The following comments are from various visitors to www.007b.com. 007 Breasts is not necessarily endorsing everything written in the comments. The comments and opinions below belong to the commenters who made them. The comments are posted here because they might further help and encourage men and women who visit this website; however 007 Breasts is NOT responsible for the comments nor for any loss or damage caused by reading them.
I don't mind if I see somebody breastfeeding, especially if they're between 19-26 as
I'm currently 21. Besides, it's not like they are actually walking around topless,
so I don't see what the fuss is all about here. It's a perfectly normal thing. So is
the dentist in salt lake city but a lot of people don't go to the dentist at all. I don't see how people can think that they can push their views on others and yet how they can't force their views on them, as
if they're superior. It's all so stupid and we should all learn to just get along.
Oh, and I'm all for breastfeeding. No law is against it, and it's not in actuality offensive to anybody so I believe that they have the right to do this.
Breast feeding is natural, but so is peeing and I don't do that in public. I
understand all the benefits a baby gets from breast feeding but can't there be a law
for breastfeeding Mother's to do it discreatly. It does make me uncomfortable..And
some of my family and friends feel the same way..
The reason people feel uncomfortable is because of the sexual connotation breasts have in their minds. This can be overcome... if people start viewing breasts differently, predominantly as "feeding devices", instead of "turn-on" devices.
Comparing breast milk to pee and breastfeeding to urinating is an old "argument" against public breastfeeding, but the two don't really go together. First, urine and feces are smelly & unhygienic. Breast milk, in contrast, does not stink, is sterile, and is actually able to FIGHT disease germs (it has white blood cells in it). It is FOOD! Secondly, peeing and pooing are getting rid of body wastes, whereas breastfeeding is a FEEDING process, and as such is comparable to bottle-feeding a baby, or giving children food (in public).
To be honest, I'm not sure if people will ever come to a consensus on this topic. I
wrote a blog post addressing the debate of breast feeding in public. Please check it
I am a 50-something old grandmother from the West Indies. I breast fed my son until
age 2 1/2 years and did not feel the need to "cover up." The result of that was
that he was a very healthy and happy child, and did not suffer from any of the
childhood maladies. After emigrating to the US, I was talking to a young, expectant
woman on my job about breastfeeding. Her response to my question suggested that I
had offended her: "We don't do that in my family!" Years later, my son's wife gave
birth. I don't know what horrified me more - my co-worker's response to
breastfeeding or the fact that my daughter-in-law did not even consider
breastfeeding any of her two children.
A few years ago, an old friend with his new wife and their new born daughter came to
visit us from out of state. She asked my wife and me if we minded if she nursed her
baby. I told her the only offence that I had was that she had to ask. EVERY child has
the RIGHT to be nursed by a loving mother! The most beautiful thing in the world in
a nursing mother with child.
I have only ever seen that blanket-cover-all in the USA. In Germany, France,
Netherlands, Denmark, Austria and I don't remember where else I have seen mothers
and babies it was clear to see what was going on. Yet nobody did watch. When in the
US I was really curious about the coordination of baby and blanket and clothes and I
imagine my staring could have made my friend uncomfortable. (Now we were still among
women, imagine a man had watched her with the intensity that did I.)
I kept thinking about what this teaches to the baby. That you can only eat in the dark? Pavlov all over! Also I think it is important to look at the baby when nursing. The moms who do portray such joy when they watch.
I remember when I was a child I could distinguish pregnant women from fat women better than some men could. There's a lot of wisdom in your stating how lost men are about women's bodies.
I am in total agreement with your article. Breasts are designed from God to a woman
to feed her child or two children that are created in her womb. My four sisters and
I were breastfed at home and born at home in Germany. It is a beautiful moment of
life to see; depending on the security of the woman of her body. Going without a bra
inside a garment or completely will teach males the natural things of life. It is
normal and NOT sexy or sexual. I hope that enough women stick together to change the
laws of this nation or states.
Wow what a wonderful site. I agree women should openly breastfeed in public. There
are two main points here 1 If all breast feeding women did so in public it would de
sensitise the sexual issue wish I feel is really important as it empowers women,
which I strongly agree with,also if men became de sensitised it would cut down rape
I am sure, if men had to breast feed they would do it in public and I believe if
women ruled the world this would be no problem. 2 Most important of all it is
normal, so ladies just do it. When I see it I never stare but if the lady happens to
make eye contact with me I just smile and I always finds that gives her confidence
as she always smiles back. The photos are lovely, it just shows how normal it is.
I'm only 15 years old. I was 14 when I had my baby. He is now 9 months and I'm still
breastfeeding him. People get impressed because I'm so young and breastfeeding. When I
barely had him I was embarrassed to breastfeed him in public until I went to my WIC
appointment. A nurse told me that what I was doing was the best for my child that I wasn't
doing anything wrong. She also said if u see someone staring at u stare at them back
then say "WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING AT??! YOU DON'T LIKE WHAT I'M DOING DON'T LOOK THEN
HONEY!!" After that I thought about it and I didn't get embarrassed anymore and I started
doing it anywhere I would good if my baby was hungry I was going to feed him if u are
embarased u shouldnt cuz i never even see anybody staring at me. Like the nurse told
me is fine to do it nobody should mind. Plus now my baby is beautiful and healthy
everywhere I go everyone wants to touch him and carry him everyone likes him and if
you are young and u have a baby u shouldnt be unconfortable with breastfeeding
becuz it makes your baby feel loved.
I was breast fed until I was 2. Mybrother was also breast fed. Don't get me wrong, I
love the sight of breasts! But when I see a woman breastfeeding herbaby, I think
it's the most BEAUTIFUL sight to see!I see it (the feeding) for what it is, a thing
of nature. I applaud those women that are brave enough to breastfeed in public! I
wish more women would,for the sake of the baby and the mother. P.S. Breast size has
nothing to do with breastfeeding.
This site is absolutely refreshing! Thank you for the very useful information. There
was no question left unanswered after perusing this site. I can't wait for my
daughter to be born. It is so wonderful to know that there is so much support out
I belong to a Church in Seattle. 2011 year our families
had 35 babies. As a man I approve of nursing in public.
But all the women in my Church have a modesty quilt to
cover their babies.
I am a 53 yr. old man. I don't think there is anything more natural or loving than a
mother breastfeeding a baby. The stigma just shows peoples ignorance and own
I am the mother of a little girl who I breastfed until she was 2 years old.
Unfortunately, here in the US, it is not widely accepted to do this anymore,
especially for so long. I know of many mothers who don't BF at all. I was very
comfortable with feeding my baby out in public. I had this great "poncho" type
cover that I slipped on and no one even knew.
I don't see anything wrong or offensive to women breastfeeding their babies. I actually find it attractive in its own way. I do see that some women will breast feed their children to a much later age, more than 1 year, which... if this being the case maybe the older children can be breast feed more discreetly or at home surroundings. I'm not one to say / tell at what age a child needs stop being breast fed. Kudos to all who can breast feed as this is the true natural and healthful way of things. Respectfully submitted..., Paul
Wow! 30 years later and the issues are still being battled. I still remember
exactly these incidents in the media when I was breastfeeding. True some people are
quite awkward when first learning how to breast feed and the sheer production of it
makes it difficult to be discreet. However that is to be expected and not viewed as
though the person is trying to titillate. With experience, it is almost natural to
nurse discreetly as when you become more comfortable it is much easier. While I
wasn't especially shy about nudity and without even trying to hide it, I remember
many times where I would be sitting on a public bench, in a mall, at a bus stop,
when I would see someone I knew and have a chat during which they were quite shocked
that they didn't know I was nursing until the baby was'burped. I was in the habit
of dressing for comfort and wore loose tshirts as my small child care uniform these
were frequently loose enough to cover my entire breast and the baby's mouth only and the baby's body covered any exposed mid drift looking like I was simply
holding a baby!
I came here because of a sparked debate on facebook among friends who disagree with
each other on this topic. I think it's really difficult for anyone who hasn't been
through nursing or especially had difficulty nursing their baby to understand this
complex and emotional issue. So I am so glad that the law is on the side of nursing
moms. Because society certainly isn't.
I would like to say that I am overly pleased that mothers are allowed to breastfeed
in public. I am too a mother and my baby is ten months and still breastfeeds. She
is getting older and don't like the blanket over her head anymore and i was afraid
to expose myself. Everyday in life you learn something new. Thank you 007 for
opening my eyes to seeing how legal breastfeeding is. I do and continue to
breastfeed anywhere. I still get stared at but now I am comfortable with it.
Such a good and informative site.
