Breastfeeding in Public, Let's Get Over It

Lately breastfeeding has been in the news quite a bit for two very different reasons. We're either all hearing about the never-ending, positive research that doctors are always finding with breast milk, or we are hearing of another woman told to stop breastfeeding in public. I'll cut to the chase and say that I'm really getting fed up with the latter.

Recently in Alabama, a mother was told that if she didn't stop nursing her child in a public court room that she'd be escorted out. She was later given another room to nurse in (that was also filled with people, wth?) but this was only after much humiliation and heartache. Funny thing is that the court room official who told her to leave actually broke Alabama law. She was actually within in rights. Does everyone else see the humor in that? Then ironically enough, a mother shopping in Victoria's Secret was refused the right to breastfeed and was told to take her son to a local alley to feed him. Seriously, it's Victoria's Secret, and boobies are everywhere?! Victoria's Secret has of course apologized since then and stated that they do support BF in their stores, but that doesn't help with the embarrassment and heartache that nursing mother felt. Why should anyone feel ashamed for nurturing their child in the most natural way that God intended? They shouldn't. These are just two recent situations, but there are so many more out there.

My question is simple really, what the hell is wrong with our culture? Why is it okay that girls can walk around dressed as skimpy as ever and guys can walk around dragging their pants off their ass, yet I have to sit there and feel ashamed to breastfeed my child (even when nothing is showing might I add)? Why can Miley Cyrus molest herself on stage with a foam finger while we share the videos of it all day long and still buy her music, but we can't support mothers who breastfeed in public? 

Breastfeeding was once such a normal "thing." Actually it wasn't even a "thing," it was just the simple act of feeding your child. At one point it was the only way to feed your child. It is sad just how much things have changed; it is sad that I even have motivation to write this post. Today, breasts are often sexualized and their true purpose is sometimes forgotten in the shuffle of midriff tops and push up bras. Sales posters and commercials line our social media networks all day long of gorgeous women in barely there bras and lace panties and we are fine with that. Parents are fine if their eight year old son stops and watches a Victoria's Secret commercial with so much intent that you begin to wonder, "just what is he thinking about," but we are appalled if that eight year old has to witness the horrid and disgusting act of watching a mother nurse her child. Oh however will you explain to them what boobies are really for? 

When I first started breastfeeding I myself battled with the fear of breastfeeding in public. Part of it was my own modesty I had to deal with and the other part was the idea in my head that people would judge me. I have since grown through that and while I don't just pop my milk bags out at any time, I have fed my child in public and I am so discreet about it that I guarantee you nothing can be seen. I don't even use nursing covers anymore; I simply wear two shirts and pull one down and one up and then stick out the breast enough for my child and waaalaaa. 

America needs to get a grip and remember what a woman's breasts are really for. We need to not hide how infants eat from children but rather explain to them in a tasteful manner (when the time is right of course), so that way they grow up knowing and when they later see it in action they are not condemning it and rather just going along with it. If we all just took the time to not really care about breastfeeding in public then wouldn't the whole issue be less obvious? If breastfeeding in public was more "the norm," then wouldn't we all just look past the nursing mommies and not really even give two thoughts to what that mother and baby were doing? Yes, we would. 

We think it is adorable when puppies latch on to their mamas, but we point fingers and make whispers about the infant latched on to her mother; her sole source of food. Let's remember that some babies do not even take bottles. Do you want that baby to starve just because the mother can't run to her car to nurse her child or just because you really don't want to see it? Didn't think so. 

Let's also all remember one really important thing too: our heads are placed on this really cool thing called a neck that will let us turn our head in two different directions. Isn't that handy?

Finally, I'm not saying that as a breastfeeding mother we shouldn't use tact when nursing in public. While honestly I don't judge a woman if she just lets it all hang out, I do think it is much more tasteful when we are conscientious while nursing, especially in crowded places or places with lots of children. I have gone to my car in public many times to feed my child and/ or I have looked for a more "deserted" area. I do try to be respectful to those that don't wish to see "that" (because it is your right to your own opinion). However, for some mamas going to the car isn't always an option and for some breastfeeding babies, using a cover isn't any fun. 

I'm using my breasts for the reason that God intended. Whether I breastfeed my child for two weeks or two years, I am using them for their sole purpose. Our breasts were not made to attract men nor were they made for motorboatin'. Our breasts were designed with the sole purpose of feeding our children and providing them their nutrition if we can and choose to. They were not designed to make me look sexier in clothes or to be my husband's "breast" friends (although he does explain to our daughter that they were originally his and she has them on loan, but that's a totally different post for another day). Breastfeeding takes a LOT of work, and our society should not add stress to a breastfeeding mother just because of their own "heebie jeebies." 

YOU don't eat your food in the car. YOU don't eat your food in the bathroom. YOU don't eat your food under a hot, stuffy piece of fabric. So why on Earth should an innocent being who doesn't know any difference have to?

c. 1900

 Image from 1943 taken at a Chattanooga bus stop, images via

And then there was me. 
(image protected by copyright and is against copyright law to share 
this image without using this article)

That's my opinion. What's yours?
Tata (pun intended), Sasha

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