Saturday, May 3, 2008

Nursing in Public

I don't think there's anything inherently wrong about wanting to cover up a bit - I would hate to think that a reluctant, shy mom-to-be would think that in order to be a "breastfeeder" she had to be okay with whipping it out in any situation, and seeing that as a reason to formula feed. I'd a million times prefer a mom to nurse in whatever way is comfortable for her, than not nurse at all. And if that means she's wearing a burqa to do it: good for her! I think we also need militant lactivists who wouldn't for one second consider covering up, because that is what is needed to begin to normalize breastfeeding within the general public. If they only see moms hiding it, then it seems like something that it supposed to be hidden.

"When an actress takes off her clothes onscreen, but a nursing mother is told to leave, what message do we send about the roles of women? In some ways were as committed to the old madonna-whore dichotomy as ever. And the madonna stays home, feeding the baby behind the blinds, a vestige of those days when for a lady to venture out was a flagrant act of public exposure."

Anna Quindlen, bestselling author and journalist, 1953

Biologically speaking, the only reason that breasts are "sexual" in the first place is because they speak of fertility. The primary use of breasts is for feeding the next generation of the species. Attracting a mate is part of that, but HARDLY the primary function. To say that they can only serve one function or the other, not both, is limiting and small-minded. Why can't we expect society to celebrate and honor ALL aspects of womanhood?

Here are some links on the topic of public breastfeeding:


Bea said...

I totally agree!
I don't consider myself a militant lactivist, but I still breastfeed my 2.5 year old in public without covering up... I think I'm just not shy about my body, and I don't care what others think (well, not about this anyway) ;-)

Primal said...


Rosa Sophia said...

Here, here! I don't have kids, or want them, but I find it utterly appalling that people are so offended by nursing. They seem to think it's dirty, and that kids should get the bottle.