I am a professional photographer based in UK, me and my partner are supporters of the rights to breastfeed in public. I am planning a photo project to highlight this subject matter and look for daring nursing mums who are interested to take part. bfproject@hotmail co uk
I nursed all three of my children until they were all a little over two. I never
really weaned them, they just became too busy being toddlers. Nursing was the most
wonderful experience I've ever had as a woman. I highly encourage every woman, who
is "on the fence" related to "bottle or breast" to nurse! Throw out those stupid
plastic bottles and go back to the breast!!!
About a year ago I was a newly hired federal employee. My wife visited our regional
office (federal gov't property) in Illinois to attend a health care benefit event.
While nursing our (at the time) one-month old daughter, in the bathroom, she was
approached by the security guard who apologized profusely and asked her to cover up
or enter a stall because a woman had been offended by seeing her breastfeeding.
If we had known then what we know now, the outcome would have been significantly
different. I have looked for the exact laws though and I can't find them. I will
keep looking because if it ever happens again, we both want to be ready to cite the
Thank you a thousand times over for creating this site! As a young man, I feel infuriated by the fact that young women are encouraged to jaunt around baring vast amounts of skin for the purpose of obtaining attention but discouraged to use their bodies for what they were designed. I'd like to help the cause to eliminate anti-breastfeeding culture. I'd take part in a sit-in if I could!
Thanks again and keep up the good work!
Nicholas M. Kavouras
I personally, applaud nursing and believe mothers should feel free and comfortable
nursing wherever they may be. It seems that many agree with me, but sadly there are
enough people in the mix that see it s taboo or whatnot that uncomfortable moments,
looks, or commnts arise. I WANTED to nurse my firstbor anywhere as he needed, but I
have an overwhelming fear or disapproval or confrontation that I often found my self
nursing him in restrooms early on. I grew bolder on that front one day when I was
nursing him in a restroom stall and the woman in the stall next to me was letting
loose with an obviously severe round of diarrhea. I felt bad for her, but at the
same time I was sickened that I was feeding my son mere feet away from her illness.
The smell alone was nauseating, and I promised myself that never again would I nurse
my son in a restroom.
Publicly, I will say that I always made sure my shirt was draped in a way as not to fully expose my breast, but I am not offended by a woman of whom's breast is exposed to nurse. In fact, I admire that she feels comfortable doing so.
I was mostly modest for myself by being cautious not to expose because I feel like American men (not all by any means) disgustingly view breasts in any form as a sexual curiosity. When my husband and I were first married, we lived with relatives of his, and I was disturbed to find a male relative of my husband leering at my breast as eye candy while I fed my son. He couldn't remove his eyes! Since then, even at home (there) I sheilded myself while nursing--not because I think women should have to, but because I was uncomfortable by my breasts being viewed sexually. I do not understand why he had to view my breasts as sexual, and not as parts functioning to nourish his beloved baby relative...sad.
One time I was in a restaurant and my son needed nursed. My sister was with me and expressed her discomfort with me nursing publicly, but my mother was supportive and expressed encouragement that I should anyway, even when my sister was squeamish with it.
I am a Christian, and in a Bible study I attend, several mothers have nursed their children freely while we studied together as a group, and were always treated with respect and support. Some may assume that those of us who DO actually believe in dressing and behaving more modestly might be more prone to be offended by public breastfeeding. From my experience, this has not been true at all: I have seen nursing fully supported in my church and Bible study circles, and I'm glad this is so. I'm all for modesty from behaving sexually, but breastfeeding is not sexual, and the nursing breast should NOT be viewed as as anything but a source of nourishment. It disgusts me that a common American view is to sexualize the female body, even when the body is not behaving sexually. I'm fully supportive of women's right to nourish their babies whenever and wherever they need nourihed, and badly wish I had felt fully supported in my days nursing my son, and not made to feel either leered at or like I was being immodest.
My secondborn had severe medical problems and the medical staff was very supportive in trying to make breastfeeding a possibility. I truly felt like they were on my side and supportive of my desire to nurse him. In the end, he did not nurse for very long, but we were able to supplement his prescribed formula with some pumped breastmilk into his feeding tube. I wish we could've offered him a longer nursing experience, but his very extreme circumstances placed him at an exception to the vast norm of what is best for nearly every child.
I feel like America is largely supportive of breastfeeding, but the population is certianly peppered with people who make you feel uncomfortable for it, which is unfortunate. The general oversexualized view of women in our society doesn't help the situation, as it makes it it harder for some people to seperate a woman's function of reproduction with that of nurturing offspring. As a supporter of breastfeeding, I find it unfortunate that there's any reason we should feel discouragement from the outside in our efforts to properly nourish our children.
I cannot believe than in these days and ages people can look you straight in the eye
ask you to cover up while feeding your baby...SHAME ON YOU!!
It is at times like these that I feel proud of my upbringing. In my family, we were never taught to think of breastfeeding as something dirty but rather beautiful, peaceful, fulfilling (for mom and baby), natural and magnificent.
i am a young mother and I support women who want to breast feed. Although I do feel
that if you want people to respect your choices to breast feed you also need to
respect others by covering youself while you are breast feeding there are products
made for this vary thing. This is what I did. The point is just respect others
wishes and they will respect yours I feel very strongly about this and hope others
understand. Thank you sooooo much for this site it has helped me soooo much with
[seeing] myself as beautiful.
I can't believe people would object to breast feeding. In this
day and age women go in public showing everything but their
nipples (for sexual reasons) and no one says a word. Why would they say anything
about the most natural thing in the world.
I am a 70 yr old male who attains a sense of calm and goodness watching a woman
quietly breast feed her child . This peace in public ; the safety and tranquility of
our nation makes the years of war I fought worthwhile.
Hi! I support your position, and a mother's right to breast-feed her child, including in public, wherever, and whenever, she needs, and wants to, and I am so glad that I came by your site.
It's good for the child, and parent, and it is something that I would want my own daughters to know, if I had children, and I may actually have a young, adult daughter out there, who may have, or may be considering having children, God Bless her, and Merry Christmas, I am trying to find you! 12.24.2011
I breastfeed my baby in public. She is going to be a year old and I still breastfeed
her in public. When I'm in church I do cover up but I don't know I don't feel embarrassed. I
know some people do, but I'm a mother and I think all mothers should breastfeed their
child when and where they want. It's the most beautiful thing in the world and I love
brastfeeding my child....
I am myself a breastfeeding mother, from Mississippi, but wanted to comment on recent incident that put an entire supermarket in an uproar, myself included. A rather well-endowed and plump, about mid-20's customer was breastfeeding baby as she walked through the store, with button-down shirt fully open and BOTH breasts exposed! No bra on at all! Is this considered indecent exposure? The manager could not tell her to stop of course, but all of us, and all the employees were upset that she exposed herself without regard to anyone else. We all were offended that she seemed to have no respect for herself and that this kind of exposure turns young mothers off to breastfeeding.
I am so stupid I was going to click on the one [link] for the small breasted women but clicked this one. Anyways, this is right and why would they complain about mom feeding the kid in public BUT not have a problem with statues of naked people in public areas with young childeren ex. Getty Museum?
I'm 22 yrs old now. I'm at my second pregnacy and cannot wait to start breastfeeding my babygirl:) When my first baby was born I was aware that breastfeeding was legal, but since it was my first baby, I used the blanket as much as I could. It definitely got more attention and later on didn't care and did not used blanket anymore and of course I got a lot ugly faces. Now this times that found this webpage I'm more prepared than ever. Can't wait to tell them in their faces all I've read:). Let's keep it up. BREASTFEEDING IS THE RIGHT WAY!!!
It is so true that the blanket brings more attention because when my son (7 months now) gets hungry, I always have to situate myself and try to hold him with one hand, pull down my shirt with the other while trying to make sure the blanket doesn't come off in the process. He's fussing in the mean time pulling at the blanket trying to get to me ..lol..it just makes a scene. It's so much easier when I am at home and all I have to do is pull it out. And the crazy thing is ppl dont only feel uncomfortable whe u are uncovered. There are ppl that feel uncomfortable when u ARE covered...it's ridiculous..
Breast feeding is natural. If breasts werent such a taboo I'd walk around topless more. BUT, as an American, I'd rather have a shorter mat-leave and pump so I could work, and breast feed while I'm home. The most important thing for me is to provide my kids with my natural milk until they can eat solids. And while I could care less if someone stares at me breastfeeding, I'd still cover up a little to respect others, perhaps then they will in time respect ME in breastfeeding. Part of what contributes to the taboo is the lack of a natural attitude when it comes to our bodies, educate our children on all aspects of both male and female development, and as adults we should be able to be open, hinest, and simple with our explanations. The kids feel its awkward because we adults do.
