Breastfeeding in public

Barbara - posted on 01/29/2009 ( 165 moms have responded )

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I take my baby pretty much everywhere and breastfeed wherever I am. No one has ever said anything to me, and I've never felt like anyone minded until I started reading some comments in another thread about how people don't like it. Has anyone else felt like they were unwelcome to breastfeed in a public place? And do some of you feel like breastfeeding in public is an impolite thing to do? Just curious.

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Heather - posted on 06/10/2013

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I think that it's illegal in most places to discriminate against breastfeeding mothers. I think it's perfectly acceptable to bf in public. too much sexualization of a woman's body has destroyed this beautiful and natural thing in the eyes of the public. Never let anyone give you a hard time about public bf. ur doing what's best for your baby.

Brittany - posted on 02/20/2009

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I nurse in public daily. No big deal, and nobody has ever given me a hard time.
I don't put a cover or blanket on. Never saw a point in that. I am still pretty discreet... I don't leave my breasts hanging out or anything while she's not feeding!

Kate - posted on 02/10/2009

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I always breast-fed where ever I was when I had to do it, but I always tried to cover my skin from the breast up to the neck. This way it's less noticeable. The only comments I had were from ladies (mostly old ones) wide-smiling and finding this beautiful and or cute and who most of the time also wanted to see my baby. People who I had the impression might have felt discomfort towards it were just trying to politely ignore it. I live in France and I know the French are more easy going with breast-feeding than in England for instance because I was told so by English people who saw me breast-feed and were actually finding this a good thing to do. I think as long as the baby is a baby and not a toddler it is considered "ok". Breast-feeding a 14 moths old (the longest I did) is starting to be looked as "odd".

Kate - posted on 02/10/2009

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I always breast-fed where ever I was when I had to do it, but I always tried to cover my skin from the breast up to the neck. This way it's less noticeable. The only comments I had were from ladies (mostly old ones) wide-smiling and finding this beautiful and or cute and who most of the time also wanted to see my baby. People who I had the impression might have felt discomfort towards it were just trying to politely ignore it. I live in France and I know the French are more easy going with breast-feeding than in England for instance because I was told so by English people who saw me breast-feed and were actually finding this a good thing to do. I think as long as the baby is a baby and not a toddler it is considered "ok". Breast-feeding a 14 moths old (the longest I did) is starting to be looked as "odd".

Sarah - posted on 02/09/2009

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I breastfeed in public all the time, I have never had anyone say anything...but I have had some dirty looks. I just blow it off, I am not doing anything wrong.

Lee-Ann - posted on 02/09/2009

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Quoting Kristi:

Anyone that has breastfed will tell you how great it was both for the bonding and the health of the baby. When in public, I always had a blanket that covered baby and the shoulder. It's nobody's business, but people will look and think that a bare breast is inappropriate. Please don't let other people's insecurities stop you from doing this!


I think it is rather ironic that you mention bonding in the same paragraph as covering the baby. When we cover our children during breastfeeding we miss out on the bonding that happens when mother and baby make and hold eye contact during the feed.


This blanket covering seems to be another way to take the breast away from breastfeeding. Breast feeding is not best, it is normal for our species. Thank god for formula, without it some babies would surely die, but really  why aren't we rallying for more milk banks instead of chastizing each other for parenting in the best way we can.


My personal experiences with nursing both of my children in public (sometimes at the same time) have really varied. Neither of my kids would have a blanket over their heads even if I wanted to cover them. I have gigantic breasts and it is nearly impossible to nurse without taking my whole breast out. I do use nursing shirts, to cover the streach marks and muffin tops, but try as I might what the baby's head doesn't cover sometimes shows. If you don't like it don't look. I might not like your clothers, but I don't tell you to go home and change.


Instead of dwelling on hard NIP experiences, I make a point of offering a smile and maybe a kind word to moms nursing in public, as well as moms doing other kinds of parenting in public. 


 

[deleted account]

I have breastfed in many different public places.  I always try to be as descreet as possible, but I have NEVER had any negative response to it. 

Melissa - posted on 02/09/2009

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I nursed my daughter for 12 months, and am currently nursing my 10 month old. I really haven't had the need to nurse in public. I plan outings around that, which of course is so much easier now that my son can eat cheerios or crackers to hold him over if needed. When my son was 3 months we went on vacation and were at a lake and I did nurse him there, but I went off away from everyone else and had a towel around us so I was totally covered. I don't think it's an impolite thing to do or anything, I mean if a baby is hungry you should feed them. I do however believe that it is the modest thing to do to not expose your breast in public when doing so. It's of course a natural thing and why we have breasts, but some people are bothered so it's good to be respectful.

Barbara - posted on 02/09/2009

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Quoting Maggie:

I dont understand why some people are so angry. I think you started this posting just to vent some anger. You asked for opinions and are attacking those who tell you what you dont want to hear.


Maybe you see my having a different opinion than you as an attack.  I don't.  Many people have been posting things that I totally disagree with.  I don't see them as "attacks" either, just people expressing their beliefs.



But it does anger me when people make breastfeeding into some kind of personal problem that you have to deal with discreetly so as not to offend anyone, like having B.O. or something like that.  As a breastfeeding mother who nurses her kid anywhere without throwing a blanket over it or going into a nursing closet, it makes me feel unwelcome.  I honestly didn't realize that it was this bad when I started to discuss it in this and one other thread, so I am just in a little bit of shock.  Sorry.

Maggie - posted on 02/09/2009

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I dont understand why some people are so angry. I think you started this posting just to vent some anger. You asked for opinions and are attacking those who tell you what you dont want to hear.

Tracy - posted on 02/09/2009

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I didn't do much, but I know I do feel uncomfortable as a woman if we go somewhere and a woman is breastfeeding in public.  I know that is going to spark some comments from people and I know I probably shouldn't but it just embarresses me.

