Breastfeeding In Public, How Is This Still a "Debate"
Breastfeeding In Public
WHY, is this still an issue? HOW, is this still an issue?
How can anyone in their right minds want to deny a mother the right to comfortably feed her baby? It just seems so simple to me, if your baby is hungry, you feed them. You don't run into a darkened corner, cover both of yourselves up in a shawl and hope for the best. You just feed them. In the same way and the same place you feed yourself.
If men were the ones who had to breastfeed their children, I really don't think this would be an issue, but, society today thinks its OK to tear women and mothers down over every choice they make.
Its everywhere, in magazine headlines declaring shock if a model isn't runway ready 6 weeks after birth, in our workplaces where a woman with a family is mommy tracked and passed over time and again, and our own homes, and in our friends lists and news feeds, where every single choice we make is put up for judgement.
Being a mommy is hard, its the hardest job I've ever done. I remember back when I was pregnant with my first, everyone would always ask,
"when are you due ?"
"what are you having ?"
"will you breastfeed?"
"will you get an epidural?"
"are you planning to use cloth diapers?"
I felt judged by choices I hadn't even really made yet.
Mothers are faced with judgement every day, its like, as soon as your belly pops, everyone in the world thinks they know whats best for your baby, and are more than willing to tell you so. The choices we make in a babies first months are hard enough without the burden of pleasing strangers, and yet nobody seems to care about how the mothers may feel, just whether or not they are doing things "the right way"
And what is "the right way?"
Well that depends on whether we're being lectured by our mothers, or cousin Sheila, or the old lady in line at the grocery store,
"breast is best, and formula is poison, but formula makes babies healthier and fatter, even though nature didn't mean for babies to eat from a can, and breastfeeding hurts, and your nipples will bleed, and all that holding will spoil the baby, speaking of spoiling the baby make sure you let him cry it out a little bit so he knows who's in charge, but crying it out will raise his blood pressure and make him not trust you so never do that, but a spoiled baby wont sleep through the night, and you don't want to be waking up all night do you, so you should co-sleep because babies sleep best with their moms nearby, you should baby-wear too, babies need to feel that contact, but make sure he doesn't start to need it, so put that baby down, he'll learn to play alone that way. and you're cloth diapering right, because its so much better for the baby and the environment, but don't cloth diaper because who wants to clean that mess, and you don't even know how much laundry you'll be doing already, speaking of which, what laundry detergent are you using?"
Its exhausting just keeping up with everyone's opinions, never mind trying to follow them.
We as a society need to support mothers, not tear apart their choices because they're different than the ones we would have made. We need to accept that having a baby hard enough without all the judgement, and no, the answer is not to "just stay at home then".
Food is a fundamental human right, a right that no one would even consider denying to an adult. I have dined with many people who's bad manners at the table are far more offensive than a breastfeeding baby, and no one would seriously consider asking them to go eat in the bathroom, or cover their heads with a blanket, and yet mothers are told to do so on a daily basis.
My answer to that has always been no, if I need to feed my baby, I will, and no, I wont cover him, unless there's a benefit to us.
I'm not doing it to spite you, I don't want to push my breasts in your face, and insult your delicate sensibilities, I just want to feed my baby. If you don't like it feel free not to look, feel free to go sit in the bathroom until I'm done, In fact, feel free to just go away.
Just do it quietly.
Have you ever experienced harassment or disapproval for nursing in public? How do you deal with it?