Hello, I'm 20 years old. I been self-conscious about my breast for years. Growing up, most girl had small perky breasts and my breasts were big compared to theirs. In middle school I wore D size and by the time I graduated high school, they doubled to a 34DD. I was planning on having breast reduction when I'd get older, but I was looking at this website of how many women that do not have that perky breast and are saggy just like mine. I thought something was wrong with me because I'm haven't been sexually active and young. But, I realize it is normal. Funny how many girls with smaller breast wish they had full breasts like mine but don't know they sag, and I wish I had theirs, but either way EVERY WOMAN should embrace their body. Thank you, God bless.
Breastfeeding is a natural part of life in every mammal (including humans). I feel that it's perhaps the most important of all. How many studies have to be done before Americans finally realize it, accept it (and get over it)! It's every mother's right, and an important right. It can be very unsanitary and unhealthy for a baby to make every effort NOT to offend you... DON'T LOOK!! Remember that it's finally legal.
I didn't know that Breastfeeding (nursing) in public is legal in all US states. More needs to be done to publicise that fact. There isn't anything "un-natural" about nursing in public. In fact it seems to be the most "natural" thing to do with a baby in public. Some people may feel uncomfortable because it isn't commonly done. The vast majority of people would just ignore a nursing mother, but small children may be inquisitive and want a closer look. I'd say it is a personal preference, and should never be discriminated against.
This is to all of those comments that say a mom should be aware of other people and be discreet, not show too much skin, etc? I do hope that you tell every single teenager, young adult who is wearing an extremely low cut or revealing top that they must cover their "shame" as well. And of course any topless man, you must rush over and through a towel on top of them to prevent lustful thoughts from entering the minds of women too weak to prevent acting upon them. I have seen more exposed skin on the newstands at the checkout counter in my grocery store than I have ever seen a nursing Mom show, so to tell them to cover themselves is beyond absurd.
I have two children, a girl 4, and a boy 2. I bottle fed my girl (lack of knowledge and support) but was determined to nurse my second child. I attended La Leche League meetings as soon as hubby and I started trying for another child. I took a doula/breastfeeding course which I found incredibly helpful, I had a drug free labor, and when I couldn't sleep because of the heartburn I read websites about various experiences.
One thing that I was terrified about was being asked to go to the bathroom. No way I was going to nurse in the bathroom. Gross! Nursing at first felt awkward to me and so I said I would use a cover after I learned to nurse. It never happened though :p I always tried to be discreet, and sometimes would cover up with a receiving blanket while baby got latched on. I felt a little awkward at times but for me confidence was the biggest thing.
I went on to successfully nurse my baby for 17 months! In the end he weaned himself when I got mastitis. Thank you for websites like yours!
I have been breastfeeding my son for a year now (as of today - happy birthday, baby!) but I have only breastfed in public a few times during the first few months, and only in situations where only women were around, like a knitting shop or women's lounge in Nordstrom, or on airplanes. I live in Colorado now, but I am from Arizona and had never in my life seen a mother nursing in public until I moved away. In general I would say that people are very backwards about breastfeeding there, and I have heard a number of comments from male friends who were disgusted by mothers nursing their older babies or toddlers and how wrong it is to nurse after a certain age. One friend that I grew up with nursed her son until he was four and I am usually the only person defending her when people talk about her..."You won't nurse as long as SHE did, will you?" It makes me feel self conscious and caught between my son's needs and what's best for him (which comes first of course) and what the worl d thinks. I am not good with conflict, unfortunately. I have SO MUCH respect for women who nurse in public, and for women who nurse their older babies and toddlers, and who fight for their rights and their children's rights. I don't plan on weaning any time soon. He is a wonderful, healthy child and he hasn't been sick a day in his life. I hope that I can be braver with our second child...thank you to everyone who is.
After nursing my first child for 2 1/2 years, and my second is still going strong at 1 yr, I would say that as long as you (mama) feel comfortable, you can do what you want to do anywhere. I've nursed just about anywhere I needed to, but never in a bathroom! I have attracted sweet comments from middle-aged women who are happy to see breastfeeding out in the open. I've never used a shawl--my baby doesn't want to be covered up-- and it almost seems (to me) to make feeding into this secret thing: what's going on under there? If anything, folks should be thankful that you're keeping your kiddo calm and quiet in public. Letting normal be the norm.
Babies need to feed. Women have breasts - lovely as women's breasts are, how dare men or society make presumption as to why women need to do so? Babies do not need to discriminate, they need milk which can help them. Men can control themselves, women should feel relaxed from doing what is and should be seen as normal and natural - breasts are not your propert,y men, neither are women's bodies.
All my best.
I am a breastfeeding mother with both of my boys. I can only hope that one day around the world breastfeeding will not be looked at with such taboo. I feel guilty when I'm in public and my son who is 1month old is hungry and needs to breastfeed and I go through all the trouble of covering myself up to make sure everything is hidden before I bring my son under the blanket to eat. Then it takes longer to get a good latch because the blanket is in the way of me seeing things and its more frustrating; yet I'm not comfortable in anyway having my breast hanging out. I remind myself whenever I'm walking through the grocery store or wherever I may be at that time; that I am doing what is best for my son because I am able to do it, and if anyone has a problem with it I dare them to say something and I will hold my head up hi... and not make eye contact with anyone walking by. Thank you for your stories I always feel so encouraged after reading them.
I am a mother who happily nursed 3 babies. The first had her year but was weaned to make way for #2 who weaned himself at 11 months because #3 was incubating and the taste of his milk changed. The last, sadly, weaned himself at 8 months because he was constantly concerned about where #1 and #2 were and what they were up to. I love your site and wish you were around when I was 16 and thinking my body was strange. We had no outside sources to help us, but I am thankful that I had a mother who treated body image and monogomous sex as it is...healthy and wonderful. One thing I would like to share with younger non-mothers: I have never felt better about myself and my breasts since nursing my babies. The shape has changed and my feelings about them. And as far as my husband is concerned, since witnessing the miracle of nourishing his children with these breasts, they carry a whole new wonderful beauty for him. There is nothing better than looking down at your beautiful baby while they nurse and knowing that their every need is being satisfied by your own beautiful body. Let's learn to build each other up and encourage each other in our womanhood. I can't wait to share this site with my daughter who will soon be facing her own body changes towards womanhood!
Reminds me of a joke that in the "olden days" in England, a streetwalker would often expose one breast as an advertisement. One day a woman was walking down the street with an exposed breast and a man yelled out to her, "Hide your shame woman!" She looked down and exclaimed, "Oh no, I left the baby on the bus again."
I am a young girl, 15, and have often longed to be able to participate in a nudist culture, but it is very difficult to be able to at my age in the U.S. I think the whole obsession with covering breasts is quite stupid. Oh! It's a breast! Yeah, big deal, you can see her hand too. Get over it. I wish there was some way to get the U.S. law against public nudity changed to optional nudity, but I'm just one person and not old enough to do anything by myself. There must be others who feel the way I do. We CAN make a difference if we don't just sit back and follow society.
Hi, my name is Lewis, 17. I first thank for this website for sharing very good information about breastfeeding. My mother Stella, age 40, still breastfeeds my younger sister who is 5 months old. I too have my sister Mary age 11. My mother didn't mind breastfeeding in public. Sometimes some men stare when she breastfeeds my sister but she didn't care about that. Breastfeeding is one's own right. There is nothing wrong in breastfeeding at public; it's one's own right.
IF YOUR CHILD IS HUNGRY AND YOU'RE BREASTFEEDING THEM, SHOW THE PUBLIC YOUR RIGHT AND FEED THEM, IN ANY MANNER THAT YOU WISH, AND IF THEY DON'T LIKE IT, THEY CAN LEAVE YOUR SITE, BECAUSE IT'S YOUR RIGHT AS A MOTHER TO FEED YOUR CHILD WITH YOUR BREASTS. I WOULD STAND BEHIND ANY WOMAN IN THE COUNTRY FOR THEIR RIGHT.
FARTHER OF 5
I live in the middle east and find it fascinating that although these are extremely conserative societies, no one gives publicly breastfeeding mothers a second look. Veiled women can sometimes be seen sitting outside with a half-bare chest and go almost unoticed; everyone knows she is feeding a child- not looking for attention. Inside stores, employees will offer a quiet back room or go find chairs for nursing women to sit on without being asked- especially if she is made to wait in line. Nursing moms seem to earn immediate respect.
