Breastfeeding in Public, What’s the Big Deal?

It appears that the mommy wars are still raging, especially on the very controversial issue of breastfeeding in public. As many of you may have recently heard, on the August cover of babytalk magazine a woman breastfeeding her child is featured. You can see part of a breast, not really that much of it if you ask me, and the baby’s face. Well, this cover caused quite a bit of a stir among readers of the magazine, many news sites have featured articles regarding the negative response the magazine received, including this article featured on MSNBC. The comments from readers have ranged from absolute disgust that the magazine would even consider placing such a picture on their cover to those who fear their children or husbands might see the breast on the cover as sexual.

Personally, I think the negative response is ridiculous. There is nothing wrong with a magazine about baby care featuring a breastfeeding scene on the cover of their magazine. Breastfeeding is a very natural part of parenting, and shouldn’t offend anyone. I can understand why some people are uncomfortable when they see a woman breastfeeding her child in public, it is after all a pretty new occurrence here in the United States, and people just aren’t that comfortable to seeing a breast under any circumstance. What I don’t understand is why people, including mothers who have breastfed their own children, would become so outraged by it.

Breastfeeding has been determined through a great deal of medical research to be the best source of nutrition for a baby. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advocates exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life, followed by breastfeeding supplemented with the introduction of solid foods through the child’s first birthday, and then from there breastfeeding as long as mutually desired by both mother and child. They also support mothers and their choice to breastfeed in public. Which hopefully will help change people’s views on breastfeeding in public and reduce the negative backlash breastfeeding moms face.

When you consider how often a baby needs to nurse, every two to three hours, it only makes sense that a woman may find the need to breastfeed in public should she be out with the baby at a store, restaurant, or even the park when it’s feeding time. Most, if not all women seem to be very discreet when feeding their baby in public, so I ask you, what’s the big deal?

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9 comments on “Breastfeeding in Public, What’s the Big Deal?

  1. The big deal about public breastfeeding is that its rude and impolite to bring bodily functions out in the opening where everyone can see. Its very inconsiderate of others and unsanitary

  2. Public breastfeeding should be illegal in all 50 states if we can get enough good conservatives in the senate and a good republican in the whitehouse like Newt Gingrich this coming election. I’m not against breastfeeding in general, just as long as if its a private matter between the mother and child like in a bathroom, a car or a lounging room where its not gonna bring a distraction to others. Even if you use discretion like a blanket or shawl to coverup a baby while breastfeeding in public, is still indecent because it would be like if i used a blanket to coverup while i pull out a jar to urinate in public

  3. Sean,

    Thanks for the comments. Breastfeeding is a very natural part of mothering a child. It is the best form of nutrition for a growing infant. It is not indecent, and if a mother is discreetly nurturing her child in public it should not been seen as offensive.

  4. Just a heads up…

    The individual you know here as “Sean” has been kicked off of Buzznet for the second time. He was there previously under the name “Batonclub” and his behavior became so offensive, including making threats against females in their early teens, that he was removed and blocked on 6/4/2007. This is all a matter of record on their forums.

    Early on 6/17/2007 (Fathers’ Day), he signed in under the new name of “Catmain” and began to again dump his offensive viewpoints on people there in a forum on breastfeeding. He again began attacking young females, using the same bullying tactics that he’s used all over the ‘Net. He was removed by the SysAdmins this evening, who are now tracking him by his IP addresses.

    I’m posting this here as an alert to all women of all ages, because he doesn’t seem to have any limits on who he will go after. His original logins were from Fairfield, California, but now he seems to be located in the area west of Metro Boston.

    If you see him in other blogs or forums, pass the word so that others, especially teenagers or young mothers, aren’t verbally attacked by him.

  5. I think it’s stupid for somebody to think that breastfeeding is indecent. If you don’t like it, you can cover YOUR head with a blanket. Or better yet, Look away! It’s not like moms who breastfeed walk up to you, whip out their boob in your face and then proceed to breastfeed.

    Why do people get so aggravated over breastfeeding? It’s just like bottle feeding, only the bottle is actually attached to our chest. Any one who has a problem with breastfeeding obviously has a problem with healthy FED babies.

    I’m only 22 weeks along with my first baby, and I’m planning on breastfeeding. And knowing that babies need to be fed a lot, I don’t plan on locking myself up in my house until the kid eats solids. I actually plan on doing things. Like shopping, visiting family, etc. And if that menas I might have to grab a blanket or two and feed my baby, I will. I’m not going to let her starve just because I’m in public and some perv thinks its bad that if they look real close, through the blanket, they can see part of my boob.

  6. i do not see anything wrong with breast feeding. but when in public i beleive that the whole breast should be covered. when women breast feed they should put a blanket over the baby and chest area so no one can see. if they dont want to do that they should get a breast pump. and if out in public go to a restroom or a lounge and do it. you have your rights but others that do not want to see that has their rights too… i do not mean to offend anyone with my oppinon. remember it is just an oppinon. if you would like to rebuttle on wat i had to say pleas email me.

  7. Terrancemichael,

    You think mothers should have to breastfeed their babies in a restroom?? Would you want to eat in a public restroom, or for that matter want to sit in one for the length of time it takes to breastfeed a baby??

    Mothers rights are protected to breastfeed in public in most states, if you do not want to see it, don’t look. You don’t have to watch, just look away.

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