Sarah - posted on 09/11/2010 ( 98 moms have responded )
ou don't have to look far for reminders that some people find breastfeeding problematic. A US Walmart store once refused to develop a photo of a three-month-old on the teat, and the deputy editor of Mother & Baby magazine in the UK recently wrote that, for her, the whole idea was a little creepy; she didn't want to put her "fun bags" in a "bawling baby's mouth".
Cue the rise of the "breastfeeding cover-up". The small ads in pregnancy magazines are suddenly full of these strange postnatal accessories, designed to shield onlookers from a supposedly offensive, unsolicited flash of lactating boob. Many of them are all-enveloping "nursing shawls" that make it look as if you are trying to smuggle a suitcase. The UK's Baby BuBu Breastfeeding Covers, for instance, are enormous body aprons, while the Bebe Au Lait Hooter Hiders Nursing Cover is a giant tent with a rigid neckline, allowing you to look down at your baby while wearing the maternal equivalent of clown trousers.
The growing popularity of these cover-ups is causing heated debate among those who think they are a brilliant idea, and those who see them as a giant step backwards. Julia Roberts, Gwen Stefani and Gwyneth Paltrow have all voiced support for Hooter Hiders; earlier this year it was suggested on the US TV show The View that a woman who had faced disapproval while breastfeeding in public could have saved herself the trouble by wearing a cover-up. In the British maternity press they are promoted unquestioningly in lists of the "best breastfeeding accessories".
Others are not so positive. Earlier this year, a Facebook group launched with the title: "If breastfeeding offends you, why don't you put a blanket over YOUR head?" It has more than 260,000 members. And Ina May Gaskin, the midwife and breastfeeding expert, says that "nipple-phobia" is a US problem that is now being exported worldwide.
Your Thoughts?? To be honest, I'm inclined to think that wearing one of these things is going to draw more attention to yourself!