Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Hobbit vs. The World: Breastfeeding Rant

Good Evening Humble Readers...

Before I start this post I have to say... I have never breastfed a baby, but I plan to.  And as an owner of a pair of milk-producing breasts (in comparison with, say, John Goodman) I think I am allowed to have an opinion. 

Over the last week I have heard a lot of opinions expressed about breastfeeding in public.  I have read blog posts, news stories, and heard some opinions that just shock the poop out of me.  And today, I saw a trailer for a national tv news story about it.  Who knew it could be so darn controversial?

The gist of all the stories I have come across is that breastfeeding in public should be restricted, if not outright banned. 

I'm sorry, but I just can't believe this. 

Yes, I am a relatively conservative hobbit, and no, when I am breast feeding I don't plan on just whipping my b00bs out any old time and place.  I plan on using some sort of a cover up (even that's not good enough for some of the people complaining).  But to say that a mother doesn't have the right to feed her child in public just makes me cranky. 

Apparently, it makes people uncomfortable

Well, you know what makes me uncomfortable?  Seeing every tom, dick, and harry's butt crack!  Men and women alike.  If your skinny jeans don't allow you to bend over without showing half of your ass, then I think you need to reconsider your wardrobe.  But you can bet that would never make the CTV and ABC evening news. 

There are two very extreme sides in this debate, and I don't fit in either camp.  I'm not (and I really and truly do not mean to be offensive here) a militant 'breast is best' person.  I don't disagree that breast milk is best, but I know that breastfeeding is hard, especially at first.  I watched my sister struggle in frustration and pain, and ultimately switch to formula after her son was getting more of her blood in his mouth than her milk. But I have read several comments from women who say they don't even see their breasts as private parts and that exposing them is no different from exposing one's arms or legs.  I just can't get that argument at all.

Nor do I identify AT ALL with one commenter who said that 'those women need to get a life' and that it's 'inappropriate in the extreme'.  In my opinion, the people who find breastfeeding in public offensive need to get their minds out of the gutter, because that's the only type of thinking that makes it offensive. 

There are plenty of things that I do in the privacy of my own home that I would never do in public, but that doesn't make them wrong.  Yes, I think that we need to be aware of our surroundings and be respectful of others.  Absolutely! 

However, no one has the right to tell me or any mother where and when and how I can feed my child. 

Okay, rant over for now.


  1. Rant on Sister! I breastfed everywhere (and yes, I was discreet)...restaurants, my in-laws home, even church (with permission of my pastor).

  2. You go, girl! Breasts are functional body parts, not sexual ones. Not biologically, anyway. The outrage against public breastfeeding is baseless and ignorant. Those people should spend some time in a developing country if they want to see REALLY public breastfeeding.

    Ahem. Rant done.

  3. I've nursed in public (using an Udder Cover) and while just wearing a T-shirt. No one EVER saw my nip. And it most certainly is NOT a sexual thing, so I don't get what the deal is.

    The irony is, that you can see more boob watching Pamela Anderson on Dancing With The Stars, or on the cover of Maxim at the grocery checkout. No one wets their pants over that one.

  4. I'm with you on this one! Of all the things people can do and say in public, and breastfeeding a BABY is something that has people all worked up? Makes no sense.

  5. Rant away, Mrs. G...I'm right there with you!! It's amazing to me with the state of the world that people will find something like this to harp over. Get a life!

  6. Ok, can I do a little happy dance for getting this as my first read, now that I'm trying to get back on the bloggy horse? Awesome "rant"! I'm totally with you on this. And is the banning-talk for Canada? Just curious.

  7. Amen! I live in a state that has a law on the books allowing women to breastfeed anywhere in public, yet when I had foot surgery 4 weeks after my daughter was born, I was told to feed her in the hospital bathroom. By the outpatient intake person AND the pg nursing assistant who was to take me to pre-op! I asked if I could feed her in the curtained pre-op area and was told I couldn't because it was not safe for her due to germs. In a orthopedic hospital? WTF?! If someone comes in sick for orthopedic surgery, they should be sent home. I would not feed her in the bathroom, and instead discretely nursed her in the waiting area.

  8. Amen, sister! I was uncomfortable doing it with my first, but 10 years later when I had my 2nd, I was like "Talk to the Breast, people!"



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