August 23, 2009

Breastfeeding Is A Polarizing Topic!

I'm probably going out on a limb posting this, but just know I mostly respect opposing opinions on this topic depending on the context.

So not being a mother I only have the perspective of a non-mom, and as a non-mom it's a little awkward when I see someone breastfeeding in public without any kind of blanket or breastfeeding apron. Mostly because I don't know where to look and I wouldn't dream of exposing myself that way in public for any reason. I would find a place that provides me some kind of privacy, or I would always make use of a something that would allow us to be discreet.
This story is about a nurse-in that was staged in a Florida fast food restaurant because that manager (a woman) had asked a woman cover up while feeding her baby. While it was in poor taste, I completely understand where she was coming from. She was likely thinking of the consideration of the other customers. That said she didn't have consideration for the mother feeding her baby either. The manager admitted that she made a mistake.

What I find funny is how this nurse-in was about making a statement about their "right" to feed their children. I really find it to be a mockery of such a intimate and special moment between a mother and child. Because mothers have a duty, not a right to feed their children, and it shouldn't be about garnering attention, it should be about nourishing one's child. And gathering a bunch of women to use their babies to make a point is about garnering attention.

But you see this opinion in and of itself is very polarizing, and I didn't know that until someone posted that story on facebook and I made a comment, and someone obviously disagreed with my point of view. Which is fine, we are all entitled to our opinions. I had no idea that people disagreed with me on this, though I should have, because I've seen it done not-so-discreetly and discreetly which should have clued me in that many women aren't as private about it as I would be. So often times disagreements like this can be awkward even if one tries to state their opinions in the utmost respectful manner. It really depends if you and the other party involved can agree to disagree or not.

I do find some of the comments on both sides of the issue at the end of that story interesting food for thought. Pun always intended.

And you thought this was going to be about whether or not to breastfeed, which is a very polarizing topic in and of it's self. And my opinion that it's a mother's choice is likely to upset some as well. Though some people like to demonize women that don't, even though as I understand it, sometimes it's beyond their control. Let's just say that there are many healthy, well-adjusted adopted babies that don't get the opportunity to breast-feed.


Brian Sorgatz said...

I remember hearing a woman complain that putting a blanket over her baby's head can cause heat rash. If women appear indiscreet about breastfeeding, that may be the reason, just to be fair.

As a male, I'm inclined to let women decide amongst themselves the etiquette of the female breast. It's not my fight.

Shana said...

I am 30 years old, and a mother of 3,soon to be 4, children. I was only 19 when I conceived the youngest, and I am pregnant again. I breastfed the 2 youngest children and intent to breastfeed again, as a matter of personal choice, as I believe it to be beneficial to the child. However, as unfair as many women may think it is, females exposing their breasts in public is indecent in my opinion, regardless of why.

I have been to the mall and seen women doing this in public, and my own children look on, confused. I respect their right to breastfeed, as I think it admirable, but they need to respect the fact that not everyone wants their children looking at HER breast while she is in public. I am from a small town and EVEN WE have rooms near the restrooms, comfortably set up with lounge areas, where women can breastfeed privately, without exposing their breasts to everyone trying to shop, dine, or whatever.

In conclusion, whether fair or not, the female breast, in this country and many others, is still a sexual organ in my opinion. If you are trying to have a nurturing, bonding experience with your child, then do so behind closed doors, and pump before you go out in public.

MeanDonnaJean said...

Speakin' of awkward things my mother never taught me 'n the topic of breastfeedin', take a gander at THIS article in our local newspaper today:

Facilities beneficial to struggling moms

Is anyone else (besides me) weirded out by this? And check out THOSE milk prices!

Amber Sunshine said...

I completely agree that it is a sexual organ and i feel sorry for the husbands of those women who say their only purpose is to feed children...There are plenty of opportunities to be discreet in public in lounges like you said or with nursing aprons etc...though some people find the suggestion of lounging in the bathroom highly offensive...I find it highly thoughtful of the stores/ facilities that provide them...

I have heard of donor milk though I don't know anyone that's used it. I didn't know it was so expensive! The part of the article that disturbs me is about the man undergoing chemotherapy unable to keep food down who's wife brought up donor milk and they didn't finish the story if he drank it or not. It seemed as if the intent was to imply breastmilk cured his cancer or something but they left us hanging....weird

Ameda Ultra said...

Indeed it is, I completely agree with you without a shadow of doubt.