Barbara - posted on 02/09/2009

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Quoting Christina:



Quoting Danna:




Quoting Barbara:





Quoting Victoria:






Quoting Barbara:







Quoting Victoria:







To me, I do find breasts to be a private part of the body. So yes, we disagree there, but also, in this story, I dont see her leaking to be about anyone else. She was spending time with her husband, in a hospital, where all of the staff I'm sure knew her and that she had just had a baby so yeah, an accident like this wouldnt be a huge deal to them. To the others there, I'm sure may have given her looks, but who cares. This is a hospital! Anyone there shouldnt be judging anyone else due to the fact that anyone who goes there is there for a loved one who may be ill and in hopes of getting better. The way I see it, in a hospital, those with mascara running down their face from crying are in the same boat as those who have juice spilt on them, and those who had their breasts leak. None of it is to be embarrassed about. Accidents happen, life happens. The one time my breasts leaked, I laughed my ass off about it with my family! I wasnt out in public yet, and if I were, I think my reaction would have been the same and I probably would have bought a new bra and shirt to wear for me to be more comfortable, NOT bc I was embarrassed, but bc its not really comfortable to walk around with a wet bra and shirt in the cold. That's just me though. And I do agree that yes, she may be classy, but her actions in this story put her in a different category of being classy than what one, including myself, may consider being classy about bf in public. I think that being classy in public is to be as discreet as possible, dont throw your boob out for the world to see. That's not necessary. And comparing her to Rosa Parks is def making a campaign out of this, when there's really no need to. Do onto others as you would like done upon yourself. If you cant cover up with anything, then do as the one girl and turn away from the crowd so those who do feel uncomfortable seeing a woman doing it infront of them dont get too freaked out and lose their appetite. I'm sure there are some things in this world that go on and you wish wouldnt happen infront of you and I'm sure there are those who do it, try to do it discreetly bc they care about how others may feel about it. I had to pump and feed my son and didnt breastfeed in public ONLY because he wouldnt latch on, BUT I do know that when we go for our next child that yes, I will breastfeed in public and I WILL take into consideration of how others may feel. I'm a private person and dont want others seeing my boobs, if I wanted that I wouldve been an exotic dancer. And I for one, dont care to see other women's boobs out in the open, we all have them and if I wanted to see some, I'd check out my own.





















The problem lies in the fact that the majority of women (in the US anyway) aren't breastfeeding, even though they know it is better for their babies to do so.  Some try it, but they usually quit within a few weeks, though it is reccomended to breastfeed for at least a year in this country.  It seems that the main reason, at least the most common one I have heard discussed is that they are "uncomfortable" or "too modest" to be doing it.  Why do you think that is?  Could it be that people treat it as something that may cause others to, as you say "lose their appetite?"  Acting like breasts are gross and that breastfeeding should be kept under wraps is damaging to the health of the world, so maybe there should be a few breastfeeding "crusaders" out there.


















You dont have to go preaching to the choir on breast is best, I got it, and I agree. But I do think that you are going to have to agree with me that things change.. The world has changed. Life changes. Its just something that happens. And I'm sure there were those women who were 'uncomfortable' or 'too modest' back in the day too. Everyone is different and I think you're going to have to accept that. In this day in age, I think that people do have it set in their minds that breastfeeding is gross, and I think its far too many people and I applaud those who do breastfeed still. I personally just think it should be a private affair, even if in public. And if you want to go crusading, start at the hospitals and local high schools, since teenage preganacies are happening more often than we would like. And what teen has enough the self esteem to offer their breast to their baby without hesitation? They are the future of this world, so they are really the determining factor if it sticks around or not. The only thing we are disagreeing on here is the fact that I think it should be as discreet as possible, you dont feel that way, and hey, good for you. I agree that not enough people do it, and I think a good bit of that is because of the simplicity of powder+water=food for baby and done. Again, we all know the change in women's status in today's business world. A good bit of us do work, and may not have time to breastfeed. There are a number of different reasons for someone to opt not to these days. And to me, they are just excuses. There is nothing wrong with pumping your milk at your own convenience, like I did, and feed your baby that way. I personally think that those who opt not to have their child latch on their breast, they should pump. And I get that it may hurt, try a different pump. One woman on here was talking about how she was pregnant with another while her lil one was nursing and her nips were chapped and bleeding. That hurts! And I think that would hurt a heck of alot more than a pump! 















Making an honest go at breastfeeding is all you can really ask of someone.  Whether or not they are only going to do out in the open or under a blanket is completely up to the mother.  I just think it is unhelpful to say that a woman should be discreet about it.  What does that even mean?  If there's nothing wrong with breastfeeding, then there's nothing wrong with it.  It's contradictory to say it's not gross and then say it's something that would make someone lose their appetite.  I'm sure that there were a few people who were very uncomfortable with having to share public spaces with people whose skin was a different color from their own.  We can't play to the few who may be offended when people are being discriminated against.  If a woman wants to cover up that's just fine.  But I don't think that women who do breastfeed openly in public should be able to do so without being labled indescreet.












It's amazing to see so many different opinions about breastfeeding in public..I have to say i completely agree with Barbara...My opinion is "true everyone is entitled to their own opinion"but  in the same manner,, we entitled to LOOK at whatever we want to look at...Bottom line is...you don't like what you see..then look away...why are so many people opinionated on something that can sooo easily be avoided by NOT LOOKING!!  i breastfed two of my four children and didn't have a care in the world how i breastfed and where....it's bad enough that we have to find a comfortable spot for ourselves,,,get our babies comfortable to feed, make sure we santized good, to also have to worry about whether the person next to me is going to be offended or not....if the person instantly realizes what's going on then simply don't look...go about your business as if nothing were wrong because in the end it's only a loving mother providing for her hungry baby...if anything, it should put a smile on people's faces to see that type of bonding between a mom and her child...a breastfeeding mom should only enjoy the little time she has to bond with her baby,,rather remember the bad experiences immature people gave her









You are right, it is a bonding experience.  For me that bonding experience was a very personal time with my baby.  I am a very personal person and I believe that the only people that should be seeing my boobs are my husband and my babies!  It doesn't matter what people know you are doing under that blanket/smock or over in the corner or whatever comfortable spot that you find to sit and relax while feeding your baby.  It is important, however, that you show a little modesty.  If you weren't feeding at the time would you let your boob hang out for everyone to see?  I certainly wouldn't.  So why would you let it hang out just because there is a baby attached to it?  Why does feeding a baby make a boob less of a private part?  And yes, it is a private part.  If it weren't then why would we ever have to cover them up at all?  Why not run around without shirts like the men do?  Oh, that's right, because they ARE private parts and not meant for everyone to see!