I hope the west can overcome its hangups about little babies needing nourishment!
In the United States we are trying to educate on the health benefits for moms and new babies. Because the formula manufactures false claims mothers have given formula for years. Today with statistics and more understanding we know that Human Breast Milk is the best milk for Human babies. The antibodies protect our babies from many illnesses and diseases. Formula cannot do that. It is sad to me that many countries give formula because they know America gives formula. It is a mistake and we are trying to correct this issue. We need to get back to understanding it is the healthiest way to fee our babies and all the world needs to understand it is the way that nature intended. Man has come to ruin the planet earth and now we are harming humans by not breastfeeding them. Education is the key to all for understanding and when there is a problem the new mother needs helpbecause it is not supposed to hurtbut it can and other issues can arise and when they do she needs help from a knowledgeable person to get it corrected. The internet is like the oceannever-ending. You can find help if you want to.
Jodi BF mom of 4
:) I'm so glad to have found this site. It's very informative and just plain awesome. Personally I believe in breast feeding, I'm also a firm believer that it's natural and find it no big deal if a nursing mother whips it out to feed her child. Come on people, there's nothing xxx rated about it. If you're uncomforatable then don't look, simple.
Mothers and mothers-to-be, don't be ashamed. Our bodies produce the milk for the baby. That is the true purpose for our breasts. To deny a child that precious life-strengthening, brain-developing, disease-fighting liquid gold is cruel and unusual punishment. If you refuse to put your baby on your breast for whatever reason, pump the milk for the baby. Less than 6 months is also a deprivation. A year or more is best FOR THE BABY. Afterall, the baby is what matters. Breastfeeding is not supposed to be painful. If it is, something isn't right. Consult a lactation consultant and learn how to get the baby latched on correctly. Time the feedings (know when baby gets hungry) so that baby isn't ravenous when about to eat. I had to learn and when I got it right, it was great. Easy, relaxing, and did I mention EASY?! My first born nursed for a year and a half. I didn't care about who was watching. I was discreet and if they didn't like it, who cares? I know that my child is healthier for it. My son only had one ear infection in all his five years, and he got it after I stopped nursing him. My second child was nursed until 10 months. I stopped only because I was not producing enough milk (from being overworked, undernourished...) I feel bad that he did not get as much as my older child. Formula feeds a baby, but cow's milk is for calves. There is no true substitute for breastmilk. I am ashamed to be in the company of so many ignorant women who consider breastfeeding as they consider an outfit. It is a serious consequence not to breastfeed. Moms who have preemies and don't breastfeed are not realizing that the closeness that the breastfeeding provides, not to mention the perfect composition and unique properties of breastmilk, helps make the baby thrive much much faster, as it would any child. It saddens me that people make breastfeeding mothers second-guess the best thing they could do for their baby (as long as the mother is eating nutritiously and maintains good health). It is free. There are no bottles to clean or heat up. It is already the perfect temperature and ready to go. You can do it anywhere and mom loses the pouchy post-pregnancy belly a lot faster, breast cancer tissues are less likely to develop, babies are smarter and healthier, less ear infections... With all the benefits, they should outweigh any insecurity a person could have about nursing. I really don't understand why there is a stigma, unless people just view a breast as a sex object. People just need to get their minds out of the gutter, get educated, and allow to happen what is natural and--considering the rise in special needs children--necessary.
I'm 30 years old with two children and I live in Australia. I'm currently tandem-feeding my sons; aged 4 and 15 months. I still breastfeed my youngest in public. I was self-conscious breastfeeding in public when my eldest was a baby but I'm much more confident now. I tried using a "nursing cover" when my eldest was an infant but found it cumbersome and attention-drawing. I also had difficulty using breastfeeding tops. I'm not particularly co-ordinated and found it tricky trying to undo the clip with one hand whilst trying to hold and placate my baby who was getting more frustrated and vocal with the length of time I was taking to latch him on. I did away with the breastfeeding tops and covers when my eldest was a couple of months old. I find it very easy to wear strapless tops and singlet tops which I can just pull down and then latch my baby/toddler on within a couple of seconds. I rarely wear a bra as I'm very small-chested and don't need the support. I normally just wear a stretchy bandeau under my clothes or, as I'm no longer leaking, I go bra-less. Most people can not even tell that I'm breastfeeding and when I do get comments, they're always positive. I have had teenage boys stare at me a couple of times whilst breastfeeding but they're normally much more embarrassed and self-conscious than I am. Breastfeeding is such a normal part of my life now that I don't give it a second thought when out and about. I breastfeed anywhere and it's normally whilst I'm multi-tasking. I just wish I'd felt less self-conscious breastfeeding in public when my eldest was a baby. Being holed up for an hour in a baby change room was unpleasant. It's much nicer to sit in the park or cafe with a good book (or a magazine) whilst feeding.
This helps a lot. I've been supplementing my breastfed baby with formula bottles in public due to concern that I'd be thrown out of local restaurants for breast feeding. Now I know better
I am a 46 year old mother of 4 children. I breastfed all of my children and cherish the experience. I nursed my children usually 9 to 12 months, except my last one, a preemie who required longer because of feeding issues. Breastfeeding is a completely natural and quite fulfilling experience between a mother and her child. It was an amazing time of bonding with my children and frequently moved me to the verge of tears. There were many moments I vowed to never forget, like when that precious little baby would look up at me and break into the most precious, unexpected grin, and then just as quickly return to receiving the most perfect form of nourishment for his little body. My husband and I were very aware of the beautiful and intimate privilege breastfeeding was for our children. This is something that only I could do for my child, and I took tremendous pride in that!
My husband would sometimes sit next to me and watch as the baby would interact with me as he nursed. These were glimpses of an emotional bond that my husband couldn't provide our children since they never received bottles. Although my husband proudly held the position of "Chief Burp-er" and much pride was shown when his technique was successful, it just wasn't the same. My husband embracing me and our child while I nursed them created some of the most meaningful moments we've experienced with our babies. I cherish those memories and the impact they had on me, and my husband. These were not sexual moments, but they were emotionally intimate and completely natural.
But, having said all of that, I am sensitive to the requests of those who wish mothers would be more discreet. I do believe covering the whole baby and breast is not practical, instead very hot and uncomfortable for the child. But, I also believe that exposing the entire breast is not appropriate or necessary, and lends nothing to the success of the feeding. We live in a world where people have lost sight of being considerate of other people's viewpoints. I don't think anyone has the right to force their viewpoint on all of society, nor should they try. We do live in a modest society, for many reasons most of which are non-sexual. So my question is this? What is the harm in considering other people's feelings and going somewhere more private (when available), or using something that allows more modesty particularly when in the presence of strangers? After all a completely bare breast doesn't provide any more milk than a discreetly covered one.
My oldest child is 24. I comfortably breastfed in public--restaurants, stores, visiting other people's homes, etc. At the same time I was always discreet and conscious that there might be parents around who may not be comfortable with my breast being exposed to their family (not just husbands). Many people looked my way and sweet smiles flickered across their face as they realized what I was doing. Some may have been uncomfortable, but I was never approached or reproached.
It's a shame, and show of ignorance, that discreet nursing has received reprimand or punishment. But, I wonder if those who refuse to consider the perspective of others and bare the whole breast in public, don't cause more trouble than they create good. Consider this---just because we have the RIGHT to do something doesn't mean that it's the best thing to do!
My mother in New York City in the 1920s said it was common for women to cover the child's face and mother's breast with a hankerchief or scarf while nursing. No one thought it was so unusual among these Eastern European women. Today, I hear stories from American women who have more social trouble about it. One nearly lost a job over it. I just don't get it. Are we all expected to turn into plastic robots in our "modern" times? It seems the society is turned upside down. Sex is for entertainment. Pornography is almost acceptable. Teenagers are becoming sexual swingers. Young women are almost proud to say, "I'm a single mom." (I'm not judging your morals, but it's one huge responsibility to carry alone. That's why traditionally couples were expected to stay together rather than divorce at the slightest provication.) Now we read here about women who think their breasts are "chest ornaments" designed to attract men. The world certainly seems confused. www.bh2012.com
My oldest son is now 30, his brother 28. I had no problems breastfeeding either on a train, a cafe at the annual metro Royal Show. Up to nine months of age, if it was their real meal time feed, I'd breastfeed in public venues if needed. The cover with a blanket idea is ludicrous if the baby is genuinely hungry as head covers the nipple and a fair bit of the released breast and my top covered some of the rest.
