Breastfeeding in public?

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-26-2010
Breastfeeding in public?
20
Thu, 11-03-2011 - 4:11pm
Just saw a news article that made me wonder what everyone's opinion is on this topic... Hopefully I don't start a mean debate! :-/
Personally, I will not be doing it. I will pump and bring a bottle. But for me, breastfeeding is a bodily function- liquid is coming out of me. If I need to pee I'm not going to be doing it in the corner of the Nordstrom's shoe department! lol Do I care if other women do it? Not really, as long as it isn't full on, pull-your-shirt-down nursing. I don't even particularly want my own hubby to see me feeding my little guy (a fact that upsets him, but, well, it makes me uncomfortable, what can I say...), much less some stranger. But that is MY opinion, and I'm not one of those people who will bash someone else for not agreeing. So, I ask... What is everyone else's opinion on this?

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-02-2003
Sat, 11-05-2011 - 11:09am
With my two boys I nursed in public....always with a blanket or I was covered up so no one saw my boobs. But I am very shy about my boobs but I want to make sure my kids are fed. Discretion is the key...as long as you aren't forcing others to watch you whip out your boob then I see no problem feeding your kid in public.


iVillage Member
Registered: 11-05-2004
Sat, 11-05-2011 - 1:02am
Meow_Mamma wrote:
I agree with you. Breasts are definitely used to sell stuff and obviously in a sexual manner. Every time I walk past a Victoria Secret I'm always amazed that people don't get all up in arms about the ads with GIANT BREASTS in the window, but some people get so upset with breastfeeding (covered up or not). We do need to start seeing breasts in a more natural and healthy light.

OH HOW I COULDN'T AGREE MORE!!! In fact, I find this so much more disrespectful for children to see, plus I myself would rather not see it. I would MUCH RATHER have my children seeing a mother breastfeeding than them seeing these HUGE BOOBS posted in a window to sell these bras that I also have no interest in my boys/children seeing. Irritates me to no end. I'm definitely with you and think its pretty sad that we can walk past those types of things and not think anything of it at all, yet we walk past a breastfeeding mother and instantly think its nasty and needs to be covered up and/or shoved in a corner/bathroom stall. I have already started teaching my kids that breasts are put on our bodies to feed our babies (because they will be seeing a lot of it here very soon), they actually then start talking about when they were babies and asking questions about me nursing them.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 07-07-2006
Fri, 11-04-2011 - 11:39pm
I will feed my baby wherever she gets hungry. I do try and be discreet and it gets much easier with practice.
Jill, mommy to Chloe, almost 5, Oliver, 3 & baby Ella born 12-1-11 !
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2011
Fri, 11-04-2011 - 4:55pm
I agree with you. Breasts are definitely used to sell stuff and obviously in a sexual manner. Every time I walk past a Victoria Secret I'm always amazed that people don't get all up in arms about the ads with GIANT BREASTS in the window, but some people get so upset with breastfeeding (covered up or not). We do need to start seeing breasts in a more natural and healthy light.
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-05-2005
Fri, 11-04-2011 - 3:29pm
I think it really is a personal decision. As a new mom I had a very difficult time bf my daughter in public and would often go into the bathroom to hide. A couple of reasons for that 1) we were still working on a good latch and often times once my milk let down she would start choking and i would start spraying everywhere. Not exactly conducive to being discreet. 2) I was young and quite frankly still embarassed about certain areas of being a mom. With my son, I had absolutely no problem nursing him in public. I bought some great nursing bras and tops and he was a champion nurser. I would often throw a receiving blanket over us just to give myself a little extra coverage, but never had to worry about showing anything. I learned to nurse him while chasing after a toddler and that kid would continue to feed no matter how fast I had to run after his sister. With this one I will still bf in public, but whether I do it in the bathroom versus a quite corner somewhere all depends on how well my body and the baby cooperate with discrete nursing.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 09-20-2002
Fri, 11-04-2011 - 12:17pm
I completely understand so many women would be uncomfortable with the process. And totally, at first, it's quite awkward and you probably will feel more at ease in a quiet, private area. Certainly as you get more comfortable with nursing and baby can quickly latch, it will be easier to nurse in more public atmosphere and the baby & you won't be so distracted.
With my first I usually would sit in the chair in his nursery to feed him and could relax there. As we got more comfortable with the process, I was able to nurse in the living room while watching TV with the rest of the family (I always used a cover up because my stepson, husband, dad & mom would be there too).
However, there will be times when you are out and about and your child needs to eat. I don't see the point in inconveniencing yourself and making your child upset by not nursing on demand (and I'm not talking about an 8 month old here who might just be supplementing at that point, I'm talking about little ones that require only milk and need to eat more often & on demand). There will be times when your car/quiet place to sit/etc just isn't available and you'll have to make do with the spot you do have. I do remember having to nurse my son in a restaurant (with a cover up) because that was all there was (and I wasn't going to stand up or sit in the toilet stall in the busy bathroom with him!) .
I agree that there are modest ways of nursing in public, for sure I always make sure I'm well covered and that I'm not exposing myself. I don't want to embarrass myself or anyone else around me...It's natural for people around you to look when they realize what you are doing, it's probably not every day that they witness such a personal act, but that doesn't make it weird or a bad thing. I don't like seeing a woman's full breast with baby attached in public either, I agree that is rather startling and inappropriate (I think that's more a "statement" she's making than anything else), as there are certainly discreet ways of doing it.
However, I don't think anyone should feel they are intruding if they have to nurse their baby. Babies can't wait if they are hungry and if he's crying, I intend to feed him right away!
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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-10-2009
Fri, 11-04-2011 - 10:03am

I'm honestly dreading having to BF in public. I have major anxeity issues, even when my sister would BF in public with a cover on I could feel myself turn red and felt like every eye in the store was on us. I really don't have a problem with women doing it. But I think I'll end up in the bathroom or car to do it or like some others have said, pump and bring a bottle.

Lilypie First Birthday tickers
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-09-1999
Fri, 11-04-2011 - 10:00am
Meow_Mamma wrote:
I'm pretty much right here with Sarah! I plan to feed my little guy whenever and wherever he's hungry, but I'll either be wearing a nursing shirt or some other type of cover. I don't feel like everyone needs to see my breasts so I won't just be whipping them out in public, but I do agree that society does need to quit sexualizing breasts so much when it comes to breastfeeding.

I don't think you can have it both ways. You can't say don't look at my boobies while I'm nursing but check out my girls when I'm prancing around in my skank top. Breastfeeding is a natural process and no one should be told to go to a disgusting public restroom to feed their child. However, we do not live in a society where breasts are not sexual objects. Maybe if we stop using sex to sell everything on the planet, we can get back to seeing breasts in a more natural & healthy light. As for me, if I'm lucky enough to nurse this time,

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2011
Fri, 11-04-2011 - 9:37am
I'm pretty much right here with Sarah! I plan to feed my little guy whenever and wherever he's hungry, but I'll either be wearing a nursing shirt or some other type of cover. I don't feel like everyone needs to see my breasts so I won't just be whipping them out in public, but I do agree that society does need to quit sexualizing breasts so much when it comes to breastfeeding.
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-26-2010
Fri, 11-04-2011 - 12:18am
I agree with the Disney story... If it's adults around, fine, just don't look. While it isn't for me, I'd never ask a woman not to do it, especially when they are considerate enough to use a blanket/nursing cover. But, that being said, just popping a boob out when other kids are around.... Not okay with that one... It's so nice to see so many moderate moms around. I've been getting a bit nervous meeting so many women who are all "pop it out! Force the public to be ok with it"!

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