You can go on covering up if you like, and thinking what you like about YOUR breasts.  However, your rights end where mine begin, so you can leave MY breasts, and any other breasts besides your own, out of it.

Lori - posted on 02/09/2009

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I have to say, I am not a judgemental person and it is up to the person what they do. Since you are asking, I do not like to see it in public. I know it is "just feeding the baby" but, I am not one of the women who pulled my boob out anyplace and fed my daughter. I would go to a quiet, low traffic area and feed her. Even then, I covered everything with a receiving blanket. It was a private thing and I respect my body and even though it is a natural thing, there is not only a time for everything, but a place, too.

Christina - posted on 02/09/2009

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Quoting Danna:



Quoting Barbara:




Quoting Victoria:





Quoting Barbara:






Quoting Victoria:






To me, I do find breasts to be a private part of the body. So yes, we disagree there, but also, in this story, I dont see her leaking to be about anyone else. She was spending time with her husband, in a hospital, where all of the staff I'm sure knew her and that she had just had a baby so yeah, an accident like this wouldnt be a huge deal to them. To the others there, I'm sure may have given her looks, but who cares. This is a hospital! Anyone there shouldnt be judging anyone else due to the fact that anyone who goes there is there for a loved one who may be ill and in hopes of getting better. The way I see it, in a hospital, those with mascara running down their face from crying are in the same boat as those who have juice spilt on them, and those who had their breasts leak. None of it is to be embarrassed about. Accidents happen, life happens. The one time my breasts leaked, I laughed my ass off about it with my family! I wasnt out in public yet, and if I were, I think my reaction would have been the same and I probably would have bought a new bra and shirt to wear for me to be more comfortable, NOT bc I was embarrassed, but bc its not really comfortable to walk around with a wet bra and shirt in the cold. That's just me though. And I do agree that yes, she may be classy, but her actions in this story put her in a different category of being classy than what one, including myself, may consider being classy about bf in public. I think that being classy in public is to be as discreet as possible, dont throw your boob out for the world to see. That's not necessary. And comparing her to Rosa Parks is def making a campaign out of this, when there's really no need to. Do onto others as you would like done upon yourself. If you cant cover up with anything, then do as the one girl and turn away from the crowd so those who do feel uncomfortable seeing a woman doing it infront of them dont get too freaked out and lose their appetite. I'm sure there are some things in this world that go on and you wish wouldnt happen infront of you and I'm sure there are those who do it, try to do it discreetly bc they care about how others may feel about it. I had to pump and feed my son and didnt breastfeed in public ONLY because he wouldnt latch on, BUT I do know that when we go for our next child that yes, I will breastfeed in public and I WILL take into consideration of how others may feel. I'm a private person and dont want others seeing my boobs, if I wanted that I wouldve been an exotic dancer. And I for one, dont care to see other women's boobs out in the open, we all have them and if I wanted to see some, I'd check out my own.


















The problem lies in the fact that the majority of women (in the US anyway) aren't breastfeeding, even though they know it is better for their babies to do so.  Some try it, but they usually quit within a few weeks, though it is reccomended to breastfeed for at least a year in this country.  It seems that the main reason, at least the most common one I have heard discussed is that they are "uncomfortable" or "too modest" to be doing it.  Why do you think that is?  Could it be that people treat it as something that may cause others to, as you say "lose their appetite?"  Acting like breasts are gross and that breastfeeding should be kept under wraps is damaging to the health of the world, so maybe there should be a few breastfeeding "crusaders" out there.















You dont have to go preaching to the choir on breast is best, I got it, and I agree. But I do think that you are going to have to agree with me that things change.. The world has changed. Life changes. Its just something that happens. And I'm sure there were those women who were 'uncomfortable' or 'too modest' back in the day too. Everyone is different and I think you're going to have to accept that. In this day in age, I think that people do have it set in their minds that breastfeeding is gross, and I think its far too many people and I applaud those who do breastfeed still. I personally just think it should be a private affair, even if in public. And if you want to go crusading, start at the hospitals and local high schools, since teenage preganacies are happening more often than we would like. And what teen has enough the self esteem to offer their breast to their baby without hesitation? They are the future of this world, so they are really the determining factor if it sticks around or not. The only thing we are disagreeing on here is the fact that I think it should be as discreet as possible, you dont feel that way, and hey, good for you. I agree that not enough people do it, and I think a good bit of that is because of the simplicity of powder+water=food for baby and done. Again, we all know the change in women's status in today's business world. A good bit of us do work, and may not have time to breastfeed. There are a number of different reasons for someone to opt not to these days. And to me, they are just excuses. There is nothing wrong with pumping your milk at your own convenience, like I did, and feed your baby that way. I personally think that those who opt not to have their child latch on their breast, they should pump. And I get that it may hurt, try a different pump. One woman on here was talking about how she was pregnant with another while her lil one was nursing and her nips were chapped and bleeding. That hurts! And I think that would hurt a heck of alot more than a pump! 












