Look. There’s something I really need to talk about. Being a new mother has made this topic even more poignant.
Breastfeeding babies in public.
I’ve read a lot of news stories. I’ve been told a lot of stories. I’ve even experienced some push-back online. The feeling that you cannot feed your child dogs you through any outings with them. Your stress rises. Those doing the dogging think they’re morally in the right, and there are a lot of folks on that side. I am floored by it. But, then again, we are talking about the domain of a woman’s body. Apparently that makes opinions of others, especially those dictated by men, extremely valid. Sorry, that is sarcasm. I’m not actually agreeing that the arguments against public breastfeeding of babies are valid. They’re absolutely not, least of them men’s opinions on the matter. I can tell you why in a short list, which I had compiled on social media in response to a slew of comments on a post about woman who was breastfeeding in a restaurant. This list destroys all the arguments.
For those against breastfeeding in public, if I haven’t changed your mind by the end of this list, then you’re just out to control someone, and it has nothing to do with decency. The most indecent thing is your desire to control when and how a woman feeds her child.
Let’s get started on the list…
Debunking perverse, misogynistic comments about women breastfeeding in public:
- Baby feeding schedules vary enough that carrying a bottle is not always possible.
- Pumped milk, if previously refrigerated spoils in an hour (travel time, time of trip since last feeding, and babies variations add up to a spoiled bottle to feed them with).
- If you bring an ice pack cooled bottle, how do you warm it up? And that takes a while, and they will cry that whole time. Not only is that annoying to you, but it also adversely affects brain development.
- She should not need to cover up, as it obstructs the infants breathing. Do you eat under a blanket?
- A lactation lounge would be lovely. To get away from all the perverts! But don’t tell anyone they need to get a room or go to the bath/car. Do you eat in the bathroom? Why don’t you sit in the car until you can join the human race as an adult?
- Breasts are there to feed babies. That is their purpose. You’re ashamed of the body’s natural milk gland? Doing what it does? Nurturing an infant? What has got to be wrong with you? And, no, it doesn’t expose children to anything but a mother feeding her baby. It’s in your head that it gets twisted. “The Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2013 Breast Feeding Report Card found that 77 percent of new mothers are breast-feeding their babies, up from 71 percent about a decade ago. And almost half of breast-feeding moms are continuing to do so for at least the recommended six months.” (CBS News; CDC)
- Confronting the mother causes a release of cortisol in her brain. This is a stress response. It suppresses the release of milk, and increases chances of postpartum depression. So you’re actually causing physical harm and danger for a mother and her baby. She will not be able to properly feed the child it’s most natural food, when it is most necessary. That is not a choice you should be making for others. Many mothers cannot afford formula, and that goes double for nasty comments.
- Harassing breast feeding mothers is illegal in many states/counties. Even post-facto online. (Because of what I’ve written above and legislators understand the health risks caused to mom and baby.)
Do your research. Have some functioning empathy. Drop the misogyny. Enough of the sexualization of breasts! Y’all are twisted. Disrespectful. How dare you look at such a situation as breastfeeding as morally corrupt. Seriously, breast feeding is not PDA. Gah! That’s insane to even go there. WTF people!
Another thing. Stop basically saying that men are animals out of control. You’re disrespecting their humanity.
Please remember, a mother and child are always beautiful, always sacred. Let a mother and child be while feeding.
If you’re a mom, and you want to learn more about your rights, here are some resources I gathered for you:
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Amy Miller says
My babies had to nurse nearly every hour for the first three months. It just takes that long for my milk to properly come in. So yeah, I had to learn to breastfeed pretty much everywhere.
Captain Maiel says
And it’s so important to let mothers do this, because it can really mess up your supply–if you don’t follow times and durations and all of that. People really have no idea. It’s not like a beer tap. It doesn’t just turn on and off at will.