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Breastfeeding: Aren’t We Done Talking About This Yet?

mh_breastfeedingIf I had a dime for every blog post, news article, or discussion I’ve had regarding breastfeeding over the last eight years, I’d be a rich woman. I find it amusing and a little frustrating that we still have to have this discussion. Breast is best. It seems like new research is released every week adding to the ever-growing list of benefits breastfeeding provides. I don’t need to go into it here. You can google breastfeeding or, I don’t know, ask your pediatrician and they’ll tell you all about it.

Breastfeeding continues to be a hot topic on Facebook where they continue to ban member’s personal photos of breastfeeding. Which of courses sends quite a message. There was also an incident at a Paul Frank store a couple of weeks ago where a woman breastfeeding in the store prompted a cashier to send out the following tweet on Twitter, “Having your whole boob out and breastfeeding in our store #NOTOKAYATALL.” Of course the tweet was deleted pretty quickly, but not before it had been retweeted a bunch of times and had caused the Paul Frank store Twitter feed to be bombarded with responses. And the mommy blogosphere came out in full force. Most of them in defense of the mother, some not so much.

Then people wonder why reports like the one released last week find that less than 75% of women breastfeed at all, and after a year, only 20% are still nursing their babies.

Could it be because, even though it’s 2010, women still have to face the judgment of store clerks in a Paul Frank store? Or the judgement of Facebook moderators and the ever watchful eye of judgmental women who think they know exactly when a woman should stop breastfeeding? Maybe it’s the long loud sighs that come from the boss’s office every time she’s go to pump at work.

Well, it’s a good thing I don’t give a crap about other people’s opinion because I may have chosen not to breastfeed at all if I had.

My personal advice to mom’s who are concerned about breastfeeding is the following:

  • Screw the store clerks. If your baby is hungry, feed him.
  • Stop breastfeeding when you want to stop breastfeeding. Guess what, I breastfed my children until they were…. oh wait IT DOESN’T MATTER. My kids are not yours so it doesn’t matter what I did. And guess what? I don’t care how long you breastfeed yours, whether it’s for one year or five.
  • If people don’t like the breastfeeding photos you post on your Facebook profile, they don’t have to look at them.
  • Call your HR person. That’s right, the laws they are a changin’. This country is attempting to make itself more family friendly and one way they’re doing that is by requiring your company to make it possible for you to breastfeed. If your boss doesn’t like it, tell him to call congress and complain, but leave you to your business. And clarify that it’s YOUR business not his.

When will we finally reach a point in society that says “breast is best, end of story”?

39 Responses to “Breastfeeding: Aren’t We Done Talking About This Yet?”

  1. Goog

    I guess I have to agree – babies need to be fed, but I don't want to see your boobs. If you're going to be out during baby's feeding time, why can't you feed someplace private? I mean, diapers have to be changed, too, but I don't pull my son's pants down and start changing his diaper in the middle of a store EVEN WHEN THERE"S NO CHANGING TABLE. I get it – you don't want to sit in the bathroom stall and breastfeed, but lots of women's restrooms have couches and comfy chairs. I'm also tired of hearing the BAD stuff about non-breastfeeders. I didn't WANT to breastfeed. Bottom line. My choice.

    Reply
  2. Cmc

    I find it interesting that people get upset over seeing someone breastfeed in public but are o.k. w/ tv shows showing women baring their breasts for no reason but "entertainment".

    Reply
  3. Darlene Leong Neal

    People only get upset when breasts are depicted as something other than a sexual object…I don't have to nurse someplace private anymore than you have to bottle feed privately. It's disgusting that you suggest I use a bathroom to nurse my child. Equating nursing with changing a diaper is faulty; there's nothing potentially dangerous about me nursing, i.e., germs that are spread via fecal matter. Our culture feels this way because breasts are overly sexualized and remain the domain of men, contrary to what nature intended. Cmc is right; bare breasts are ok for entertainment but not ok for nursing. Goog and other Non-breastfeeders want to take a righteous stand regarding their personal choice to choose the second best option for their child; I'm all for your personal choice but why stab women who choose to nurse in the back by suggesting we are exhibitionists. Grow up. There is nothing inappropriate about nursing a child anywhere.

    Reply
    • Goog

      Wow, you got all nasty for no reason. I didn't choose the "second best" option for my child. I choose what was right for us. Nor did I stab anyone – I just don't want to see your tits, or anyone else's. Nursing and diaper changing are equal in that they are both addressing a need. I haven't "taken a righteous stand". If I don't want to see someone's boobs on TV, I change the channel. Same with seeing someone breast feed – I don't look. And germs are spread through ALL bodily fluids and excretions INCLUDING breast milk, just so you know.