Making an honest go at breastfeeding is all you can really ask of someone.  Whether or not they are only going to do out in the open or under a blanket is completely up to the mother.  I just think it is unhelpful to say that a woman should be discreet about it.  What does that even mean?  If there's nothing wrong with breastfeeding, then there's nothing wrong with it.  It's contradictory to say it's not gross and then say it's something that would make someone lose their appetite.  I'm sure that there were a few people who were very uncomfortable with having to share public spaces with people whose skin was a different color from their own.  We can't play to the few who may be offended when people are being discriminated against.  If a woman wants to cover up that's just fine.  But I don't think that women who do breastfeed openly in public should be able to do so without being labled indescreet.









It's amazing to see so many different opinions about breastfeeding in public..I have to say i completely agree with Barbara...My opinion is "true everyone is entitled to their own opinion"but  in the same manner,, we entitled to LOOK at whatever we want to look at...Bottom line is...you don't like what you see..then look away...why are so many people opinionated on something that can sooo easily be avoided by NOT LOOKING!!  i breastfed two of my four children and didn't have a care in the world how i breastfed and where....it's bad enough that we have to find a comfortable spot for ourselves,,,get our babies comfortable to feed, make sure we santized good, to also have to worry about whether the person next to me is going to be offended or not....if the person instantly realizes what's going on then simply don't look...go about your business as if nothing were wrong because in the end it's only a loving mother providing for her hungry baby...if anything, it should put a smile on people's faces to see that type of bonding between a mom and her child...a breastfeeding mom should only enjoy the little time she has to bond with her baby,,rather remember the bad experiences immature people gave her





You are right, it is a bonding experience.  For me that bonding experience was a very personal time with my baby.  I am a very personal person and I believe that the only people that should be seeing my boobs are my husband and my babies!  It doesn't matter what people know you are doing under that blanket/smock or over in the corner or whatever comfortable spot that you find to sit and relax while feeding your baby.  It is important, however, that you show a little modesty.  If you weren't feeding at the time would you let your boob hang out for everyone to see?  I certainly wouldn't.  So why would you let it hang out just because there is a baby attached to it?  Why does feeding a baby make a boob less of a private part?  And yes, it is a private part.  If it weren't then why would we ever have to cover them up at all?  Why not run around without shirts like the men do?  Oh, that's right, because they ARE private parts and not meant for everyone to see!

Sara - posted on 02/05/2009

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I am a mother of 2 and with one that is 17 months old and one that is about to turn 3 months old I have to nurse anytime and anywhere that I can! I bought a wrap from Target for like $8 and it has been a life saver and to me I haven't heard anyone say any comments. I feel like it is not impolite and its a natural thing my number one goal in life is to take care of my babies and when my child needs fed I am going to feed him.Some people look away and others just praise me on how great it is that I am giving my baby this chance. I tried with my first son and had major problems so to me to be able to do it this time is truly a gift. Sara

Barbara - posted on 02/05/2009

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Quoting Chantel:



Barbara, I'm sorry I told you to go live with the animals (although I didn't mention chimps specifically). It's very cool that you were an animal trainer. I myself am a great lover of animals, but I don't think its right to compare us to them. I was out of line because I felt like I was being personally attacked by you with your other comment.





I understand.  I'm sorry you felt you were being attacked.  It was not my intention.  It's hard for me not to compare my own species to others because I have spent the majority of my adult life in the company of non humans.  I really like living with animals, actually, so I don't take it as an insult.;)

Kasey - posted on 02/05/2009

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As a nurse and a mother who breastfed until my son was a year - you are doing the best thing you can do for your child.  If people have a problem with it, too bad for them.  It is natural and more mothers need to feel empowered to breastfeed in public.  Maybe then we could increase breastfeeding rates in this country and provide children with the best nutrition possible!  Sorry - just my personal soapbox!  Congratulations on making this choice and not being afraid to do it in public!

Jillian - posted on 02/05/2009

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Lots of people have mentioned that kids may ask what's going on when they see a mom NIP.  I get lots of kids that come over and try to look (I'm talking the under 8 group here, not teenage boys LOL).  Their moms (my friends) will often tell them to move away while I'm nursing or to leave me alone.  I love to say, "Oh, you don't have to leave.  is drinking milk - did you want to see?"  I've invited my nieces and even my nephew to come and look.  They are usually absolutely fascinated and ask a handful of questions which for some ridiculous reason seem to make moms and dads squirm.  I just answer them... how does the milk get in there?  how does the baby get it out?  what does it taist like?



How is breastfeeding ever going to be normalized if when children see it, we shoo them away?  Isn't that telling them it's something to be ashamed of?  If the children are really our future, then it's the 8 year old girl I'm talking to today who will help normalize breastfeeding for my daughter tomorrow.

Jessica - posted on 02/05/2009

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I breastfed my daughter and only had two problems one was when I was just learning I would go in to another room because I was not  able to cover her up. I am a large chested girl and wanted to make sure i was doing it right. Well my boyfriends mother some how thought that this was a memory that needed capturing so she took my picture, I was so mad. I politely asked her to leave the room.  the second time was about a month later I was at the mall and was BIP and byt his time was covering my daughters head, well even completely covered a woaman told me that I should go do that in the bathroom, my responce was for her to take her kids and their happy meals in the bathroo and I would happily follow. That made her go away! I will  admit that I never fed my daughter in church I would always go into the nursery to feed, but that was my choice not something I was asked to do.

Clare - posted on 02/05/2009

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im for it and i do myself i think some people are uncomfortable about it and thats mainly because there not used to it but most peope dont even notice and for the health of us and our babies its gotta happen so people need to see it

[deleted account]

I've breastfed in public, and there's nothing wrong with that. Breasts were made for BF, and somehow society has shifted them to be something of a sexual nature. If our children are hungry, then so be it. I wasn't going to let my kids cry and be hungry simply because some people may have a problem with it. As far as people equating it with masturbation in public, etc., that is EXTREMELY bizarre. Masturbation = self pleasure. Breastfeeding = feeding our children. BF isn't something that we do for self pleasure! LoL



I don't find BF in public an impolite thing to do at all. It's just that so many people have taken the baby formula route that they aren't as used to seeing BF, and it kinda shocks them. Now, if you were using your breast as a watergun for the people that are rudely staring,... then maybe that'd be a different issue LoL



I wouldn't worry about it at all. ...especially if you live in Canada. ..it's in your human rights!

