I try not to judge people’s choices, but breastfeeding in public is just one of those things I can’t get my head around. I don’t want my fellow moms to be sitting in a toilet stall breastfeeding their children either, but I think there are better ways to do it than right out in public. Now that I’ve pissed most of you off, here are my thoughts.
Bodies are private things for a reason. I didn’t breastfeed due to complications during delivery, but even if I had, I wouldn’t have just whipped out my boob in public and started feeding my child. I don’t want strangers gawking at me or the pedophile who just got out of jail looking at my child suckling away. You never know who’s around you in public and I want to keep my body to myself and my significant other.
I’m all for equal rights, but this isn’t about that. I know some women argue that men can walk around without shirts so women should be able to as well. I don’t agree. Women and men have different bodies and therefore cover different parts up. I’m all for equal pay in the workforce and equal household duties and parenting, but what I’m not for is women parading around without shirts on, exposing themselves.
I can’t carry on a conversation with your boob out. I have friends who breastfeed and want to talk and have a full blow conversation while doing it. Sorry, but I’m not OK with that. You finish feeding your child and then we’ll talk. It’s not the kind of multitasking I’m into.
Are we sending mixed messages? We tell little girls (and little boys) to cover their bodies and not let anyone touch them in private places. Then we are out in public and moms are feeding their babies, fully exposed. I’m sure this is confusing to some kids. We have to be careful what messages we’re sending the little ones we’re raising. I’m all for telling my daughter that our bodies are beautiful and we create life, but I’m not sure she needs to see it at the McDonald’s Playland.
They make breastfeeding covers for a reason. I know that not all women are out there letting their breasts hang out for everyone to see. Some do use breastfeeding covers, for the sake of their privacy and their babies’. I appreciate this; I think using a cover now only gives privacy but it allows the intimate time between mom and baby to be just that—private.
Places that have areas for breastfeeding moms to go are awesome! More and more public places are providing areas or rooms where moms can take their children to breastfeed. No, not in a corner or in a bathroom stall, but an actual nice area or room where they can relax and have that moment with the baby before returning to the general public. If they’re on offer, I think women should use them.
Don’t we get to a point where we shouldn’t be allowing a toddler to pull down our shirts? You hear about the celebrities nursing their babies until they’re basically teenagers (well, not quite that long, but you get the point). At what point is it all too much? I don’t think there’s a universal age to stop breastfeeding, but when your child can speak and just yanks your shirt up asking for “mommy booby,” there’s an issue.
There are arguments on both sides about whether breastfeeding is healthier or not. If you hit up Google about whether breast milk is better than formula, you’ll find numerous arguments on both sides. The fact is that formula is made to contain the nutrition babies need. Breast milk (if the mother is eating well) also has the nutrition a little one’s needs. Whether you breastfeed, pump, or use formula, your baby should be getting all that he/she needs for their little body to grow. That means you can bring a bottle with you when you’re out and about and there’d be no issue.
Mom guilt is a thing. I feel like when I was pregnant, the main questions I got were about whether I was having a boy or girl, when I was due, and whether or not I was going to breastfeed. When I’d say no to the latter, people always seemed confused or judgmental. I feel like moms who breastfeed in public are super smug about it, like they’re doing something so wonderful. I don’t feel guilty about not breastfeeding my daughter; she did great on formula and grew as she was supposed to. Still, I don’t want to have to deal with it.
Make your own choice. Look if you want to breastfeed, breastfeed. If you want to use a bottle, use a bottle. If you want to make your own diapers and live in a tent, do it. Just make sure your baby is fed and healthy. But be aware of your surroundings when you pull a boob out for everyone to see. This may not be a popular opinion, but it’s mine and I’m sure others would appreciate it too.
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