Tuesday, July 18, 2006


Oh my goodness...

I am watching Good Morning America and they are talking about breast feeding in public andI am absolutely appalled, not by their report because they are actually supporting breast feeding in public but the commentary from the public is what is shocking. This whole report is in reponse to a magazine cover (BabyTalk) picture of a baby breast feeding and how that is so "controversial" to have that on the cover of a magazine.

57% of people DO NOT APPROVE of breast feeding in public

one woman went on to say that "it is disgusting" and "it is not moral"

moral? since when is feeding your baby not "moral"?

it was also discouraging to see the numbers on breast feeding women:

70% of women try breast feeding
36% are still nursing at 6 months
17% are still nursing at one year...17%!

Of course it isn't really surprising after hearing what people on the street were saying about breast feeding in public. There is little to no support for women to continue. 56% of women say that they stopped nuring before they wanted to quit.

Also, there was this woman who is a reporter for some newspaper in Philadelphia interviewed forthe report that had some really offensive things to say about beast feeding in public such as things like "it [public breastfeeding] is not modest and should be done in the privacy of your own home." and "I don't want to be out somewhere and see some woman take of their shirt so they can feed their baby." Take off their shirt? I don't even want to get started on that comment.

I nursed both of my girls for over a year and I'm not saying that to toot my own horn because I had it relatively easy. Both girls were excellent nursers and I had the advantage of not working (although I did work for 6 weeks after Piper was born and in that time I got about 10 minutes each day to pump in my classroom with the door locked and kindergartners pounding on the door to come in and use the bathroom, FUN!). Shorlty after Finley was born I went out to lunch with two friends (neither have children) and of course Finley was hungry and so I started to prep to nurse her and my one friend said, "oh, are you going to do that here?" I said, "oh, I'm sorry. would that offend you?" she replied, "oh, no no..." (very uncomfortably). I was at the same time thinking that we would all be A LOT more uncomfortable with a baby screaming her lungs out in the restraunt. I was not prepared for her question because i had never really had an issue before.

I guess I am a stealth nurser. Most of the time I would be nursing and people would come over to talk to me and realize what I was doing and they would become embarassed and walk away apologizing. It became quite isolating and it seems like there is less and less support for women who are trying to do what they feel is in the best interest of their child. Even my father who is a pediatrician asked me when i was going to wean Finley because she was over a year old and stil nursing. But, he's just old and doesn't now any better, but it also proves a point that the continuing education of health care professionals in this area is lacking. How great would it be for the pediatricians and nurses in their office were educated in breast feeding and technique and solutions to common problems involved with nursing? How many more new mothers (and I mean to say that every woman who has a baby is a new mother no matter if it is her 1st or 21st because each child is new experience) would continue to breast feed through common problems that cause them to stop?

It reminds meof these shirts I've seen from an internet friend of mine, Jennifer Laycock. She desings and sells pro-breast feeding t-shirts and stuff. Some of my favorites:

"Don't be lactose intolerant"
"My baby doesn't like to eat in the bathroom...do you?"
"My milkshake feeds all the kids in the yard"
"Nursing: Nature's own breast enhancement"

and for men:

"why wouldn't I want to see more breasts in public"
"I take turns"

and what's great about jennifer is that she also sells milk bank t-shirts and 100% of the profits from those shirts goes to a milk bank in ohio. Here is her blog. Check her out and wear your support.

It is so amazing to me that God so put us together so intricately that these processes are built into us to care for our children. What a wonderful creation so compex and yet so simple.


rmgales said...

It is amazing to see and hear people's reaction/comments on breast feeding. In most countries, it is natural for a mother to breast feed her child. This country is suppose to be the most sophisticated country in the world, but we frown upon a breast. Lets get real America!

perkidawn said...

I commented on the same show this morning. Truly shocking that in an educated country like ours, people can be so ignorant. I nursed my bio and adopted kids and wouldn't have it any other way. It always makes me so sad when a friend will say "Oh I can't nurse any more." I say, "Why not?" The AAP recommends it for the first year, and beyond. Everyone quotes them for other child-raising facts but the breastfeeding issue is even ignored by doctors. Sad!

Jason said...

21 babies!? Who has 21 babies?! That is crazy! Shannon took a crazy pill, 21 babies is crazy talk!

You know, when we lived in Georgia we were told that it was illegal to breast feed in public - never found out if it was actually true.

Disclaimer: The following comments are from a man.

I have to tell you that some mothers aren't very discreet about it - and I don't want to offend here but just like large people and spandex some things shouldn't be seen in public. (That goes for me singing in public :) ) What I mean is that some women probably aren't educated or practiced in how to do it discreetly, and by that I don't mean hiding, just without flashing. I remember when I was young and a mother was FORCING her screaming child to latch on and what I saw was horrible - for me and that little baby. That little one just wasn't in the mood to latch on.

Now, that said, it probably should be more widely accepted. I don't think we should have boobies hanging out all over the place, but a mother should have to hide or feel isolated.

Just like diaper changing stations in a men's bathroom, it is always nice to see other baby friendly areas like a "mother's lounge" specifically for breast feeding with a few really nice chairs, etc.

My wife breast fed our children - don't remember for how long - probably until they quit or they got mean teeth - either way, she told me how good it was for them - the mother's milk - and I supported her doing it. I always helped her find a way to do it in public. Cover with a blanket when it wasn't hot, take the other children away when it was helpful. I did feel pretty bad for her when she got a funny look or comment, and especially when they were getting older and wanted to look around - not be covered up and would accidentally expose her. Embarrassing, but we got past it.

Yeah - it's sad to hear that we're so accepting of alternate life styles, but not of good old fashioned breast feeding - the way God intended it to be.

FigN said...

Oh America, how much hypocrite can a society be....
It puzzles me all the time when I see this kind of silly (not to use a stronger word although it deserves it) themes brought up just because it should NOT be a discussion subject at all. It freaks me so much how can the american people react to seeing a boob in public (or televised) and do not say a word about the extremely violent scenes on TV that is tolerated. I would prefer to see boobs in the the TV and on the street (like here in Germany - although I am not german) and not be disturbed at all (even less offended) and I think this is the general feeling of society here in Europe. I mean what can be offensive about seeing a mother give her baby the most valuable present she can?
I agree they should be discreet and not going around flashing everybody but they shouldn't be mandated to go to a "restricted area - or lounge, call it whatever you like " because that amounts to discrimination and that WOULD offend me and should offend everybody else because is the same as in the 60's sending the black people to the back of the buses.

Jason said...

Well, I've been around plenty of nursing woment and it doesn't bother me a bit - but it is nice to have a place available for them to go - sometimes it's simply to noisy (a mall for example) and is distracting for the child - that's how it seemed to be with ours after about 6 months or so. Don't have to go to a special place or else, but I see it more as a 'retreat' if you will.

GiGi said...

Hi! I found your blog after writing my own post on the Babystyle cover - I wanted to see what others were writing. I can't believe how many Americans are against it!! My daughter is 18 mths-old and still nursing - something we do in private mainly because I stay home w/her.

Kari said...


Anonymous said...

Interesting to hear peoples opposition to breast feeding. What in essence are we telling ourselves and more importantly our future children? Big Huge Tits