[deleted account]

I've breastfed in public, and there's nothing wrong with that. Breasts were made for BF, and somehow society has shifted them to be something of a sexual nature. If our children are hungry, then so be it. I wasn't going to let my kids cry and be hungry simply because some people may have a problem with it. As far as people equating it with masturbation in public, etc., that is EXTREMELY bizarre. Masturbation = self pleasure. Breastfeeding = feeding our children. BF isn't something that we do for self pleasure! LoL



I don't find BF in public an impolite thing to do at all. It's just that so many people have taken the baby formula route that they aren't as used to seeing BF, and it kinda shocks them. Now, if you were using your breast as a watergun for the people that are rudely staring,... then maybe that'd be a different issue LoL



I wouldn't worry about it at all. ...especially if you live in Canada. ..it's in your human rights!

[deleted account]

I've breastfed in public, and there's nothing wrong with that. Breasts were made for BF, and somehow society has shifted them to be something of a sexual nature. If our children are hungry, then so be it. I wasn't going to let my kids cry and be hungry simply because some people may have a problem with it. As far as people equating it with masturbation in public, etc., that is EXTREMELY bizarre. Masturbation = self pleasure. Breastfeeding = feeding our children. BF isn't something that we do for self pleasure! LoL



I don't find BF in public an impolite thing to do at all. It's just that so many people have taken the baby formula route that they aren't as used to seeing BF, and it kinda shocks them. Now, if you were using your breast as a watergun for the people that are rudely staring,... then maybe that'd be a different issue LoL



I wouldn't worry about it at all. ...especially if you live in Canada. ..it's in your human rights!

Maggie - posted on 02/05/2009

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I think most people are just curious. I remember when I was a nanny (before I was a mommy) the mother I worked for caught me looking and she just asked me if I had any questions. Then we sat down and spoke about it, I really learned a lot. I think most people are just curious and may have not been around a breastfeeding mother before. I dont think we all need to hide, but just take into consideration that we live in a very confused society. Breasts have become sex related objects only, not a means of nourishing our children. so the next time someone is staring, if the situation warrants, ask them if they have any questions. don't assume they are "prude" and are judging you. we are all sisters and maybe talking with a curious woman at the grocery store will inspire her to breastfeed.... isnt that really what it is about!! How much better breastfeeding is when compared to formula. And maybe subconsciously the mothers that didnt breastfeed feel like they arent as good of a mother because they gave their child formula. ( I do NOT believe that is true!!) we already live in a society that tries to put barriers between women, lets not make breastfeeding another one!!! If you breastfeed great! if you dont fine! who are we to make other women, complete strangers, feel bad because of one choice.

Jillian - posted on 02/05/2009

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Quoting Elizabeth:



Really? Have you ever seen anyone remove their shirt AND bra and breastfeed in a store or church or park?



...



I think the reason so many women are so frustrated by the injunction to "be discreet" is that it's a moving target.






Well said!  I keep hearing about how some people flaunt it... maybe I live in a bubble, but I've just NEVER seen that!!!  And let me tell you, I've seen a whole lot of breastfeeding mammas!



Discreet... my family thinks that means using a cover, but I think that draws a ton of attention to it.  I feel like it's a big, red, flashing neon sign over my head that says, "HEY - SHE'S BREASTFEEDING OVER HERE - LOOK, A REAL LIVE BOOB IS RIGHT UNDER THIS COVER!!!"  Since I've decided to stop covering up, and thereby drawing so much attention to it, my family often doesn't even know I'm nursing!  Even when I'm at the table at Christmas dinner!!  Just the other day, I was at a Super Bowl party and the mom of a 6 mo old said, "Wow - you really do that discreetly - I've been standing here for 10 min talking to you and never noticed you were nursing!

[deleted account]

I breastfed my son for about 7 months.  I did breast-feed in public regularly but always used a cover/blanket.  I don't see a problem with it, but recognize that it does make some people uncomfortable.  I feel as long as the mom is not 'flaunting' things, it shouldn't be a problem.  I will say it did make a few people uncomfortable even with a cover, and they need to seriously get over it.  (Though I did usually get a kick out of it!)

Chantel - posted on 02/05/2009

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Barbara, I'm sorry I told you to go live with the animals (although I didn't mention chimps specifically). It's very cool that you were an animal trainer. I myself am a great lover of animals, but I don't think its right to compare us to them. I was out of line because I felt like I was being personally attacked by you with your other comment.

Barbara - posted on 02/05/2009

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Quoting Chantel:



Quoting Barbara:




Quoting Chantel:





Quoting Corinea:






OMG I'm so tired of prudish people: IT'S JUST A BOOB.  I hate to break it to you but we're not some higher being we are mammals and mammals feed their offspring with their tits it's nature and some people may think we're "above" that or whatever but we're not.  Society tries to shape us into something we are not, it's just like the idea of marriage, humans were not meant to be a monogymous species that's why the divorce rate is so high.  We are an animal just like every other on this earth and I'm sick of society pushing us to ignore our instincts and seperate ourselves from nature.















Okay I just had to reply to this. I have read so many replies on different threads saying that we're mammals. Yes we are. Mammals feed their young so as we are mammals that is the thing to do. Well, If so many want to compare us to animals how about this. If a baby animal can't feed they are left to die, if they get sick or hurt they are left to die. If they don't learn to fend for themselves in a limited amount of time they die. Animals atack and kill each other and fight for their food, to the death sometimes. ITS NATURE!! Sorry but we are "higher beings". We eat with utensils, we bathe regularly, we take our children to the doctor and we bottle feed them sometimes. Who says that humans weren't made to be monogomous or not? If you think we are animals and don't want to be seperated from nature does that mean you live in a tree and hunt your own food? Cuz that's nature. Society has allowed us to live a lot more civilized than the animals.