I discovered from four months your baby prefers a quiet separate room, the way he'd glare at his father for trying to talk to me when feeding showed that. When out for a moderate while I'd taught them to use a straw with a baby appropriate juice, convenient when shopping and no added sucking fetishes of bottles as by then dummies were gone. While I weaned them as toddlers breastfeeding was prior naps and bedtimes. OK they had redeveloped numerous night feeds once crawling, being to busy exploring to waste the day suckling more than the desperate minimum. Hence they eased into appearing respectably weaned in most public situations by ten months which wasn't true one feeding into his second year until like with the first was verbally told the boobs were empty, finito with a highly desired big boy toy as compensation. Appearing weaned for the two year old suited looking a big boy with his peers as most were weaned.
While I had medium size breasts that aren't noticable when feeding, I believe any woman with bigger ones doesn't need to hide, it's the purpose of breasts. Who cares who looks and what they think or feel, you can't please everyone or avoid all the kinkiness out there like high heels or shorter skirts. Nor all the arousal of libidinous males who see any bit of curve or leg being turned on, so be it if it was seeing your breast for a change, a few minutes later it may have been the teen in a mini skirt.
I hope that breastfeeding women just do what's needed as needed, ignoring the unatural noises a few make. The more purposefully and doggerdly breastfeeding women persue this course, the sooner it will fade in society as an issue. We have breasts and nipples for the main purpose of feeding our young, the sensual sexual aspects are a bonus so nature can provide an incentive to stick with the job.
While their are the odd fragile children, medically or emotionally needing extended breast feeding, I do believe it's the mother who will need to guide the cessation like with any other developmental shift. Few children fed till the ideal year old point are keen to wean or lose the unique way of keeping Mum tied to them that the rest of competing for attention family members can't do. Weaned they actually feel rather liberated, like any of us are over any addiction or crutch after the withdrawal bit. Toddlers that is, not babies that nutritionally and bond wise better off breastfed.
By the way, serial sex offenders' trigger for arousal is usually anger or frustration or their private fantasy and base sex offenders have established set targets
Well, in our society even asking the purpose is a crime! Thanks a lot! FORM FOLLOWS FUNCTION, if this much is reflected... then how can one sin? Great work,carry on...
Hi, I am an Australian mother of a four year old (who was weaned one year ago) and a six month old baby. I am travelling to California, San Francisco via LA, and am worried about American attitudes towards breastfeeding. I do not mean to offend anyone reading this, but the impression that we sometimes have in Australia (and I hope that it is incorrect) is that US society can be prudish and misogynistic. Again, sorry if my words offend the readers. At home in Melbourne, however, I breastfeed whenever I need to. I catch public transport often and have never had a problem. If someone was offended by my actions then that is tough luck, and is the viewers problem, not mine. Even if a young school boy was to stare (which has not happened) then I would just consider myself to be part of the desensatising process. The more he sees it , the more he may support his wife or girlfriend when the time comes. Public breastfeeding is also a public health education service. In press reports from the US, I have heard of women being sent off aeroplanes for not covering-up. I would not want to be stranded with my young sons. I will have to feed my baby at LA airport and on the plane, I will have no choice. Part of me thinks that if I am a guest in another country then I should do what the Romans do. When I travelled to a Muslim country I did not wear shorts as it would have been inappropriate. One the other hand, to cover up seems just plain wrong to me. Of course a shy new mother may choose to cover up, but I dont want to. I dont want to pander to the formula companies by pretending not to feed my own child, that is crazy.
What are your thoughts please?
This is the same U.S. that at one time thought slavery was okay and segregation. Unfortunately this country tends to lag behind others in things that are truly important. My question to people who vehemently oppose breastfeeding in public is why do you feel the way you? If you happen to catch a glimpse of a woman's nipple, which in most cases won't happen, how will that alter your life? You saw a nipple, a bulbous nub of skin at the end of a mammory gland where milk comes out, now what? We all have breasts, women's just happen to be bigger. I don't even think people stop to think about why they feel the way they do. It's breast, it's wrong in public! Says who? Why should your opinion trump that of the woman who is trying to do something healthy for her baby? That's more offensive to me than a woman breastfeeding. You have a right to disagree, or not like it, you also have the right to leave. Go hide your face and stew about it. There's so many other important issues in this world that demands more attention than a woman providing her child the milk her body makes for him/her. It's better than witnessing borderline child abuse in public, something that most people would probably turn a blind eye to. I've seen breastfeeding since I was a child. My mother did it, her friends did it. I've seen it at the beach, the mall, the park, the library, the swimming pool. Most women are modest about it, some are not. Because I saw it at such a young age it does not bother me as an adult. I disagree with women who think it's innapropiate for their young sons to see it. It normalizes it in my opinion. I say people need to get a life. Leave these mothers alone!!! If you have a problem with it try locking yourself up in your home or eating in a stinky mall bathroom or a hot car in the summer, see how you like it!
One of the greatest privileges I ever experienced was that a friend of mine breast fed her baby in front of me with no discomfort. I am a (male) nurse of many years experience but I still find breasts sexually attractive. However, I realise they are there to feed a child. There is no greater experience than to watch a woman breast feed her child - nothing to do with sex - just the joy of watching mother and child share that special moment!
There is nothing healthier in this world than breast feeding. Those who can't watch a woman breast feeding her baby need to get serious psycholgical help! (and I am a man!)
When I had my 1st two children I was the only one breastfeeding. Some tried but it just did not work for them. Now with my 3rd baby, I have noticed more women choosing to breastfeed. I never breastfed my 1st two in public but am a little mor comfortable with my 3rd to do so. I have supplied myself with tons of nursing bras and nursing tops to make it easier and have a nursing cover. We are currently in Germany as my husband just got stationed here and only once did anyone look at me oddly while I was nursing. I did not let it bother me. I would never nurse my baby in a bathroom because frankly I would never want to eat my dinner in a bathroom. As mothers, it is our job to provide the best for our children to better them regardless of the opinions of others. Keep up the good work those of you who are able to nurse. Proud of yall!!
I think breastfeeding in public is totally natural. My best friend came over with her baby girl and the girl started crying, so she asked me where she could go breastfeed in private. I then told her that breastfeeding in public is totally natural, so she took off her top and her bra and started breastfeeding while we were sitting on the couch talking.
I am now expecting and I fully intend to breastfeed in public, wherever I am.
I am now a 50-year old woman. I nursed my son in public for a while. Once we were at my friend's house, and she had a son who was 1-year old at the time like my son was. So we were sitting there and my son started crying, so my friend told me to take my shirt and bra off and breastfeed so I did, and coincidentally my friend breastfed her son too. No problem at all.
I just love this site, makes me feel right at home. I am still BF my 2 1/2 year old son. People would ask me how long are you going to BF and I would say, "at least a year". Then that year went by sooo fast and I would get the same question from several people, so how long are you going to go and I said, "oh I think I will wean him soon", " I think he is getting close to stopping". And he was nowhere in sight of stopping and for that I was happy! Now no one asks anymore, some just say things like, "You gotta get him off the boob" I just laugh! I love that my son is still BF... You know how many moms that are sad that their 6 month old baby just stopped and it was grieving for them. Well gotta go, its time for bed and my son wants to nurse ;)
We should not even be discussing such a natural expression between mother and child. Wake up America; time to get rid of these hangups!
Hi. Im a 40 year old mom of a wonderful 5 year old boy and another one on the way. I breastfed my son until he was three. While I was 'discreet' about it (I didnt take my shirt off), I did not put a blanket over my son's head while he nursed; To do so would have given him the message that nursing is a 'bad' thing or that its something that should be 'hidden'. I didn't want him to think that nurturing is some kind of dirty deed. If you find it offensive or indiscreet, then please turn the other way. Quite frankly, I find the sexualization of my breasts offensive, repressive and indecent.
The other day, my son asked why women have to cover their breasts. I had no good answer..
Hi to all.
I'm 27 years old, I married young and had my first baby when I was 18. I never stopped bresfeeding in between these 9 years and now have 5 children. I breastfed all my kids and for about 4 years each, and still nursing, so I was nursing 2 and at one point 3 together.
My breasts are saggy and have many stretch marks on them...
and sometimes I feel sad about how they look...
But when I think how much good healthy milk they made for my kids, especially for my baby who was born at 26 weeks of pregnancy, and how much it helped!! I think how blessed I am to have those boobs that look like that and a smile comes to my face when I think about all the cuddle times with my kids nursing them...
So moms and all woman who have the not so perfect boobs, give yourself a big big hug today, and love ourself as we are, as who we are, and let's all make a difference by not buying into the pressure of the world... let's love ourself and love people around us...
