Breastfeeding in Public
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August 1st, 2013, 07:14 AM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Pawleys Island, SC
I think that was a great response! I asked my local breastfeeding group about that woman's response and this is what I got back in return.
" First of all, I think that woman was very presumptuous in assuming every woman who breastfeeds in public had it come so naturally. Not all mothers who are able to breastfeed have an easy time doing so. That mother she sees in public might have had an extremely difficult start. That breastfeeding mother, whether it came easily or not has earned the right to breastfeed her child wherever she needs to, just as the woman who sent the email has that right.
Second, resenting a woman who breastfeeds in public because breastfeeding didn't come easy to you is as silly as resenting a woman who takes her child in public because you can't conceive. It's not those other women's fault that she couldn't breastfeed her child.
Third, asking a mother to cover up something that is so natural (whether it came easily to the mother or not) is rude. It is much easier for you to just look away than for a breastfeeding mother to have to pay for a cover, make extra room in her diaper bag for a cover, take the extra time to adjust herself and her baby under the cover, make sure her baby stays cool enough under the cover, and fold up the cover when she's done. (Plus there's the water, electricity, soap, and time that the mother will use to keep the cover clean and possibly the cost of a second cover if she doesn't want to wash the first one everyday.) Also, I personally think covers draw much more attention to breastfeeding mothers than if they were uncovered.
Fourth, nursing can be an intimate time for mother and baby, but not every nursing session (especially those in public) can be enjoyed to the fullest with so many distractions and so little time. Also, covering up a baby while they are eating (I know from experience) creates a barrier between the mother and baby, making those public feedings even less intimate and enjoyable. Saying that you want a woman to cover up her breastfeeding baby, not because you are offended by the sight of her breast or the sight of the baby eating, but because you feel you are annoying the mother or intruding on their special time together doesn't make sense. Watching a mother and baby breastfeeding doesn't interfere. If the mother didn't want anyone else to see her breastfeeding her baby, she wouldn't do it in public.
Lastly, I would tell the woman how sorry I was that she wasn't able to breastfeed her son and offer some resources that could help her breastfeed her next baby, like the LLL."
" Now that Im off my phone and can actually type…
Breastfeeding in the beginning was a challenge for me. It did not come naturally or easy at all. It took a lot of patience and many difficult and tearful days to be able to exclusively provide my daughter with breast milk. When you see a nursing mother in public you should not take offense but instead offer a little smile or nod of encouragement. Rather than feeling like your imposing on an intimate experience perhaps enjoy the beautiful moment your being privileged to. Breastfeeding is an act of bonding but also nourishment. Would you rather I make them wait or ignore their need. A cover may seem to some like an easy solution. My child will not nurse covered and why should she. I don’t expect others to cover their children as they eat and at least mine eats with her mouth closed! But seriously if I cover while nursing she gets uncomfortable and irritated then she doesn’t nurse properly or I could pump and give her a bottle then wait till I get home to nurse her. Either of these options would affect my supply and I would be back to square one struggling once again to feed my daughter. As for bonding I will not refuse my child comfort just as most mothers will not refuse to give theirs a hug or cuddle. I too suffered with a milk protein issue and had to temporarily cut all dairy out of my diet. Ive not met one woman who said breastfeeding was a breeze for her. We all have our challenges and have struggled to be able to successfully breastfeed our children. Please don’t feel resentment to the woman nursing in public without a cover. Women need to find a sense of solidarity and pride in one another. Please realize that nothing worth it in life just comes easy and our struggles don’t always show (women are notorious for smiling through pain). I cant perform brain surgery but I don’t resent those that can, Im thankful for them. Be thankful for these women feeding their children despite the glares and rude comments for if you ever have another child and hope to breastfeed we will be your strongest support and biggest allies!"
They both said, feel free to use in the future.
I also got questions like this
"She's welcome to use any or all of what I said as a response! I think it's awesome that she put nursing in public in her children's book, and I would love to buy that book if it's already published (or when it does get published)!"
I gave them the title of the book. Can they buy it anywhere other than Amazon?
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