 You're right, we are different from the "animals."  Their babies are always nursed with the milk that was made just for them, and we have decided to deny our children that right because breastfeeding is dirty and rude and just too much for us to handle.  What does that say about us as "higher beings."










Now I'm assuming your comment is coming from the fact that I started the other thread about bottle feeding. Yes I bottle feed. If you disagree with that I DON"T CARE! That's not what this thread is about and I was just trying to say that we aren't like the animals, we are different. If you think the animals do a better job, go live with them and stop over doing this whole thing. You don't agree with anybody, even fellow breastfeeders. You know what you're right I couldn't handle breastfeeding but my daughter is beautiful and smart and just fine. The animals do nurse their babies thats true but isn't this thread about nursing in public, not about nursing vs bottle feeding? That thread was closed because people were just being mean. Why does everything on here turn into a war between moms? I don't think I like this circle of moms thing...






Anyway, my previous post was about me trying to say that comparing us to animals to make a point about breastfeeding isn't a good exaple if you go into the fact that we do a lot of things that aren't "natural". If it's not understandable what I was trying to say then I'm sorry but I can't figure out how to type what I mean. I'm more of a talker...





  Honestly, I hadn't noticed that you were the same person who started that other thread.  I think both of these issues have a good deal of overlap, and I'm sorry if that comment seemed pointed right at you. I didn't mean it to be.  Perhaps I have a different perspective of animals as I was an animal trainer for eight years, so I guess I have already "gone and lived with them"  as you suggest that I do.  Animal mothers would rather not leave their babies to die for any reason, but they don't have any other options. If we didn't have other options, we would be doing the same thing, so it's good that we do.  I'm just saying that not every man made imrovement is an actual improvement, and wouldn't it be nice if we could keep those good parts without actually moving into the wild to live with chimpanzees as you have told me that I should?



And it was a good idea that you closed that other thread, as women were starting to directly insult each other.  I however don't believe that has happened on this thread, although people are on opposite sides of the fence.  There is a difference between stating your opinion unapologetically and name calling.  I think that a heated discussion is a wonderful way to really get to know the issues.  If this becomes an insult fest I will definitely close it right up.



As far as me not agreeing with "anybody, even breastfeeders,"  I will say this.  I believe that there is nothing wrong with breastfeeding in public.   From your thread I learned the power of societal pressure not to breastfeed.  I believe it is a major reason that women choose to forego it alltogether.  So, if someone feels more comfortable covering up or going to a private location to breastfeed, more power to them.  But if they say that other mothers are unclassy or rude or indecent for not following their lead, I am going to disagree with them whether they breastfeed or not.

Wendy - posted on 02/05/2009

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I tell the proud story to people about when I actually breastfed my baby at the Cleveland Hopkins airport while waiting to board. I'm a very private person, so this was a big deal to me. And since i'm such a private person, I thought of it as a milestone for me - the care for my baby came before any self-consciousness I felt. I think once I became a mom, all self-consciousness I ever had before has been thrown out the window! :)

Katrese - posted on 02/05/2009

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I think there is a respectful way to breastfeed in public. A coverup is fine but just whipping things out is uncalled for. It isn't just a matter of your child being hungry and you wanting to fulfill that demand but there is the matter of other people being uncomfortable. Most Americans are not open minded, like say Europeans where this probably is not an issue.

Jayne - posted on 02/05/2009

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Seriously this is ridiculous.  People should be minding their own business and not looking at women breastfeeding anyway.  Then how can they be offended.  Really, breast feeding mothers are just tending to the most basic needs of their child, what could be so wrong with this.  People need to leave their judgements to themselves, and stop staring if you are so offended!!!! Get a life.

Chantel - posted on 02/04/2009

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Quoting Barbara:



Quoting Chantel:




Quoting Corinea:





OMG I'm so tired of prudish people: IT'S JUST A BOOB.  I hate to break it to you but we're not some higher being we are mammals and mammals feed their offspring with their tits it's nature and some people may think we're "above" that or whatever but we're not.  Society tries to shape us into something we are not, it's just like the idea of marriage, humans were not meant to be a monogymous species that's why the divorce rate is so high.  We are an animal just like every other on this earth and I'm sick of society pushing us to ignore our instincts and seperate ourselves from nature.












Okay I just had to reply to this. I have read so many replies on different threads saying that we're mammals. Yes we are. Mammals feed their young so as we are mammals that is the thing to do. Well, If so many want to compare us to animals how about this. If a baby animal can't feed they are left to die, if they get sick or hurt they are left to die. If they don't learn to fend for themselves in a limited amount of time they die. Animals atack and kill each other and fight for their food, to the death sometimes. ITS NATURE!! Sorry but we are "higher beings". We eat with utensils, we bathe regularly, we take our children to the doctor and we bottle feed them sometimes. Who says that humans weren't made to be monogomous or not? If you think we are animals and don't want to be seperated from nature does that mean you live in a tree and hunt your own food? Cuz that's nature. Society has allowed us to live a lot more civilized than the animals.









 You're right, we are different from the "animals."  Their babies are always nursed with the milk that was made just for them, and we have decided to deny our children that right because breastfeeding is dirty and rude and just too much for us to handle.  What does that say about us as "higher beings."






Now I'm assuming your comment is coming from the fact that I started the other thread about bottle feeding. Yes I bottle feed. If you disagree with that I DON"T CARE! That's not what this thread is about and I was just trying to say that we aren't like the animals, we are different. If you think the animals do a better job, go live with them and stop over doing this whole thing. You don't agree with anybody, even fellow breastfeeders. You know what you're right I couldn't handle breastfeeding but my daughter is beautiful and smart and just fine. The animals do nurse their babies thats true but isn't this thread about nursing in public, not about nursing vs bottle feeding? That thread was closed because people were just being mean. Why does everything on here turn into a war between moms? I don't think I like this circle of moms thing...



