Our Family

Our Family

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Breastfeeding In Public

A few months ago, we were out having lunch at the Olive Garden.  We were sitting at a table off to the side of the rest of the room, and my back was to the rest of the restaurant.  Before our entrees were served, Emelia decided that she needed her lunch too.  I flipped her blanket up over my shoulder, settled her in and started nursing her.  The only thing you could see was one part of her foot sticking out of the blanket that she was kicking up and down.  The woman behind us (who again could only see my back and the baby's foot) started talking very loudly to the other woman at her table and just couldn't believe that I  had the nerve to be nursing my baby in the middle of a restaurant.  She kept going on about it loud enough for me to hear.  After I finished feeding Emelia and handed her back to her daddy, I had to take one of the children to the restroom.  I had to walk past the lady that was so outraged at me feeding my baby discreetly under a blanket, and she was wearing a very tight fitting low cut shirt that showed more of her breasts than I have ever bared feeding any of my children in public.

I have been seeing and reading more and more lately about the "controversy" of breast feeding in public, and I have to say, I really don't understand why this is such a "controversy."  It is a well known and proven fact.  Breastfeeding is absolutely best for babies.  Breastfed babies are healthier and happier than formula fed babies.  There is absolutely NO formula that can even compare to breast milk.  God made women so we could feed our babies, and man will never be able to copy that formula.  Why then does this have to be such an issue?  The world has no problem with string bikinis or low cut revealing clothing, but we are going to look down upon and embarrass woman who are providing nutrition for their babies?  What is wrong with this picture?

For the last 10 years, I have been either pregnant, breastfeeding, or both.  I have nursed my babies just about every place you can possibly imagine.  I don't think that because I am nursing a baby that I should stay at home, or be separated from the rest of my family when we are out in public.  Not that the "nursing rooms" are a bad idea.  It can be convenient when there is no other place to sit down, but I am not going to go out of my way to walk halfway across the mall without the rest of my family with a screaming baby that could have been fed and happy by the time I got there.  Breastfeeding can be done in a very discreet manner and if you don't want to see a woman breastfeeding her baby in public, all you have to do is look away.  If seeing a baby's feet sticking out of her blanket or even a nursing baby not covered by a blanket so upsets your sensibilities, don't look at them.  

Instead of making nursing moms feel uncomfortable or embarrassed about nursing in public, we should be going out of our way to educate women on the benefits of breastfeeding and encourage them to nurse their babies.  Breastfeeding is a healthy and natural way to feed your baby and whether or not people want to admit it, that's what breasts were made for.

Read my blog post here for more information on why breastfeeding is the right choice.
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