Moms in Babeland

Public Breast Feeding Controversy

Statue of Breastfeeding MomThis week’s hot topic is public breast feeding: when and where is it appropriate…if ever. I agree with Kourtney Kardasian’s positive stance, which can be summed up as “it’s just fine” and “don’t look if you don’t like it”.

Not everyone believes in breast feeding and many do not feel it is appropriate in public. I say to each their own. I do not feel that society should dictate how or when a baby is fed and if a little nipple shows in the process, what is the big deal? Kim points out that her son’s needs are her biggest concern, which pale in comparison to societal expectations that breasts be covered up. Trying to keep a blanket over a child’s head and over your own chest is difficult and in the summer can be really uncomfortable. Everyone needs to decide what their comfort level is and if that means excusing yourself to sit in the car and feed, carrying bottles, or feeding at the table, then do what feels right for you and your child without worrying about other peoples reactions.

Breast feeding is a very natural process. Our bodies are made to made food and provide for our children. It is also a very bonding experience between parent and child. Breast feeding releases the hormone Oxytocin, known as the cuddle hormone. It promotes trust and reduces fear as well as assists in pair bonding. All of this put together as well as aiding in immunity for the child and burning up to 500 calories a day for the mother allows for this process to be incredibly beneficial for everyone involved.

I wanted to breast feed for longer than I did and was really upset when I could not produce sufficient amounts of milk after retuning to work (not at Babeland). I quickly left that job and was hired by a friend to help run a clothing store. I was able to breast feed while helping customers and keep my son with me while earning a paycheck. I never had a complaint that my breast was showing or felt what I was doing was indecent. I feel lucky that every time my child needed food I was there to give it, albeit, sometimes in bottle form.

Read Kim’s full blog post here, or take a moment to celebrate those moms who are not ashamed to breast feed in public, including celebs like Maggie Gyllenhaal (at left), Lucy Lawless (at right), and many others.

What are your thoughts? What’s been your experience?

Related posts:

  1. Jenna v. Kendra: The Battle Over Mom’s Public Decorum

3 Responses to “Public Breast Feeding Controversy”

  1. Stephanie says:

    She caused quite a stir (Kim with her comment about it being gross) and I’m glad her sister posted a blog explaining her feelings. I would have loved to have breastfed and would have done it wherever whenever I had too, covered or uncovered!

  2. Anne says:

    You definitely can’t avoid breast-feeding in public, somewhere, unless you never leave the house. Folks who criticize it probably have no idea how logistically challenging it is to try to do it discreetly. I appreciated your comment about that (how it’s hot and uncomfortable in the summer). I always carried a light blanket and draped it over me and the babe, but it was forever falling off and i ended up flashing folks regardless. And the yanking up and down of the shirts was always good for a peep show!

  3. Amanda says:

    This post about breast feeding brings back such fond memories. When my kids were infants/toddlers, I was lucky enough to live in a married student residence – it seems like my husband and I were students forever. And while being a student AND a new mother at the same time wasn’t the easiest thing in the world, it was the best, most supportive place to live under the circumstances.

    All of my friends and surrounding neighbours were of like mind when it came to breast feeding and parenting in general, hence there was never any shame when it came to breast feeding in public or anywhere for that matter. In fact, it was probably almost the opposite – if you didn’t breast feed – anytime, anywhere, like while pushing a stroller, carrying a bag of groceries and running after a four-year old (I think I did that once LOL) then something was wrong.

    I just think that support no matter what is the key. We women need to stick together. It can make the difference between doing it and not doing it. During the tough times (say weeks of marathon nursing sessions, breast infections, what seemed like not enough milk production, trouble with baby latching on, etc. etc.) my women friends would be there to help me get through it. They made sure it happened. They stuck with me and I nursed successfully for six years – think three children under four.

    A nipple flashed in public while breast feeding should be the least of any new mother’s worries. Life is hard enough. So if you don’t have the support, go look for it. It’s out there.

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