Anyway, my previous post was about me trying to say that comparing us to animals to make a point about breastfeeding isn't a good exaple if you go into the fact that we do a lot of things that aren't "natural". If it's not understandable what I was trying to say then I'm sorry but I can't figure out how to type what I mean. I'm more of a talker...

Barbara - posted on 02/04/2009

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Quoting Chantel:



Quoting Corinea:




OMG I'm so tired of prudish people: IT'S JUST A BOOB.  I hate to break it to you but we're not some higher being we are mammals and mammals feed their offspring with their tits it's nature and some people may think we're "above" that or whatever but we're not.  Society tries to shape us into something we are not, it's just like the idea of marriage, humans were not meant to be a monogymous species that's why the divorce rate is so high.  We are an animal just like every other on this earth and I'm sick of society pushing us to ignore our instincts and seperate ourselves from nature.









Okay I just had to reply to this. I have read so many replies on different threads saying that we're mammals. Yes we are. Mammals feed their young so as we are mammals that is the thing to do. Well, If so many want to compare us to animals how about this. If a baby animal can't feed they are left to die, if they get sick or hurt they are left to die. If they don't learn to fend for themselves in a limited amount of time they die. Animals atack and kill each other and fight for their food, to the death sometimes. ITS NATURE!! Sorry but we are "higher beings". We eat with utensils, we bathe regularly, we take our children to the doctor and we bottle feed them sometimes. Who says that humans weren't made to be monogomous or not? If you think we are animals and don't want to be seperated from nature does that mean you live in a tree and hunt your own food? Cuz that's nature. Society has allowed us to live a lot more civilized than the animals.





 You're right, we are different from the "animals."  Their babies are always nursed with the milk that was made just for them, and we have decided to deny our children that right because breastfeeding is dirty and rude and just too much for us to handle.  What does that say about us as "higher beings."

Chantel - posted on 02/04/2009

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Quoting Corinea:



OMG I'm so tired of prudish people: IT'S JUST A BOOB.  I hate to break it to you but we're not some higher being we are mammals and mammals feed their offspring with their tits it's nature and some people may think we're "above" that or whatever but we're not.  Society tries to shape us into something we are not, it's just like the idea of marriage, humans were not meant to be a monogymous species that's why the divorce rate is so high.  We are an animal just like every other on this earth and I'm sick of society pushing us to ignore our instincts and seperate ourselves from nature.





Okay I just had to reply to this. I have read so many replies on different threads saying that we're mammals. Yes we are. Mammals feed their young so as we are mammals that is the thing to do. Well, If so many want to compare us to animals how about this. If a baby animal can't feed they are left to die, if they get sick or hurt they are left to die. If they don't learn to fend for themselves in a limited amount of time they die. Animals atack and kill each other and fight for their food, to the death sometimes. ITS NATURE!! Sorry but we are "higher beings". We eat with utensils, we bathe regularly, we take our children to the doctor and we bottle feed them sometimes. Who says that humans weren't made to be monogomous or not? If you think we are animals and don't want to be seperated from nature does that mean you live in a tree and hunt your own food? Cuz that's nature. Society has allowed us to live a lot more civilized than the animals.

Barbara - posted on 02/04/2009

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Quoting lisa:



im a 36 year old mother of one and i am very private . Why is everyone so concerned with feeding in public when my mother had me this was not an issue !! some people are private about it and others are just rude about it!! for example my then 4 yr old son and i were at the store paying for some things we bought when a lady with both breasts out just standing there while her child was in the stroller and my son thinking thats the way we walk around!!! now thats impolite!!!!





Was she breastfeeding or just walking around with her breasts out?

Lisa - posted on 02/04/2009

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im a 36 year old mother of one and i am very private . Why is everyone so concerned with feeding in public when my mother had me this was not an issue !! some people are private about it and others are just rude about it!! for example my then 4 yr old son and i were at the store paying for some things we bought when a lady with both breasts out just standing there while her child was in the stroller and my son thinking thats the way we walk around!!! now thats impolite!!!!

Maree - posted on 02/04/2009

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I've always breastfed in public but I've been shocked at how many women I know felt uncomfortable and that they needed to hide away to do it. I'm Australian living in the UK and grew up with people breastfeeding. As long as you don't make a big show of getting your breast out I don't see what the big deal is. It's such a natural thing to do! I tried for the sake of older men as times to cover my son's head but even at a very young age he'd just pull it straight off so I gave up. I found that as long as I said that I was going to feed him before I did, anyone in close poximity who had a problem could move. I was happy to be breast feeding so I didn't want to hide away and appear ashamed but that's just me, I can completely understand those women who struggle with feeding in public especially as they get older. My son is 8 months now and around 6 months he was all over the place pulling off to have a look what was going on around him and that was the hardest time because I felt like every time he did that my breast was on show but it didn't last that long.

Chrystal - posted on 02/03/2009

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I have wondered what other people think about me breastfeeding in public and if they are uncomfortable by it. I used to use a blanket to place over him, but now he just pulls the blanket off so I have become more comfortable feeding in public. I still feel a little awkward sometimes but I just pick a table in a cafe that is situated at the back of the room, or I wear a singlet underneath my shirt so I can still cover myself up a little with the shirt pulled over the top of Brock.

Sarai - posted on 02/03/2009

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Quoting Corinea:



OMG I'm so tired of prudish people: IT'S JUST A BOOB.  I hate to break it to you but we're not some higher being we are mammals and mammals feed their offspring with their tits it's nature and some people may think we're "above" that or whatever but we're not.  Society tries to shape us into something we are not, it's just like the idea of marriage, humans were not meant to be a monogymous species that's why the divorce rate is so high.  We are an animal just like every other on this earth and I'm sick of society pushing us to ignore our instincts and seperate ourselves from nature.





