in the writing area and carried him, still attached to the boob, to the table. No one said a thing to me or looked at me cross wise.

On the contrary, there was a family seated next to us who kept looking over and remarking on how cute he is. The grandma of the group came over to us before they left and said, “Two things: first, I’m sorry if we were making you uncomfortable by staring, but your son is just so adorable!” Naturally I said I wasn’t making me uncomfortable at all. Then she said, “Second, we are so impressed that you’re nursing in public and acting like it’s no big deal. Good for you!”

After hearing all the horror stories from others about how they get shit for breast feeding in public! I was honestly expecting the worst. This was so nice to hear, and just reaffirmed my decision to feed him when he’s hungry.

It also made me wonder what all these other “feeders”, for lack of a better term, are doing to incur the wrath of the surrounding public? I think no one has cared about what I’m doing because I just go about my business like it’s no big deal, because it isn’t. I’m not one of those militant feeders who feels the need to make a declaration of some sort every time I feed my kid somewhere that isn’t home.

Shawn and I went out for a meal with relatives who had a young, at the time, baby. She needed to feed him and felt the need to say, quite loudly, “I hope on one minds that I’m just whipping my boob out, but he hates the cover and I refuse to use it!” That’s great. I’m glad you’re feeding your son, and no, I don’t care that you “whipped your boob out”, but I honestly wouldn’t have even noticed if she hadn’t feel the need to say something.

I don’t think most people care as long as you don’t get all in their facades with it. In the case mentioned above, she spoke up way more loudly than was needed for just our table of four. We were in a booth, and no one would have known what was going on if she hadn’t felt the need to yell about it. Do women like this look for confrontation about what they’re doing? That’s the only reason I can think of for going on about it.

I’m sure there are people out there who are not particularly fond of public feeding, but don’t give them an excuse to call you out. I don’t use a cover because Finn gets fussy when I do, but I try to be as discreet as I can. Yes, he need to eat, but the whole world doesn’t need to be aware that he’s eating.

Another thing I found odd happened later that same day in the mothers room at a local mall. It must have been baby eating o’clock, because the place was packed. It was great seeing so many other moms breast feeding, but I was the only one not using a cover. Keep in mind, this is a room designed for breast feeding and changing, and the only people in the room were other breast feeding moms and their kids. We’d all doing the same thing… Why cover it up?

I’m not saying they were wrong to do so, I just didn’t get it. I’ve never been a particularly modest person myself, and maybe that helps me to not care if someone decides to look. I just think that ditching the cover in a nursing specific room would make things a lot easier.

In my travels, and I’ll admit I haven’t had as many as some, I haven’t encountered a single negative thing when breast feeding Finn, and the positives have been almost overwhelming. This has led me to believe that the militant feeders, who insist in pushing it in the faces of those around them. Are doing more harm to their cause than good. I treat it like it’s no big deal and have had a lot of success with that approach.

And even though I’m technically a feeder myself, the militant ones drive me just as crazy as they do everyone else. Feed your kid and get on with your day. What you’re doing is great, but there is zero need to yell it from the rooftops.

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