Case for Nursing in Public

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-22-2006
Case for Nursing in Public
10
Wed, 09-08-2010 - 2:25pm

One of my blogging friends is doing a series of posts on nursing in public. Here is the first one:

http://www.rebeccastanek.com/2010/09/the-case-for-nursing-in-public-prologue/

Just wanted to share!








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iVillage Member
Registered: 12-17-2007
Thu, 09-09-2010 - 11:31am

I always start reading this stuff and have the issue that I fundamentally disagree with people that think exposed breasts are "wrong", BFing or not. It's crazy to think that in part of the world women go topless on family beaches, and yet here people act like if someone (especially, a *child*, omg!) were to see a breast they'd be psychologically scarred. Why kind of messed up society have we developed that people react to breasts this way?

Meanwhile, I'm always amazed by how no kid under the age of about 8 has even really noticed that I'm breastfeeding, and I don't just through any hoops to "cover up". Ugh, I really shouldn't read any more of those links lest steam start coming out my ears while I'm sitting here at work.

~Lorien









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~Lorien





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iVillage Member
Registered: 11-01-2005
Thu, 09-09-2010 - 12:06pm

I enjoy reading her entries...simple, to the point and all true. I agree with Lorien...it makes my blood boil just reading some of the ignorant comments.

I have huge nursing bb's and I take every measure to feed Maxim discreetly but without a cover. For me, covers equal something shameful is going on underneath and feeding my baby isnt shameful. I also own two Udder Covers I got for free and rarely use them but I have used them. If I use a cover, its for my OWN comfort, not for the comfort of other grown adults. Let me add that if a mother chooses to use a cover for herself, then by all means go for it. For the most part, I use my clothes and arm as a means to nurse discreetly.

Further, I have nursed in front of the small children in my family (age 14 and under all the way to age 3) and not one of them has been weirded out by it at all...in fact, they have asked questions, tons of questions or even sit next to me and watch Maxim eat. One of my little cousins who is 8 had seen pictures of her nursing when she was a baby and said "that's weird." She even thinks that other animals nursing is "weird." But she couldnt help but be slightly fascinated when I fed Maxim...in fact, my aunt called me later and apparently my cousin said on the way home that "Ruby is pretty high tech" "Why dear?" "Well...she breast fed Maxim twice in 3 hours Mom! She's really high tech." LOL!

If grown adults would think breast feeding is normal and natural, and not get their shorts in a wad over breast feeding in front of their kids, then their children wouldnt even think twice about it and some might even think its pretty neat.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-22-2006
Thu, 09-09-2010 - 12:37pm

Yeah, it's pretty unbelievable to me that breast feeding your child can cause SUCH controversy. Reading the comments on those news stories just makes my blood boil - and the fact that a lot of the comments are from women, and even nursing mothers, makes it even worse.

It's a sad world we live in when a mother can't even feed her baby without wondering if anyone will freak out at her, tell her to cover up or leave, or even just make her feel uncomfortable by staring, etc..








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iVillage Member
Registered: 12-17-2007
Thu, 09-09-2010 - 1:31pm
More like "live in a country" not world :) According to Ash it sounds like Germany doesn't have issues like this, and I'm sure there are other countries. Not that there aren't plenty of others where a woman can't expose an ankle, nevermind a breast. But, better isn't good.
~Lorien









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iVillage Member
Registered: 08-04-2003
Thu, 09-09-2010 - 2:20pm

Thanks for the article.

I BFed DS in public years ago... malls, restaurants, the park and never once was I asked to cover up, leave, etc. I hope I have the same experience this time around.

If you are wondering what the laws are in your state you can check here:
http://www.ncsl.org/default.aspx?tabid=14389

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iVillage Member
Registered: 12-23-2003
Thu, 09-09-2010 - 5:26pm

Argh had a long post just get eaten.

Everyone nurses in public here, nursing covers aren't sold, although I have seen 2 people use a cloth, and really absolutely no one cares here. It is just SO normal and I wish it was like that in the States.

I was just recently out with some mom friends and we stopped at a cafe, at one point 4 out the 5 of us were nursing,all without covers, and I would bet big money that not one even considered for a second what other people would think, or if they would bother someone, because everyone nurses here and feeding your baby is seen as a normal healthy thing.

This topic also gets me riled up so I try and stay away from the mainstream news sites.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 02-27-2008
Thu, 09-09-2010 - 11:08pm

Oooh boy, this topic makes my blood boil!!! You girls have summed it up and I totally agree with each and every one of you. Why -OH WHY- is this such an issue??? We've created this "culture" (though I sometimes wonder WHERE the culture IS in this country when things like this hit the media...), and it's completely asinine the way the general population reacts to things like NIP. This is honestly partly why (as Lorien was just talking about in the baby thread below) I don't want to wean Eliza at a year (or ever, haha). I want to continue to NIP and help show/garner support for BFing in this country.

I've never taken any measures to cover up when I nurse, though Eliza's head is so big now she acts as my cover, LOL. I've nursed her everywhere - über fancy restaurants, diners, park benches, buses, boats, planes... I have never gotten a negative comment, and actually, a woman came up to me once and thanked me for breastfeeding because it's good for public health! So, that was a little glimmer of hope, maybe we're coming around slowly??







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iVillage Member
Registered: 08-04-2003
Fri, 09-10-2010 - 8:08am

The whole "nursing cover" thing I just don't get. IMO these are just another thing the baby industry has fabricated to get expectant parents to spend money on.

When I had DS I had never seen such a thing (my how times have changed).

DH asked if I was going to get one, and I was like "really", he was like they look nice. My response... nursing in public doesn't call attention, what calls attention is draping a big bright cloth over yourself and your baby. Now that screams NIP. Thankfully he sees my point.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-11-2010
Fri, 09-10-2010 - 12:54pm

Thanks for posting this, Alyssa. It is certainly ridiculous that mothers are treated this way (and I didn't even read the comments, which is probably a good thing).

NIP and especially around my huge extended family is something I am really excited about. I have 12 younger girl cousins and it is very important to me that I do my part to impart to THEM the normalcy and naturalness of BFing by making it a consistent part of our family gatherings. ;-)

I totally agree with you, Ruby--I think kids accept and are interested by the body's ability to produce food, and adults should learn something from them about the right approach toward BFing.

I am lucky in that most of the "public" places we go are very BFing friendly, but I'm looking forward to doing my part by BFing in public as much as possible. Hopefully someday our country catches up to Germany and other countries attitudes about health.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 08-24-2005
Fri, 09-10-2010 - 9:32pm

Yes Lorien, you are right. Here in Argentina everyone BF in public, and no one cares much about it.
Personally, I've gone through a change of mind about this.I remember before I was a mom I thought it was a tad weird when I cought a glimpse of someone's nipples while BF, Now that I've been nursing for some months I've learned that it's not so easy, and that babies get distracted and unlatch and leave you uncovered without warning!!! I also discovered that nursing covers were horrible, suffocating and plain uncomfortable. So I've had to eat my own words!!!!
In any case I just try to rearrange my clothes so that I don't make a show, and if anyone sees something, it's their own problem.

I have an anecdote about it. It was shortly after Fede was born, and I was nursing him at the family table. My two BIL were there, so I asked if they were OK or wanted me to leave. They said it was cool, and my dad said something like this: "in this day and age, were you see women practically naked on TV every day, you should never feel ashamed of showing some skin for the sake of feeding you baby"

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