      Reply
    • damprye

      You got thing wrong, it is not "second best" it is fourth best.
      First- Breastfeeding
      Second- Pumped Breast milk
      Third- Donor milk
      Fourth- Infant formula
      Facts are facts 😉

      Reply
  4. Amy

    It does frustrate me when people think they should be in charge of how I raise my daughter – seriously…. Don't you think God blessed my husband and I with her for a reason – obviously we're working towards her best! If she needs to nurse in public, I'm discreet as possible, but I'm just doing my job – TAKING CARE OF MY CHILD!

    Reply
  5. candi

    I have four kids and my youngest and last is almost two( in August) I get so much grief about nursing him. A lot of my mom friends who have also nursed but quit thinks he should be done! These are the same mothers who still give their babies bottles and pacifiers, really what's the difference? Why do people think it's their place to tell you not to do it?

    Reply
  6. Patricia

    ……"When will we finally reach a point in society that says “breast is best, end of story”?"…..
    That day will never come only because selling expensive bibs, formulas and stuff like that is a huge bussiness, but, I 100% agree that breast is best and have breastfed for 1,5 years each of my children, I agree that you can cover up a bit, I felt unconfortable that someone would see my boobs (but when you are breastfeeding they are the same as elbows to me) I don´t think you should be showing off, but I don´t think you should not do it if you must.

    Reply
  7. Erin Walsh

    I think that breast feeding is a wonderful, natural thing, and as a mother myself, it's something that I did happily for my son. But just because something is wonderful and natural, doesn't mean that everyone wants to witness it out in public. Sex is also natural and beautiful and I don't want to see a couple doing it on the table next to me while I'm eating lunch.

    I think that most moms know that public breast feeding can be done so discreetly that absolutely no one even has to know what you're doing. I think what most people against public breastfeeding don't like, is women who think it's perfectly ok to whip out a breast and sit there exposing it to public view for the duration.

    People have varying levels of comfort with nudity, depending on how they were raised and just their own personal feelings. Just like some people can sit in their bathroom on the toilet, with the door wide open and talk to their whole family while they're taking care of business and others can't get undressed in front of their dog.

    As long as women don't believe that they're right to breastfeed in public means that everyone else had better just get used to looking at their breasts, too bad if they don't like it or it makes them uncomfortable, I think that yes, mothers should be able to discreetly nurse anywhere. But their rights should not over ride everyone elses.

    Reply
  8. shen

    wow- a lot of strong feelings! i am still breastfeeding my 20 month old- in private and in public. i don't display my breasts while doing so, either. it's discreet and completely natural. if someone is bothered by it, then frankly he/she should look the other way. it's nobody's business other than the parties involved (mother and baby). i don't care if you bottle feed, so you shouldn't care if i breastfeed. people really seem to have too much time on their hands if they're worrying and fussing about other mothers breastfeeding their babies. have you nothing better to do? 🙂 check out these great facts if you're nursing a toddler like i am- how can you disregard these studies? http://www.kellymom.com/bf/bfextended/ebf-benefit

    Reply
  9. angie

    Until society at large stops looking at the female breast as a sexual object and begins to accept its true function as baby life support, we will continue to have these silly issues/debates.

    Reply
  10. scott

    Do you look away when you see a dog or cat nursing its young? No you don't! You say oh how cute and may even give the mother a pat on the head. Why then is this not the same reaction we give to a human mother doing the exact same thing? Think about it.

    Reply
    • Goog

      I don't know about cats, but a nursing mother DOG will bute the shit out of you if you come near her while she's nursing. Also, they go naked and eat on the floor – how far are you willing to take this comparison?

      Reply
      • scott

        We are all animals is all I am saying. We belong to the Kingdom Animal and the class mammal just like a dog or cat and our females' breasts are used in the same manner. We choose to wear clothing in OUR society, but many cultures do not. Many cultures also dine on the floor in their homes, not at tables, so its really not a stretch at all.

        Reply
    • scott

      Thanks! The fact of the matter is that because we look at the female breast, in our society, as a sexual object and not the functioning mammary that it is, we can't see things for what they really are. We are offended when a woman is doing the most natural thing in the world, and what her body was made to do! Its insane!

      Reply
  11. damprye

    Do smokers feel guilty when they cause the people sucking in their smoke damage even though it is fact that passive smoking can and has killed?
    Then why do people get so up in arms when people give you the facts on breastfeeding?
    I was told while I was in hospital to never feed with the light off or with my baby covered as it is dangerous.
    The amount of times I fed with my breast in plain veiw is countless but the amount of times people even noticed what I was doin I can count on my fingers and I have anything but small boobs lol.