I am 22 and currently BF my 14 month son. Yesterday was our 13 mo mark, as he was 10 weeks early, so we started nursing at one month. We have ALWAYS been public nursers, and will continue to do so until my son(or any subsequent children) is not nursing anymore.
I exercise my right, and obligation to nurse my child whenever he is hungry.
Sexuality is what you make it. So don't.
There is no harm to feed baby in public but take precaution to cover ur respect. Feed your baby as much before in home. Feeding baby does'nt mean 2 bare your breast in front of anyone and feed. Keep a good towel 4 cover when you do that. I'm male single but very much aware of this thing.
Bikram (Indian male)
I am 20 years old and I have a 15 month old son who I am currently still breastfeeding. I believe it is the most natural thing and that is the way god intended for things to be done. People look at a breastfeeding mother and think sexual things or think its gross, but why on earth would someone not want to give their baby the best? Formula is lacking so many things that breast milk offers, and people look at it the wrong way. I believe people need to be more educated on the benefits of breastfeeding and maybe people won't look at it as being gross, and look at it as an amazing thing between a mother and child. I also believe that the sex of the baby doesn't matter, just because it's a boy someones not going to give it the best milk offered to them? That's so ridiculous! I cannot believe the way people think these days...it disturbs me!
I thought maybe it would be helpful to have a comment from a male, because I doubt there are many. I believe I am a good example of a child raised (Quite raised, I am currently 22, haha.) To know what a Woman's breats were created for.
I was briefly breastfed after birth. After I was weaned breasts did not suddenly become a taboo. Both my mother AND father taught me about breastfeeding and the breasts are not simply sexual objects. My younger brother (Ten years younger then me.) was breastfed until he weaned himself at about a year and a half old I think. I was not made to watch but if I was curious too I was encouraged to do so. I did at times, as I was curious. When feeding my brother in public my mother used a blanket if there were alot of people. When there were only a few she would ask if anyone would be uncomfortable about it, if not she would not bother with the blanket.
I am going to be honest, I have also somewhat come to view breasts as sexual objects. But when I see a woman breastfeeding her child I do not find it erotic, instead I see a mother feeding her baby in the best way possible.
I hope this helps encourage some women that breastfeeding their children and teaching them about breasts, has many positive effects on their future views on such things.
I agree 100% with you Heather. We do have a right and if the baby is hungry, we have to feed them, but "our society is also becoming one of disregard to one another" as you say, and I think we ALL have to respect that we all come from different backgrounds and different cultures. While it NEVER should be illegal, I don't think there is anything wrong with covering yourself and being discreet.
I think that you are all right, nursing is natural.
But, as a mother who nurses in public, I feel that public is for everyone to share and respect each other. I hope you will encourage mothers to at least use a blanket, or clothing that minimizes the amount of skin bared.
If the society was less obsessed it may be different, but it isn't, so we must respect everyone-- including those opposed to excessive skin.
Our society is also becoming one of disregard to one another. If someone is uncomfortable in public, we should respect that as much as they should respect that we are nursing our infant.
I use a privacy blanket. I am pro-public nursing, pro-privacy, pro-public respect.
My baby is 8 months old and I have people ask me when I will stop breastfeeding constantly... he is only 8 months! Lay off! Also, if it is acceptable for women to dress slutty and fall out of their clothes every day, why in the world can't a woman breastfeed?? I cover up in public but Reece likes to take the blanket off! He is old enough that I don't have to feed in public too often but I should be able to whenever and if ever I want!
I'm a Nepali girl of age 16 yrs. I think breast feeding is natural phenomena, every mother should have knowledge of feeding her child properly. In my country, usually people feel hesitate to breastfeeding in public place because I have seen lots of male staring in women's breast. Breastfeeding is most necessary nutrition of child, so every mother have right to breastfeed her baby in public place too.
Thanks for the topic
I breastfeed my newborn and he loves it. This is our 4th child and three out of the four have been brestfead. I love the time I spend with my son. We have such a bond at 2 months old. He knows when I walk into a room and wants to be close. I do nurse him everywhere but I do cover up when I'm in public. Some people stare but I haven't had any negative coments. He loves to nurse. We tried to supplement with formula and his body couldn't handle it; he had to spend the night in the hospital so now it's just the breast.
First of all: It's quiet clear that breastfeeding is the best nutrition a mother can give her child in 99.9% of the cases (or better). So if you care for your child please keep on nursing.
Secondly: I don't understand the issue that so many people seem to have with nudity. It's not the naked body (part) that's provoking lust, it's the observers mind that does.
My favorite comment from people who see me breastfeeding in public is "Why don't you go do that in the bathroom?!" My reply will always be... would you let your kids eat in a bathroom stall... not many people say yes!
I am Australian and have had my 3 children in 3 different countries (UK, Australia, USA). I breastfed all my children in public but am sad to say that the only place where this was a problem was the US where I had my youngest child. I was frowned at, told I was 'disgusting' (at Los Angeles Airport) and people tut-tutted and made a big point of moving away. It was rather overwhelming and I became so worried about it that I had difficulty 'letting down' in public. I ended up only feeding my child in very quiet corners. Once we were on a hike in summer time and it was a very busy trail. My baby needed lunch, so I walked a fair way off the track in order to feed him without offending anyone. About 10 minutes into the feed a couple of ladies spied me, hopped off the track and clomped across the grass. I groaned thinking..here we go again! They trekked over just to tell me how fantastic it was that I was breastfeeding in public and to keep it up! I felt so cheered up by those wonderful American ladies!! So hang in there all you American Moms! The more we do it the more people will realise it is normal.
By the way, whenever I see a Mum/Mom breastfeeding in public these days I always make eye contact and give them a big supportive grin!
Wonderful article. Thanks for putting so much info and encouragement in one place, and so easy for us to share with young moms!
I have no idea how or why I came to this site, but I saw something under breastfeeding that intrigued me. I continued to read the various insights into breastfeeding in public discreetly or otherwise and I thought I would offer my opinion in the matter myself. As for breastfeeding itself, you should. No doubt breast milk is FAR better than any formula you will feed your baby EVER. The controversial part though... is whether or not it should be done out of the public's eye. Have you ever had a woman with children attack you for BF in public? Men as well I'm sure. I think (this is just my opinion now) the reason is like me (for the guys) I absolutely LOVE breasts... even if a baby is attached to the nipple or not, by all means feed your baby and show me, I want to see. Now other men probably react differently... of course they want to see as well... but they are thinking of you first. So maybe they are timid and don't know of a better way so they make an excuse, get angry, tell you to leave. Women who yell can say and do the same, when in fact I think they act this way because they know their husbands like and want to watch you feed your baby for the very same fact... breasts. I don't mean to come off as a pervert, I don't view porn, and I adore my wife which I am married and have only had one sexual partner (her) (which I also encouraged to BF anywhere), my point is I know what I like, sorry to say, it is breasts.
Now if this sheds a little light on why others act the way they do, great, I did my part. At least my point of view has been reached, and by all means the child is the most important part of the equation here. Don't be ashamed, don't be fearful, just do it. Oooglers like me only catch an eyeful and out of respect avert our eyes. It's like one of those rules: if you shake it more than twice you're are playing with it, or if your food lands on the ground you have 5 seconds to pick it up before it officially gets dirty.... if you look longer than three seconds you get slapped :-P
I was uncomfortable breastfeeding my baby in public at first. I felt good about breastfeeding my baby but worried that people would judge me or that I would make others uncomfortable by doing it in public. I had a LOT of nipple pain in the beginning and had to be very careful about the latch which made discreet nursing impossible. The whole situation caused increased anxiety in me, when I really needed more support as a new mom. When I was staying at a friend's house, I breasfed in the living room with a cover, and noticed that people became embarrassed and quickly ushered me to a private bedroom where I was all alone. I felt angry and a little bit ashamed. After that point I was FED UP and just breastfed in public whenever I felt like it. When I was more comfortable with breastfeeing, people around me thought it was no big deal.
I hope this cultural norm can change for the sake of new mothers and babies, especially, when discreet breastfeeding is near impossible.
I have 3 children and am currently 20 weeks pregnant with my 4th. I was determined to breastfeed all my children. When I had my first child I began breastfeeding her successfully with no problems. When she was 2 1/2 mos. old I found out I was pregnant with my 2nd child. I continued breastfeeding her through my entire 2nd pregnancy. She was 11 1/2 mos. old when I gave birth to my 2nd child. I did not want to wean her yet, so I breastfed my newborn along with my 11 1/2 mo.old. I continued breastfeeding my 1st daughter until she was 2 and breastfed my 2nd daughter until she was 1 yr. old... I weaned them around the same time. When we decided to have our 3rd child I ended up breastfeeding her for 13 mos... I just began drying out. When I have my 4th baby I plan to breastfeed him no less than a year. I love breastfeeding. It is such a special connection between a mother and her child and it is definitely the best nourishment that I can provide my children.