Yeah you're right we are mammals. But we're also humanbeings and we need to act like it. Not like animals. I don't think the problem here is BF i think it's just when and where it should be done. I don't care seeing breasts but don't want my lil girl or if i had a boy, him seeing some lady pop her tities out in front of him. I understand if babies need to eat then feed them but just like moms who BF want some respect about the decision they make they should respect the fact that to some it's inappropriate or they just don't want  to see it.  To some it's just a boob but to others  it's more than that.

Kerry - posted on 02/03/2009

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ive had 6 children. and breastfed 5 of them. and ive done it wherever and whenever i wanted.never had anybody say anything too me. so guess i was lucky , as ive done it everywhere from on a bus to in a restaraunt.but if they had it wouldnt have made any difference as i would have carried on anyway. what would they sooner have a quiet baby being discreetly fed  ? or a screaming starving baby ?

Tina - posted on 02/03/2009

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that is crazy that people would be offended! it is in no way masturbating! My gosh. if the people do not like it, then they should not look. it is natural. Bring a cover with you to drape over the baby and your breast. this way no one should complain. Keep breastfeeding in the open until you are ready to stop!! More power to you.

Pat - posted on 02/03/2009

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I posted a similar thread about this on a different website for moms. I was at a b-day party for my boyfriend's aunt and I was NIP but had a cover up and also was in the corner the looks I got from ppl passing by were like daggers and my server had the nerve to ask me to stop b/c I was offending other ppl. I just looked at him and stared. Well one of the other moms told me next time that happens to tell the server  "it's a resturant it's where ppl eat" and then suggest that ppl stop eating b/c it offends me haha I thought that was funny. IDK why ppl bash breastfeeding. I myself do both and don't have a problem with it. If I don't have a bottle when i'm out in public you bet I'll feed her the boob. I agree with alot of other posters ppl always have the right to look away

Amanda - posted on 02/03/2009

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I breast fed both of my children until at least 11 months, any where and everywhere.

I only had a few complaints... mostly from my brother.... who I understand doesn't want to see his sister in anything less then fully clothed. But I didn't let it bother me.



My kids are now almost 4 and 2 so now they have questions.

We were at the park this summer with some friends who had a new baby, the baby got hungary so mom started breastfeeding the baby, no big deal, my kids saw what was going on and asked " mommy what is she doing" I told them she was feeding the baby just like mommy used to do with you two.

they thought about it for a while and then asked " when the baby is done will she get big and strong like us and want to play"

I replied " yeah some day"

So basically what I am saying is that some people may give dirty looks or be disgusted with it, but I don't think they understand the connection a mother and child share while breastfeeding, and may just need to explained in terms they understand.

Good luck to all and stick to it.

Amanda - posted on 02/03/2009

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I breast fed both of my children until at least 11 months, any where and everywhere.

I only had a few complaints... mostly from my brother.... who I understand doesn't want to see his sister in anything less then fully clothed. But I didn't let it bother me.



My kids are now almost 4 and 2 so now they have questions.

We were at the park this summer with some friends who had a new baby, the baby got hungary so mom started breastfeeding the baby, no big deal, my kids saw what was going on and asked " mommy what is she doing" I told them she was feeding the baby just like mommy used to do with you two.

they thought about it for a while and then asked " when the baby is done will she get big and strong like us and want to play"

I replied " yeah some day"

So basically what I am saying is that some people may give dirty looks or be disgusted with it, but I don't think they understand the connection a mother and child share while breastfeeding, and may just need to explained in terms they understand.

Good luck to all and stick to it.

Megan - posted on 02/03/2009

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"I'm curious as to why we can look at woman's cleavage & it's no big deal but we can't look lovingly at a child recieving nourishment off those same breasts that are being used for the purpose they were created for."



Well said!! I am more offended at all the cleavage being thrown around-cover up girls! But Breast feeding is natural and necessary and sometimes it's gotta be done in public- but we can try to keep it personal by going to a more secluded spot or covering up as much as possible. I say if it makes some people uncomfortable, there is no reason to offend and tell them not to be offended. Just try to offend as little as possible. In some countries they don't even where shirts and breasts probably aren't even seen as 'sexual'. In other countries it is normal to whip it out anywhere and feed and no one thinks twice. But in America, or wherever you are, respect is always a good thing.

Tiffany - posted on 02/03/2009

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I think its ridiculous and immature that people get offended over women breast feeding in public.. My personal opinion is, cover up when breastfeeding.. no need to let the world see your breast... BUT as far as feeding your hungry baby, its important and needs to be done! I mean after all..... is it impolite to eat a burger or fries in public?? No its normal. And so is breast feeding! :)

User - posted on 02/03/2009

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i just had my baby a week ago and we spent the weekend at a hockey tournament but when my baby girl needed to eat i fed her it didnt matter if there was a whole team in the area i was in and these are boys ranging from about 15 to 18 and honestly they looked just because there was someone there but i dont think any of them stopped for a second look or worried that a boob could fall out. ofcourse i use a blanket or something to cover myself and my baby because that is just respect if you ask me..

So go ahead and feed your baby think of it this way ... you eat in public why should your baby be any different

Neener - posted on 02/03/2009

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Quoting Barbara:



I heard Bill Maher equate it to masturbating in public on his show, and another lady on one of these threads said it was like peeing in public.  That's why I started this thread because I was shocked that people actually feel that way!  I had no idea!





Oh I know. Crazy, huh. Bill Maher is a wacko. LOL He's a bitter old man, and he likes to shock. it's his job, and some ppl. like him for it. 



Consider the source.



 

Madison - posted on 02/03/2009

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Well I don't see anything wrong with breastfeeding in public because I use to do it until my boy was two. Whenever I would go out in public he would just pull down my clothes or if he crys for it in public i just give it to him. But where I live in the Bahamas people don't really mind. But I didn't care that's my baby and my breast. So if they didn't want to see they could of just closed their eyes! lol!

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