    Reply
  12. Jennifer May Brissett

    I hate to say this but formula is second best whether you want to admit that or not. Breast is best, scientifically proven. I don't look down on those who choose to formula feed, though I often wonder why. It is your choice.. but no need to knock on the people who choose to breastfeed. I have nursed in public with no blanket (and huge breasts mind you).. guess what? No one saw anything! You are looking WAY to hard if you see more than maybe a tiny bit of cleavage.. which is less than you would see on our wonderful practically bare breasted teenagers these days. And I can prove this, my sister took a picture of me while I was feeding my son and I know from memory I was feeding him whereas in the pic it looks like I was just holding him in a laying down position.. and this was angled above me so if there was anything to see, trust me you would have seen it. I was given this site because a local radio station brought the topic up and I asked for info…let me tell you I was disgusted by their responses and they will be hearing all about it.

    Reply
  13. Megan

    Also the comments about blankets.. obviously you must not have ever nursed a baby that refused to be covered. They're hot and bothersome to babies. My youngest son will bat them away and not be productively nursing until it has been removed. Blankets are also a HUGE flashing sign that says HEY Over here!!! I'm nursing! Chances are I could nurse my son in public and you'd never even know the difference. I never use a cover.. and *gasp* you see more flesh on the cover of magazines at the newstand than i show.

    Reply
  14. Jennifer May Brissett

    Megan.. at my sister's bachelor/ette party I nursed my son right at the table (bowling alley) and the guys came over to eat and no one even noticed.. and they bent over me!!!
    Just another prime example of how you must be looking far too hard if you are seeing more than you like

    Reply
  15. Jennifer May Brissett

    I hate to say this but formula is second best whether you want to admit that or not. Breast is best, scientifically proven. I don't look down on those who choose to formula feed, though I often wonder why. It is your choice.. but no need to knock on the people who choose to breastfeed. I have nursed in public with no blanket (and huge breasts mind you).. guess what? No one saw anything! You are looking WAY to hard if you see more than maybe a tiny bit of cleavage.. which is less than you would see on our wonderful practically bare breasted teenagers these days. And I can prove this, my sister took a picture of me while I was feeding my son and I know from memory I was feeding him whereas in the pic it looks like I was just holding him in a laying down position.. and this was angled above me so if there was anything to see, trust me you would have seen it. I was given this site because a local radio station brought the topic up and I asked for info…let me tell you I was disgusted by their responses and they will be hearing all about it.

    Reply
  16. Jennifer May Brissett

    Breastfeeding is NATURAL. Your body was made for it. You formula feeders know this because you are engorged (most of you anyways) until your milk dries up. Why get all up in arms that someone chooses to use what God gave them to feed their child. It is free, easy, and let me tell you oh so convenient. No mixing bottles, no spilled water in the diaper bag.

    Reply
  17. Megan

    The thing about America is that we have become such a sexual nation. Breasts weren't intended to be an item to delight a man's fantasy. No, they were put there to feed babies.. whether you like it or not. There is no comparing sex to breastfeeding. This is apples to oranges. It's not my fault that you choose to look at my nursing baby as a sexual event. That's your own twisted decision there. Mothers DO have the right to nurse their babies where they please, law protects them. I'm sorry but a lot of these rooms dedicated to nursing moms aren't even that great. A lot of times they are connected to the bathrooms, have uncomfortable chairs, they're noisy, dirty or filled with obnoxious kids waiting on their mothers who sadly feel they must seclude themselves to nurse their baby. This isn't about breast vs. formula. this is about a woman's rights to take care of her baby the way she sees fit. If people have some sexual hangups about breastfeeding.. sorry, it's time to get some help. I think I'll start handing out blankets to the obnoxious eaters that I see at restaurants. The people that smack their lips and chew with their mouth open. I'll point them in the direction of the nearest toilet and demand they go eat there.

    Reply
  18. Megan

    The thing about America is that we have become such a sexual nation. Breasts weren't intended to be an item to delight a man's fantasy. No, they were put there to feed babies.. whether you like it or not. There is no comparing sex to breastfeeding. This is apples to oranges. It's not my fault that you choose to look at my nursing baby as a sexual event. That's your own twisted decision there. Mothers DO have the right to nurse their babies where they please, law protects them. I'm sorry but a lot of these rooms dedicated to nursing moms aren't even that great. A lot of times they are connected to the bathrooms, have uncomfortable chairs, they're noisy, dirty or filled with obnoxious kids waiting on their mothers who sadly feel they must seclude themselves to nurse their baby. This isn't about breast vs. formula. this is about a woman's rights to take care of her baby the way she sees fit. If people have some sexual hangups about breastfeeding.. sorry, it's time to get some help. I think I'll start handing out blankets to the obnoxious eaters that I see at restaurants. The people that smack their lips and chew with their mouth open. I'll point them in the direction of the nearest toilet and demand they go eat there.

    Reply
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    Obviously one need to think about the environment while you breastfeed your kid.

    Breastfeeding shou be practiced. Its a very good source og various vit. And also provides antibody A.

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