As far as public breastfeeding...I became very good at it. I would hold my baby close to me and very discreetly lift my shirt to feed them. I didn't bring attention to it and talked to my family/friends (whoever I was with) as if nothing was different than if I was just holding my baby. Luckily I had a very supportive family and husband who always made me feel comfortable no matter where I was.
I am currently breastfeeding my nine month old daughter. I had been reading all this talk about encouraging women to breastfeed in public. I happen to be a model and my breasts are very large... They have been very large since my milk came in. I attempted to nurse in public on a plane with no cover just to see what would happen and it would be comfortable. It was obvious that men were aroused and distracted. One actually blushed at me and had to cover himself with a book until he decided to run to the lavatory for a bit. Their wives weren't too happy about it either. My husband also was upset about what he heard.
It also is bad to expose your breasts to possible men who are addicted to pornography or are sex addicts. Sex offenders have been known to rape women more when they are aroused suddenly and far from their home. These men could avoid triggers but exposing yourself makes it impossible. After my experience, I believe we ladies should all COVER UP!!!!! And if you are worried the baby will be too hot, use a material that is breathable. And if you say your baby won't eat, that's silly. A baby will not turn it down if he is really hungry.
I have had three children and have breastfed my last two daughters successfully. I am currently able to continue successfully breastfeed my 9 month old but have to say that I will not publicly breastfeed her as there are too many people out there who really are ignorant and/or sick. I mostly feel uncomfortable because I know for a fact that there are men in our environment who still see our breasts as sex tools and that makes my skin crawl. I do not want my beautiful bonding moment with my angel to be remotely ruined. I have been in many situations on the road and so I find a way to get privacy to nurse. I only had one situation that I had no choice but to breastfeed my baby in an emergency room last month in front of the doctors and staff because my daughter broke her femur while I was at work and I did not pump for many hours and had no extra bottles of my milk with me. Now that is an extreme reason that I strongly believe that I had to stand up for my rights and care for my angel.
Another problem with public nursing that I experienced was when I have to pump at work. It was very difficult when I was not provided a private room because when I used to express my milk in a bathroom stall many "women" used to make comments, such as "why do you waste your time...my children were never breastfed and they grew up to be successful well educated adults." I cringe when people say idiotic comments that I did not ask for. Another example came from my mother as she said to my baby while holding her, "When are you going to start drinking real milk huh?" Nevertheless, all I can say is that the more I breastfeed my daughter the closer I feel that we become. It is one of the most special and beautiful moment that we have.
It is absolute foolishness that there is more taboo attached to the woman's upper body than that of the man's. Both have breasts. The woman's for obvious reasons being larger. It is this taboo that engenders the excitement that there is in society related to the uncovered woman's breasts. Expose them on a common basis and the tizzy will soon subside. Then the woman will begin to feel that she is more an equal to the man as well as uplifting her self-esteem. Simple logics, something needs to be hidden equates shamefulness and lowered self-esteem. Once this question is settled then the woman breastfeeding in any place will be totally accepted as it should, because it is the most natural action in the world. The natural with nature accepted for what they are.
I had six children. The last was born at home with a midwife there. I nursed all of my children from 4 weeks up to 2 and a half years in duration. The hardest part was the ignorance in the beginning from my husband and dad not wanting me to be in public to their (and my) re-education. It was an uphill battle but in the end I was strong enough and supported enough to nurse wherever I was with my baby. La Leche and my Dr. Chastain were instrumental in our education. I strongly support breastfeeding. Sheila
It's wierd how our society protects the rights of people who do outlandish behavior, but anything good and wholesome like breastfeeding in public is seen as nasty and disgusting. These last two summers I've gone to the beach in Florida and both times I saw women wearing thongs in the presence of young pre-adolescent male family members. That's okay for a boy to see butt floss and butt cheeks, but everyone gets upset when a women nurses her baby. It's alright to be half-naked and wearing a bikini top that barely covers your nipples, but a woman breastfeeding her baby is outrageous. Give me a break! No wonder people see our country as hypocritical, our values are screwed up. Is it the breastfeeding or the fact that she's using her breasts for something other than sex that gets people riled up? Most women are not out there flaunting it and you would have to be right up on her to see anything. Maybe women should flaunt and whip em out, maybe people will get over their hangups and realize they're doing what's best for their children. I actually think women being dicreet is furthering the notion that they are somehow doing something wrong. If people have the gall to act ignorant, maybe they deserve to see it out in the open. They obviously don't respect breastfeeding mothers, so why should they be respected? How many of the same guys who criticize women who have breastfed in public have ever drooled and fantasized over naked women in porn magazines or in the movies? It was okay for women to be exposed then, but a woman feeding her child makes you blush. This country is so hypocritical and oxymoronic. Good is bad and bad is good.
There's nothing wrong with breastfeeding in public. I breastfed my children in public. One day we went for a walk in the park and my baby boy was getting hungry. So I sat on the bench took off my shirt and my bra and breastfed. No big deal.
How about family members visiting you and telling you, "That baby always has a boob in her mouth." Why don't you just use a bottle? Your brother can't visit because he is uncomfortable with you breastfeeding all the time. These are the type of comments I've faced over the years, and let me tell you they are a little more than annoying. Also, in my eastern state I get many horrified looks from WOMEN for nursing while covered up sitting in a booth in a restaurant!
I think it should be up to the woman as to how she should nurse her baby in public. I agree with the one post that said that nursing discreetly only adds to the stereotype that breastfeeding is shameful and indecent. It's not illegal in most states so go for it. As a male I can only remember feeling uncomfortable once when a mother was breastfeeding her child. I was in the park one day about to cross a bridge near the duck pond when I noticed a woman breastfeeding about 50 yards away. She noticed me at the same time I noticed her and she started to hurry and stop what she was doing. I felt weird and turned and walked the other way. It's hard to know how to react as a male. I will make a point most times to avoid areas where women are nursing because I don't want them to think I am a pervert. I had one experience in the park where a woman came and sat at the same picnic table I was sitting at and started nursing her baby with her back to me. The baby was facing me and looking at me while nursing so I started smiling and making funny faces. The mother turned around and smiled and we struck up a good conversation. I think it's the mother's comfort level that makes those around her comfortable with her nursing.
I am a young American male and just wanted to let you ladies know that I support your right to do what is natural for mothers to do. I was breast fed and in my 21 years of life I have only been ill four times. I also appreciate the fact that you take into consideration that men may be curious in a non-sexual way. To me watching a mother nurse is equal in amazement to my male mind as feeling a baby move inside its mothers belly.
I think it's so extra cute seeing a child breastfeeding. It bothered me when people told my wife and daughters to go hide to feed the child. It's not like we had a bottle, child is hungry get the boob out. To be fair most people look at it like me; that's so cute.
My husband and I think nursing babies is a marvelous thing -- I nursed our children until they were all about the age of 7 months and I did so in public. My husband and I have no tolerance for companies/people who refuse to allow even discreet nursing. Weve walked out of many establishments over this issue and several admonishment letters have been mailed to various corporations over the years.
HOWEVER, many nursing mothers are almost militant in their nursing behaviors. I find myself feeling ashamed at some of these moms who go so far out of their way to intentionally show other people such blatant disrespect and inconsideration. Both my husband and I feel it is very disrespectful to breast feed showing the entire breast as many people are not yet comfortable with that image. Additionally, it is not OUR business to change the results of their upbringing any more than it is their business to change ours.
I NEVER pushed my right to publicly breast-feed my children on other people by showing my entire breast. I ALWAYS showed other people respect by very simply and nonchalantly covering up (discreet nursing) while I fed the kids. It was not a problem for me to do this and my babies were not bothered by it at all. In asking my sisters and sister-in-law about this, they too have chosen to exercise these rights WITH RESPECT by discreetly nursing their babies whenever in public. None of them has experienced any problems in getting their babies to nurse under a blanket/light cover.
I would feel much more confident in these types of websites if they promoted discreet nursing and encouraged nursing moms to be respectful and strive for harmony, instead of constantly demanding THEIR rights. Discreet nursing ensures that all objectives and considerations are met.
