Why is breastfeeding in public such a controversial issue?
reference this article: The 10 Commandments of Dining With Little Kids
(be sure to read the comments to see what I mean)
To me, they all make sense. Admittedly, I am not a mother. I have, however, been out to eat with my nieces and my friends' children. I have paid attention to how children act in restaurants. I've noticed how some parents watch their children closely and make sure they behave, while others seem to not even notice their child is there.
As for breastfeeding, I have personally sewn a nursing cover for my friend who had a baby. It took maybe 2 hours to complete, and I know you can buy them also. It's basically a blanket with a neck strap. You slip it over your neck to cover yourself and the baby. I've seen women use a regular blanket to cover while breastfeeding.
The problem is that some women don't cover anything. They lift up/pull down their shirt, pop out a boob, and let the baby go at it.
Now, I don't agree with how the breast has become so sexualized in our society, but it has. As far as I know, it's not acceptable to flash your boobs in public. So why would it suddenly become acceptable to pull it out and show it off while your baby feeds?
I am not against breastfeeding. Not at all. I was breastfed. My sister breastfed. My friends breastfeed. Breast milk is one of the healthiest things you can feed a baby, if not the healthiest. Yay for breast milk! But it's not an excuse to show off your boobies.
I saw one argument that some women show off more skin in their everyday dress. Well yeah, and some women dress like total skanks, but what does that have to do with feeding your baby? And the fact is, even some strip clubs don't allow the women to show the nipples, which somehow became the point of total breast nudity.
I have witnessed a woman completely exposing her breast to feed her baby. We were in a park in the middle of downtown. I was shocked.
Now to get back to the article, I honestly haven't seen many women who breastfeed at a restaurant. Or if they do, the majority seem to cover themselves with a blanket or nursing cover. Go them. There is also nothing wrong with pumping at home and bringing a bottle of breast milk with you. I know some moms argue that "my baby won't take a bottle." Well, advice straight from my sister's doctor when she had to do just that - if the baby is hungry enough, they will take a bottle.
My niece didn't want to take a bottle, but her mommy had to go to work. Sure enough, after a small battle of wills, she learned to drink from a bottle. She is also one of the smartest 3 year olds I've ever personally met. (I know I'm slightly biased, but really, she is super smart for her age!) Mind you, they completed the battle of wills at home, not in public.
Basically it all comes down to this. People will get offended if you flash your boobs at them, even if you are just doing it to feed your baby. The US is stupid like that. Don't like it? Well it's easy as pie to throw a blanket over your shoulder and cover it up. Also cuts out some of the distractions for the baby. And I won't even get into the perverts that are out there.
I think I've made this long enough. Yay boobs. Yay breastfeeding. But please have some sense enough to cover when in public.