Lauren and James H
Having lived in Europe I feel like I have a more liberal view of topless women or women breast feeding in public. When I was a child, one didnt worry about a swim suit on the beach till puberty. Women seldom worried about tops. There was nothing sexual there. I currently live in a very repressed Utah, (not pointing at the religion here, just people) but people in this state are very inhibited. I don't see a thing wrong with a woman's choice to breast feed in public. It's a very natural and beautiful thing. I feel bad when women have to fumble and fidget to hide from those who would be critical. People need to relax. Breasts are breasts. Breasts become sexual when they are treated taboo. Nudity in general can be thought of in the same manner. Quit making nudity an issue and the over sexuality will diminish.
I believe that brestfeeding is normal for the baby, mother's milk is normal for the baby, that is the right thing do. It does not [know] how the mother's breasts are as long as the baby gets the milk.
I do not think that breast feeding in public is a big deal. It is not 'dirty'. I'm an artist and have had many, many nude models in front of me and think that a woman's body is beautiful. Nevertheless; I think it is often rude to breast feed in front of men who are strangers. Most women do not understand male sexuality (and vice-versa). I'll try to give an example here of why it is rude behavior....... suppose I am in a book-store and finally find the aisle where that speficic book is that I'm looking for. Suppose there is an active breastfeeding mom close by to the shelf where I think that book is. Most men are not going to walk into that aisle; let alone get up close. It's uncomfortable to men and uncomfortable for most women. The woman doesn't know who the man is and doesn't know what that man is feeling. Usually if eyes meet; it's an uncomfortable quick glance. The man may be thinking that woman is thinking that the man be approaching just to get a better look. The bottom line is; why create a situation that causes one or more persons to be uncomfortable when it's not necessary? It's either rude (not caring), or ignorant (not knowing about how men are visually stimulated). Whatever the reason; if there's an alternative to public breastfeeding that isn't causing harm to any one... it would be the cool thing to do.
Societal rules attempt to make us something we are not. Regardless of all of the prudish rules, we are still animals, human, but still animals. Because of the societal rules, we have so many unhealthy hang ups that most people don't even know how the rules originated. We should make a stand to allow all of us to be human and to express our natural functions and behaviors that do not harm anyone except those who allow themselves to be harmed by their own prudish, illogical, and unnatural beliefs.
I have to say, I have no trouble with breastfeeding in public and I have to say one thing. This is a true story. I was serving a table in a restaurant one night when I came across a family in my section. The mother proceeded to expose her breast fully as if she was latching the baby on but instead, asked many questions, ordered and the rest of her family proceeded to order before the baby was finally latched on. I felt extremely uncomfortable with her breast exposed for at least 10 minutes. I did not look at it once, out of respect for the customer and gave them amazing service. I then received a 10% tip. How disrespectful is that? Was I in the wrong to be mad here? She first made me uncomfortable and I did a tremendous job. Any thoughts, comments?
Your situation here wasn't an easy one to handle. I would guess that it
was a "clash" of two different value & belief systems: yours and hers,
or maybe even with three: yours, hers, and the restaurant owner's.
She might have believed strongly in breastfeeding and in her right to breastfeed in public, and possibly was quite used to nursing in public.
If she was that type of person, she might have even opposed the idea of having to hide her breasts or go somewhere else to breastfeed, had someone suggested that.
I think you handled it well. It would have been even better if you hadn't felt uncomfortable, but it is quite understandable that you did. Just think: if all women who had babies breastfed openly in public, then the awkwardness of this situation wouldn't exist. People wouldn't think anything strange of it, and even an exposed breast wouldn't be such a huge deal.
But, meanwhile, while we have these strange cultural values where breasts are supposed to be hidden, where exposing breasts is viewed as sexual and indecent, yet the medical establishment clearly promotes breastfeeding - people will encounter awkward situations.
There are actually far more women who are scared of nursing in public than those who aren't. Those women often try to stay at home as much as they can so they don't have to nurse in public. So, those who do nurse in public are actually the "pioneers" trying to change the public attitude so that the "masses" of women could venture do breastfeed in public as well.
People are completely uninformed with regards to the findings from the numerous studies about the benefits of breastfeeding. Cultures that frown upon breastfeeding are not properly informed and, therefore, place a higher regard upon the "shame factor", viewing breastfeeding as a sexual act, i.e. the Middle East, rather than a nutritious benefit to the child as well as a holistic bonding experience between mother and child. My belief is that sub-Saharan Africans - as well as other developing and open cultures such as India - have it correct. The breast is, first, functional and, second - if that - sexual. It is only in various holy books that demean women's bodies by placing them into a "utility box" for men. Mammory glands have one function and that is to feed and nourish the child. No more, no less. It is due to such cultures that place women into a "property" role that mammory glands are only for the man's pleasure. This needs to be corrected. Too bad if passers-by make "funny eyes" at the woman who nourishes her child a better source than such companies that make formula. Man will NEVER measure up to Mother Nature. Deal with it!
~Mother of two, breast-fed both. Expecting third. Plan to breastfeed just like the African tribeswomen.
Eat your heart out, Consumer Suckers!
I nurse my 4 month old baby in public.
I am not uncomfortable nor embarassed. I am proud that I am doing the best and most natural way to feed my son. I will be sad when this experience is over.
I've always nursed our 3 babies discretely in public, without any problems. In fact, one of our male friends had no idea I was breastfeeding and thought I was just holding the baby. He only learned 25 years later after the subject came up. To my remembrance, there was only one woman sitting in a booth behind us at a family diner who complained. She "whispered" to her companions that I should "do 'that' in the ladies room." Well! Our babies would never take a bottle and why should we have to retreat to a disgusting bathroom? It's a shame our society is so immature and sick that a woman has to be so careful not to bare her breasts while doing something that so natural and beautiful. Geeze! For such a "liberated" country, something is truly sic with our culture. Mothers should be encouraged to breastfeed their babies. There's nothing so lovely as a mother nursing her babe.
For the record, I'm a girl and in my early teens. Personally, I am not very comfortable with breastfeeding in public unless most of the breast is obscured or it's covered up. However, I do respect the right, want and need to breastfeed in public and there should be an area where mothers are allowed to breastfeed in public. It's not just about the mother - I get embarrassed and uncomfortable when I see a breastfeeding mother, or a wardrobe malfunction. Yes, breasts are a part of the body and breastfeeding is a loving and natural activity, but I doubt many people would feel comfortable or back me up if I flashed or copulated in public.
On double standards? I don't like seeing people topless or wearing revealing clothing, although I think topless beaches are fine.
There is nothing wrong with breastfeeding in public. Breastfeeding is natural and normal. It's ridiculous how it's being viewed as something that should be done in private and only in certain places. That shows the intelligence and knowledge of some people.
I personally think breastfeeding in public should not be an issue especially an irritation to others. Where I come from mothers nurse their child in public and no one would mind. Like for me, I'm a Samoan and we have all have different customs, cultures, and beliefs. When I would see a mother nurse her child in public, I don't mind because I don't get that nasty thinking about someone or something. It's just natural in American Samoa.
I think that's all the baby wants, breast milk contains all nutrients and furthermore protects the baby from easily being infected by germs and disease-causing micro-organisms, thus I don't see the reason for preventing babies to get what is essential for their bodies.
There is something perverted in a society that can look at puppies nursing and exclaim about how beautiful and natural they are and then curl their lip and say that you are perverting their son by letting him see a mother nursing her child (human). It has always given me a warm feeling to see a child (human) breast feeding. Like everything is right with the world.
Born in 1936, I am now 72 years of age. As a child, grade school, in the early or mid 40s, I remember seeing women nurse in public, not to openly, usually lightly draped. I remember watching an older cousin, in her 20s, nurse her baby at a family gathering. I was then in the 4th or 5th grade. I thought it was neat seeing how that baby was intently and eagerly engaged at the task at hand. Getting its dinner and loving it.
As a young man in a rural community a women sitting next to me in church drew out her breast and proceeded to nurse her baby. I noticed but didnt stare, I wanted to be polite but I was fondly interested and impressed that she was perfectly comfortable to do so in public. In those days occasionally one might notice women nursing in public places, usually covered with a light receiving blanket. In the cities women were more and more turning to bottles.
I was still a small child when the next sibling came along, a sister. I remember standing at my mothers elbow watching her nurse baby Joyce. Mother was sitting in her old rocking chair. My mother noticed my intense interest and asked if I wanted to try, to nurse that is. I nodded my head yes. She drew me close and put her breast to my mouth. At that point I was lost, it seemed completely foreign to me, I had lost my sucking reflexes they were completely gone. She just as well stuck the end of her finger in my mouth. My mother nursed all of her 12 children, I was number eight.
My wife and I have 7 children.
Dr. George Boswell the BR-DR